Established in 1890, Yosemite is one of our first national parks (Yellowstone was the first national park in 1872). Yosemite sits in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains and is the land of both forest-filled valleys and towering granite cliffs. In Yosemite’s vast 1,200 square miles, a visitor would find waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, rugged canyons and mountains and an abundance of both animal and plant species. Yosemite also helped serve as a catalyst for the conservation movement, as naturalists such as John Muir used the protection of Yosemite from ranchers and loggers as a way to get Federal lands set aside for non-commercial use.