Yosemite’s three sister parks, Huangshan and Jiuzhaigou National Parks in China, and Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, share many of the same spectacular features as Yosemite—sheer granite cliffs, valleys and tall pines.
They are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These parks also face the same global challenges: accommodating many visitors and the effects of urban growth.
Yosemite has a formal relationship with each of its sister parks to share resource management techniques and to work in other areas like biodiversity and education. Yosemite National Park staff has spent time in the Chinese parks exchanging expertise while a dozen Chinese park rangers have spent terms of one to four months learning in Yosemite.
Huangshan National Park (China) Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in eastern China’s Anhui province features a mountain range with many peaks above cloud level, including the 6,115-foot Lotus Peak. Over 60,000 stone steps, some of which might be 1,500 years old, are used to ascend to the top of the range.
Jiuzhaigou National Park (China)
In the Sichuan province of central China, Jiuzhaigou’s 177,280 acres are characterized by thunderous waterfalls in high alpine valleys surrounded by diverse forests of rhododendron, bamboo and pines.
Giant pandas and golden snub-nosed monkeys, both endangered, live in the forests amongst the limestone and karst cliffs and the startling blue lakes. The area was extensively logged until the late 1970s, when the Chinese government banned the activity there.
Torres del Paine National Park Located in Chilean Patagonia, the 597,995 acre park includes the geologic Torres (Towers) del Paine, a portion of the Patagonian Icefield, and many lakes, glaciers, rivers and waterfalls. The backdrop is the Paine Massif, which is an eastern spur of the Andes, rising dramatically to 8,530 feet above the Patagonian steppe. Small valleys separate the spectacular granite spires, and clouds drape the mountain peaks.