Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada extends for over 400 miles along eastern California, from the Mojave Desert in the south to the Feather River Basin in the north. The southern third of the Sierra Nevada is the highest and most rugged, with eleven peaks topping 14,000 feet. This area is known as the High Sierra, and is well known for its startling beauty and contrasts. Heavy snow falls during most winters, and there are many permanent snow patches and several small glaciers. Glaciers were much heavier in the past, evidenced by the extensive erosion in the range, which has created spectacularly sculpted valleys and cirques. The western slopes of the mountains are covered in lofty forests of sequoia, pine, incense-cedar, fir and aspen. The sequoia are particularly awesome, rising to 300 feet, with 30 feet-diameter trunks. The eastern side of the range is an escarpment, descending as a great mountain wall 10,000 feet to the arid deserts. From Death Valley, 280 feet below sea level, with 120 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, the often snow-capped Sierra Nevada, rises just 80 miles away on the horizon. The most interesting (and popular) part of the range is that area extending through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Yosemite Valley is a seven-mile canyon that cuts deep into the high country west of the Sierra Crest. The valley is known for its sheer granite walls, high plunging waterfalls, and dependable weather conditions. Half Dome (8,842 ft.) and El Capitan (7,569 ft.) are its best known climbs, 2,000 and 3,000 vertical feet respectively.  The highest peak of Yosemite National Park is Mount Lyell (13,114 ft.), but the higher summits of the Sierra Nevada are located east of Yosemite, on the main crest of the range. Thirteen of California's fifteen fourteeners are located in the Sierra Nevada, the other two being Mount Shasta (14,162 ft.) of the Cascade Range and White Mountain Peak (14,246 ft.) of the White Range, one of the basin ranges east of the Sierra Nevada. There are also over one hundred Sierra Nevada peaks topping 13,000 feet.

Peaks of Sierra Nevada

Check out any of the following peaks for additional information: