Before Sunset became the lifestyle magazine it is today, it started out as Southern Pacific Railroad's promotional tool in May 1898

Sunset  – September 26, 2017 | Updated March 16, 2021

Before Sunset became the lifestyle magazine it is today, it started out as Southern Pacific Railroad’s promotional tool in May 1898 to attract tourism to the West. Even though our mission essentially hasn’t changed, we’ve evolved from black-and-white to beautiful, colored photographs. You’ll see we featured a seven-page spread on Yosemite (complete with nostalgia-inducing photos from Joseph Nisbet LeConte of the Sierra Club) in our first issue.

May 1898 Sunset Magazine Cover

Back then, round trip fare from San Francisco to Yosemite was a mere $38. And though a lot has changed in 116 years, our love for Yosemite is still going strong today.

In fact, you can plan a trip this summer with our updated Yosemite National Park guide, which has you covered on everything from the best campgrounds to the most breathtaking waterfalls.


Read the 2021 Gardening Issue

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