The Sierra Nevada Network serves four national park units on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California: Devils Postpile National Monument, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and Yosemite National Park. These parks have a striking elevation gradient, from 1,360 feet in the foothills to 14,494 feet at the top of Mount Whitney—the highest peak in the lower 48 states. The range of elevations and the variety of habitats results in a high diversity of ecosystems, plants, and animals.
These parks span seven major river watersheds. The water from snowpack and rivers, streams, and lakes is critical for park organisms as well as for downstream water users outside of the parks. Water from the Sierra Nevada, stored as snowpack and in reservoirs, provides a substantial amount of California’s water supply.