The Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is a huge uplifted and tilted granite mountain range which extends north and south for 400 miles in eastern California. Its highest point is Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet (4,421 m.). Other famous peaks in the Sierras are the giant granite monoliths El Capitan at 7,569 feet (2,307 m.) and Half Dome at 8,836 feet (2,693 m.).

These mountains are about 70 miles wide. They cover 31,000 square miles between the Great Basin and the Central Valley of California.

This range consists mostly of fault-block mountains. Erosion by glaciers has exposed the granite and formed the light-colored mountains and cliffs that make up the range.

The Sierras were home to several Native American tribes. The range was first sighted by Pedro Fages in 1772, and then explored between 1844 and 1912.

Scenic attractions include Lake Tahoe State Park, and Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
Return to Mountain Ranges from The Sierra Nevada






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