Sierra Club History

We are America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, we are 2.7 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet.

1892-05-28 00:00:00

Sierra Club Founded

The Sierra Club is founded on May 28, 1892, with John Muir as its first president.

1893-12-01 00:00:00

The First Sierra Club Bulletin

The Sierra Club's original journal evolved over the years into the award-winning SIERRA magazine of today.

1898-04-22 15:51:09

First Visitor's Center in Yosemite Valley

The Sierra Club establishes the first visitor's center, Sinning's Cottage, in Yosemite Valley. It is staffed by William Colby, a 23-year-old Sierra Club member who would later found the Sierra Club Outings program.

1899-01-01 00:00:00

Mt Rainier National Park

Congress establishes Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State in response to efforts of the Sierra Club and other groups.

1901-07-09 00:00:00

The High Trip - The Club's First Outing

In the Sierra Club’s first outing, William Colby leads 96 participants on a multi-week trip to Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. Understanding that people are more likely to value what they know and experience, the Sierra Club initiates an annual High Trip to take groups of people into the mountains to hike, climb, and camp. These popular trips convert city-weary folks into lovers of, and protectors of, mountains and wilderness. They are the beginning of the Sierra Club's expanded and continuing Outings Program, which today exposes over 200,000 people a year to natural landscapes all over the world.

1903-10-28 00:00:00

John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt

Sierra Club founder John Muir convinces President Theodore Roosevelt to back a proposal to transfer management of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove from the state of California back to the federal government, thereby making Yosemite National Park whole. The bill making it official passes in 1906.

1904-05-28 04:07:08

Early Sierra Club Outings

The fourth Sierra Club Outing travels to Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows, and Hetch Hetchy. Panoramic photo by Edward T. Parsons.

1906-02-01 00:00:00

San Francisco Earthquake

The San Francisco earthquake and fire destroy the Sierra Club's records and library.

1907-03-29 19:03:33

Early Call to Action

To meet the water needs of a growing San Francisco, a dam is proposed to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley within Yosemite National Park. The Sierra Club opposes the dam site as a violation of the protected status of national parks. Although the Sierra Club lost this battle, our strong and public opposition ultimately resulted in a widespread conviction that our national parks should be held inviolate.

1908-04-19 02:21:33

Membership Reaches 1,000

Sierra Club membership reaches 1,000.

Sierra Club History

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