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Encyclopedia > Sierra Nevada (US)
Sierra Nevada
The Sierra, The Sierras
Little Lakes Valley: typical eastside terrain
Country United States
States California, Nevada
Geology batholith, igneous
Length 400 mi (644 km), North-South
Highest point Mount Whitney
 - coordinates 36°34′42.9″N, 118°17′31.2″W
 - elevation 14,505 ft (4,421 m)
Position of Sierra Nevada inside California

The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "Snowy Range") is a mountain range that is almost entirely in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of California. The range is also known as The Sierra and The Sierras. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 793 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Bear Creek Spire, Sierra Nevada (US), from Little Lakes Valley. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Half Dome A batholith is a large emplacement of igneous intrusive (also called plutonic) rock that forms from cooled magma deep in the Earths crust. ... Igneous rocks are formed when molten rock (magma) cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. ... A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. ... km redirects here. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... The metre, or meter (U.S.), is a measure of length. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Sierra Nevada, meaning snowy range in Spanish, is the name of at least three mountain ranges: Sierra Nevada (Spain) in Andalusia, Spain Sierra Nevada (US) in California and Nevada, United States Sierra Nevada (Mexico) in Mexico There are also two single mountains named Sierra Nevada in the Andes which are... The Himalaya as seen from the International Space Station A mountain range is a group of mountains bordered by lowlands or separated from other mountain ranges by passes or rivers. ... Eastern California is not a well-defined term. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties Libertarian Party State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...

Contents

Geography

The Sierra Nevada stretches 400 miles (650 km), from Fredonyer Pass in the north to Tehachapi Pass in the south. It is bounded on the west by California's Central Valley, and on the east by the Great Basin. Fredonyer Pass is a mountain pass in Lassen County, California, USA, at an elevation of 5775 feet (1760m) located at 40°2132N, 120°523W. [1] California State Route 36 passes through Fredonyer Pass. ... Tehachapi Pass Tehachapi Pass (elevation 3793 ft/1156 m, location 35°06′08″ N 118°16′58″ W) is a mountain pass in southern California in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The California Central Valley Part of the Valley as seen from overhead A typical Central Valley scene at ground level The California Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. ... Drainage map showing the Great Basin in orange Various Definitions of the Great Basin (NPS) The Great Basin is a large, arid region of the western United States. ...


In west-east cross section, the Sierra is shaped like a non-equilateral triangle: the elevation gradually increases eastward until the crest is reached, whereupon the elevation rapidly decreases, forming a steep escarpment. Thus, the crest runs principally along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada range. Rivers flowing west from the Sierra crest eventually drain into the Pacific Ocean, while rivers draining east flow into the Great Basin and do not reach any ocean. However, water from several streams and the Owens River is redirected to the city of Los Angeles (see Los Angeles Aqueduct). Thus, some east-flowing river water does make it to the Pacific Ocean. In geology, an escarpment is a transition zone between different physiogeographic provinces that involves an elevation differential, often involving high cliffs. ... Owens Valley The Owens River is a river in eastern California in the United States, approximately 120 mi (193 km) long. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type mayor-council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D)  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... There are two Los Angeles Aqueducts--the original Los Angeles Aqueduct was designed by William Mulholland (an Irish immigrant who became a self-taught engineer and head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) and completed in 1913 to deliver water from the Owens River to the city...


There are several notable geographical features in the Sierra Nevada:

  • Lake Tahoe is a large, clear freshwater lake in the northern Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 6,225 feet (1,897 m) and an area of 191 square miles (489 km²). Lake Tahoe lies between the main Sierra and the Carson Range, a spur of the Sierra.
  • Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Tehipite Valley and Kern Canyon are the most well-known of many beautiful, glacially-scoured canyons on the west side of the Sierra.
  • Yosemite National Park is filled with stunning features, such as waterfalls and granite domes.
  • Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m), is the highest point in the contiguous United States.
  • Groves of Giant Sequoias Sequoiadendron giganteum occur along a narrow band of altitude on the western side of the Sierra Nevada. Giant Sequoias are the most massive trees in the world.
East Face of Mt. Whitney as seen from the way up on Whitney Portal.
East Face of Mt. Whitney as seen from the way up on Whitney Portal.

The height of the mountains in the Sierra Nevada gradually increases from north to south. Between Fredonyer Pass and Lake Tahoe, the peaks range from 5,000 ft. (1,524 m) to 8,000 ft. (2,438 m).The crest near Lake Tahoe is roughly 9,000 ft (2,700 m) high, with several peaks as high as Mount Rose (10,778 ft. or 3,285 m), the crest near Yosemite National Park is roughly 13,000 ft (4,000 m) high at Mount Dana and Mount Lyell, and the entire range attains its peak at Mount Whitney. South of Mount Whitney, the range diminishes in elevation, but there are still several highpoints like Florence Peak (12,405 ft. or 3,781 m) and Olancha Peak (12,123 ft. or 3,695 m). The range still climbs almost to 10,000 ft. (3,048 m) near Isabella Lake, but south of the lake, the peaks reach only to a modest 8,000 ft. (2,438 m). Tahoe redirects here. ... The Carson Range is a range of mountains in eastern California and western Nevada that spurs off of the Sierra Nevada mountain range south of Lake Tahoe. ... Hetch Hetchy Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in California. ... Yosemite Valley with Half Dome in the distance. ... Dusy Basin in eastern Kings Canyon National Park Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. ... Yosemite National Park (pronounced Yo-SEM-it-ee, IPA ) is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. ... A granite dome is a dome of granite, formed by exfoliation. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... The continental United States refers (except sometimes in U.S. federal law and regulations) to the largest part of the U.S. that is delimited by a continuous border. ... Binomial name Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 742 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 742 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Yosemite National Park (pronounced Yo-SEM-it-ee, IPA ) is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. ... Mount Dana is a mountain on the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park and is the second highest peak within the park after Mount Lyell. ... Mount Lyell is the highest point in Yosemite National Park. ...


Geology

See Geology of the Yosemite area for a detailed article about the geology of the central Sierra Nevada. The exposed geology of the Yosemite area includes primarily granitic rocks with some older metamorphic rock. ...


The geological history of the Sierra Nevada begins in the Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years ago. At that time, an island arc collided with the West coast of North America and raised a set of mountains, in an event called the Nevadan orogeny. This event produced metamorphic rock. At roughly the same time, a subduction zone started to form at the edge of the continent. This means that an oceanic plate started to dive beneath the North American plate. Magma from the melting oceanic plate rose and created plutons of solid granite, deep below the surface. These plutons formed at various times, from 115 million to 87 million years ago. By 65 million years ago, the proto-Sierra Nevada was worn down to a range of rolling low mountains, a few thousand feet high. // The image above is believed to be a replaceable fair use image. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Lyskamm, 4 527 m, Pennine Alps A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. ... The Nevadan Orogeny was a major mountain building event that took place along the western edge of ancient North America between the Mid to Late Jurassic(between about 180 and 146 million years ago). ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ... Categories: Geology stubs | Plate tectonics ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ...  The North American plate, shown in brown The North American Plate is a tectonic plate covering most of North America, extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Cherskiy Range in East Siberia. ... Devils Tower, an igneous intrusion exposed when the surrounding softer rock eroded away. ... Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. ...

Sierra Nevada from near Lone Pine.
Sierra Nevada from near Lone Pine.

About 25 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada started to rise and tilt to the west. Rivers started cutting deep canyons on both sides of the range. The Earth's climate cooled, and ice ages started about 2.5 million years ago. Glaciers carved out characteristic U-shaped canyons throughout the Sierra. The combination of river and glacier erosion exposed the granitic plutons previously buried, leaving only a remnant of metamorphic rock on top of some Sierra peaks. The rocks of the ancient plutons are known as the Sierra Nevada batholith. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 750 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1000 × 799 pixel, file size: 477 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photographed by Doug Dolde outside Lone Pine, California, February, 2007 Arca Swiss 4x5 view camera, Fujichrome Provia 100F transparency film. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 750 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1000 × 799 pixel, file size: 477 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photographed by Doug Dolde outside Lone Pine, California, February, 2007 Arca Swiss 4x5 view camera, Fujichrome Provia 100F transparency film. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... Glacier-sliced Half Dome, Yosemite, a classic granite dome of the Sierra Nevada Batholith The Sierra Nevada Batholith is a large batholith in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, USA, and is a continuous granitic formation that forms much of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. ...


Uplift of the Sierra Nevada continues today, especially along its eastern side. This uplift causes large earthquakes, such as the Lone Pine earthquake of 1872. Lone Pine fault scarp The Great Lone Pine earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes to hit California in recorded history. ... Year 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Ecology

Upper montane forest
Upper montane forest

Main article: Ecology of the Sierra Nevada Upper montane red fir forest. ... Upper montane red fir forest. ... Biotic zones in Yosemite The Ecology of the Sierra Nevada is diverse and complex: the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. ...


The Sierra Nevada are divided into a number of biotic zones[1] The Life Zone concept was developed by C. Hart Merriam in 1889 as a means of describing areas with similar plant and animal communities. ...

Species Section Cembroides     Pinus cembroides     Pinus orizabensis     Pinus johannis     Pinus culminicola     Pinus remota     Pinus edulis     Pinus monophylla     Pinus quadrifolia Section Rzedowskiae     Pinus rzedowskii     Pinus pinceana     Pinus maximartinezii Section Nelsoniae     Pinus nelsonii The pinyon pines (or piñon pines), are a group of pines, which grow in the southwestern United States... Species Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... Binomial name Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus Wied, 1841 The Pinyon Jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) is a jay between the North American Blue Jay and the Eurasian Jay in size. ... Trinomial name Ovis canadensis nelsoni The Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is a subspecies of Bighorn Sheep that occurs in the desert Southwest regions of the United States. ... Binomial name Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex C. Lawson Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) is a widespread and very variable pine native to western North America. ... Binomial name Pinus jeffreyi Balf. ... Binomial name Quercus kelloggii Newb. ... Species Calocedrus decurrens Conservation status: Secure Calocedrus formosana Conservation status: Vulnerable Calocedrus macrolepis Conservation status: Vulnerable The Incense-cedars, Calocedrus, are a genus of two to three species of coniferous trees in the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... Binomial name Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl. ... Binomial name Junco hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758) The Dark-eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis, is the best-known species of junco, a genus of small American sparrows. ... Binomial name Poecile gambeli or Parus gambeli Linnaeus, 1766 The Mountain Chickadee, Parus gambeli or Poecile gambeli, is a small songbird. ... Binomial name Sciurus griseus Ord, 1818 The Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus) is a tree squirrel found along the western coast of the United States and Canada. ... Binomial name Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque, 1817) The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. ... Binomial name Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780 Black Bear redirects here. ... Binomial name Pinus contorta Douglas Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) is a common tree in western North America. ... Binomial name Abies magnifica A.Murray The Red Fir (Abies magnifica) is a western North American fir, native to the mountains of southwest Oregon and California in the United States. ... Binomial name Tsuga mertensiana (Bong. ... Binomial name Juniperus occidentalis Hook. ... Binomial name Catharus guttatus (Pallas, 1811) The Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus, is a medium-sized thrush. ... Species Centrocercus urophasianus, (Bonaparte, 1827) Centrocercus minimus, (Young et. ... Binomial name Strix nebulosa Forster, 1772 The Great Grey Owl or Lapland Owl (Strix nebulosa) is a very large owl. ... Binomial name Spermophilus lateralis (Say, 1823) The Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis) lives in all types of forests across North America. ... Species Martes americana Martes flavigula Martes foina Martes gwatkinsii Martes martes Martes melampus Martes pennanti Martes zibellina for the Wiltshire village see Marten, Wiltshire The Martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Mustelinae, in family Mustelidae. ... // Summary The subalpine Biome is a geographic and altitudinal region found below Tree-line and above the montane. ... Binomial name Pinus albicaulis Engelm. ... Binomial name Pinus balfouriana Balf. ... Binomial name Nucifraga columbiana (Wilson, 1811) The Clarks Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), is a large passerine bird, in the family Corvidae. ... In physical geography, tundra is an area where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. ... Binomial name Polemonium viscosum Nutt. ... Type Species Ochotona minor Link, 1795 (= Lepus dauuricus Pallas, 1776) Species See text The name pika (archaically spelled pica) is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae (rabbits and hares). ... Species about 38: see text. ... Binomial name Marmota flaviventris (Audubon and Bachman, 1841) The Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris), also known as the Rock Chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus. ... Trinomial name Ovis canadensis sierrae (Grinnell, 1912) Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) is a subspecies of Bighorn Sheep. ...

History

History of exploration

The earliest identified inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada were the Paiute tribe on the east side and the Mono and Sierra Miwok tribe on the west. Today, passes such as Duck Pass are littered with discarded obsidian arrowheads that date back to trade between tribes. There were also prehistorical territorial disputes between the Paiute and Sierra Miwok tribes[2] European-American exploration of the mountain range started in the 1840s. In the winter of 1844, Lieutenant John C. Frémont, accompanied by Kit Carson, was the first white man to see Lake Tahoe. Paiute women and children in Yosemite Valley 1891. ... The Valley and Sierra Miwok (also called the Plains and Sierra Miwok), were the largest group of Miwok Native American people. ... Obsidian from Lake County, Oregon Counterclockwise from top: obsidian, pumice and rhyolite (light color) Obsidian is a rock which is a type of naturally occurring glass, produced by volcanoes (igneous origin) when a felsic lava cools rapidly and freezes without sufficient time for crystal growth (see glass transition temperature). ... American Indian arrowheads of several shapes and functions Japanese arrowheads of several shapes and functions Arrowhead can refer to: the point of an arrow; some plants in the genus Sagittaria; the Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota; a place name in southern California, derived from an arrowhead-shaped geologic formation in... John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), born John Charles Fremont, was an American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States, and the first Presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform... Kit Carson Kit Carson (December 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868), born Christopher Houston Carson, was an American frontiersman. ... Tahoe redirects here. ...

Red Slate Mountain - Peter Pande trail (photo taken in 1963)
Red Slate Mountain - Peter Pande trail (photo taken in 1963)

By 1860, even though the California Gold Rush populated the flanks of the Sierra Nevada, most of the Sierra remained unexplored.[3][4] Therefore, the state legislature authorized the California Geological Survey to officially explore the Sierra (and survey the rest of the state). Josiah Whitney was appointed to head the survey. Red Slate Mountain. ... Red Slate Mountain. ... Red Slate Mountain is the highest peak in the Sherwin Range, which is part of the Sierra Nevada. ... The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began in January 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill. ... Although it was not until 1880 that the California State Mining Bureau, predecessor to the California Geological Survey, was established, the roots of Californias state geological survey date to an earlier time. ... Portrait of Josiah Whitney by Silas Selleck, 1863 Josiah Dwight Whitney (November 23, 1819-August 15, 1896) was a professor of geology at Harvard University (from 1865), and was chief of the California Geological Survey (1860-1874). ...


Men of the survey, including William H. Brewer, Charles F. Hoffmann, and Clarence King, explored the backcountry of what would become Yosemite National Park in 1863. In 1864, they explored the area around Kings Canyon. King later recounted his adventures over the Kings-Kern divide in his book Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada. In 1871, King mistakenly thought that Mount Langley was the highest peak in the Sierra and climbed it. However, before he could climb the true highest peak (Mount Whitney), fishermen from Lone Pine, California climbed it and left a note. William Henry Brewer William Henry Brewer (September 14, 1828 -- November 2, 1910) was an American botanist. ... A native of Germany, trained as an engineer. ... Categories: Stub | 1842 births | 1901 deaths | Climbers | Geologists | Sierra Nevada ... Yosemite National Park (pronounced Yo-SEM-it-ee, IPA ) is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. ... Dusy Basin in eastern Kings Canyon National Park Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. ... Mount Langley is located on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the border of Inyo and Tulare counties, in eastern California in the southwestern United States. ... Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States at elevation 14,505 feet (4,421 meters). ... The main street in Lone Pine retains a frontier look Lone Pine is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. ...


Between 1892 and 1897, Theodore Solomons was the first explorer to attempt to map a route along the crest of the Sierra (what would eventually become the John Muir Trail, along a different route). On his 1894 expedition, he took along Leigh Bierce, son of writer Ambrose Bierce. Theodore Seixas Solomons (1870-1947) was an explorer and early member of the Sierra Club; from 1892 to 1897 he explored and named the Mount Goddard, Evolution Valley and Evolution Basin region in what is now northen Kings Canyon National Park in eastern California. ... John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail in California, running 211 miles (340 km) from the Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. ... Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – 1914?) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist, today best known for his Devils Dictionary. ...

The Minarets, first climbed by Norman Clyde
The Minarets, first climbed by Norman Clyde

Other noted early mountaineers included: The Minarets in the Sierra Nevada (US). ... The Minarets in the Sierra Nevada (US). ... For the building, see Minaret. ... Norman Clyde (April 8, 1885-December 23, 1972) was a famous mountaineer and nature photographer. ...

Features in the Sierra are named after these men. John Muir (1838-1914) John Muir appears on the California quarter John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was one of the earliest modern preservationists. ... Joseph Nisbet LeConte (1870-1950) was a noted explorer of the Sierra Nevada. ... James Sather Hutchinson (1867-1959) was a lawyer in San Francisco. ... Norman Clyde (April 8, 1885-December 23, 1972) was a famous mountaineer and nature photographer. ... Walter A. Pete Starr, Jr. ...


History of the name

In 1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sighting the Santa Cruz Mountains while off the peninsula of San Francisco, gave them the name Sierra Nevada meaning "snowy range" in Spanish. As more specific names were given to California's coastal ranges, the name was used in a general way to designate less familiar ranges towards the interior.[5] In April of 1776 Padre Pedro Font on the second de Anza expedition, looking northeast across the Tulare Valley, described the mountains seen beyond: Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in Portuguese João Rodrigues Cabrilho, (ca 1499–January 3, 1543) was an explorer noted for his exploration of the west coast of North America while sailing for Spain. ... The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central California, United States. ... Juan Bautista de Anza Juan Bautista de Anza Bezerra Nieto (July 1736 - December 19, 1788) was a Novo-Spanish explorer for the Spanish Empire. ... Tulare Lake is an extinct fresh-water lake that was formerly the largest to be completely enclosed within the territories of the Unites States. ...

Looking northeast we saw an immense plain without any trees, through which the water extends for a long distance, having in it several little islands of lowland. And finally, on the other side of the immense plain, and at a distance of about forty leagues, we saw a great Sierra Nevada whose trend appeared to me to be from south-southeast to north-northwest.[6]

Its most common nickname is the Range of Light. This nickname comes from John Muir.[7] This description is due in part to the unusually light colored granite exposed by glacial action. John Muir (1838-1914) John Muir appears on the California quarter John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was one of the earliest modern preservationists. ...

Owens Valley and the Sierra Escarpment
Owens Valley and the Sierra Escarpment

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2359x600, 309 KB) Owens Valley, California, and the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada mountains, looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2359x600, 309 KB) Owens Valley, California, and the eastern escarpment of the Sierra Nevada mountains, looking southwest from the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flat. ...

Climate and meteorology

Precipitation in the Sierra ranges from 20 to 80 in (500 to 2,030 mm) during fall, winter, and spring. It occurs mostly as snow above 6,000 ft. Rain on snow is common. Summers are dry with low humidity. Temperature averages 42 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 to 15.5 degrees Centigrade). The growing season lasts 20 to 230 days, strongly dependent on elevation.[8]


A unique peculiarity of the Sierra Nevada is that, under certain wind conditions, a large circular tube of air begins to roll on the southeast side. This is known as the "Sierra Nevada Rotor." This "mountain wave" forms when dry continental winds from the east cause the formation of a stacked set of counter-revolving cylinders of air reaching into the stratosphere. As of 2004, no sailplane has found its top. Similar features occur on many mountain ranges, but it is often observed and utilized in the Sierra. The phenomenon was the subject of an Air Force-funded study in the early 1950s called the Sierra Wave Project. All recent world altitude records set in unpowered aircraft were set in the Sierra Nevada Wave, most flown from Mojave Airport. Generation of Lee Waves (schematic drawing) 1 = Mountain 2 = Wind 3 = Rotor 4 = Lee Wave 5 = typical cloud (lenticularis) 6 = typical cloud (cumulus) In meteorology, Lee waves, also known as mountain waves, are periodic changes of pressure in a stream of air when the wind moves over mountains. ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial-warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ... The Mojave Spaceport, also known as the Mojave Airport and Civilian Flight Test Center, is the first facility to be licensed in the United States for horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft. ...


The Sierra Nevada casts the valleys east of the Sierra in a rain shadow, which makes Death Valley and Owens Valley "the land of little rain". For the television series see Rain Shadow. ... Death Valley and Panamint Range The salt lake at Badwater, Death Valley is the lowest point in western hemisphere. ... Owens Valley is the arid ranching valley of the Owens River in southeastern California in the United States. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... This is a list of Sierra Nevada topics, about the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Please see Sierra Nevada for alternative meanings. ... The following is a partial list of guidebooks about the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Please see Sierra Nevada for more information. ... Biotic zones in Yosemite The Ecology of the Sierra Nevada is diverse and complex: the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. ...

References

  1. ^ Schoenherr, Allan A. (1995). A Natural History of California. UC Press. ISBN 0-520-06922-6. 
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Charles F. (1868). "Notes on Hetch-Hetchy Valley". Proceedings of the California Academy of Science 1 (3:5): 368-370. Retrieved on 2006-09-27. 
  3. ^ Roper, Steve (1997). Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country. The Mountaineers Press. 
  4. ^ Moore, James G. (2000). Exploring the Highest Sierra. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3703-7. 
  5. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (March 1925). "Exploration of the Sierra Nevada". California Historical Society Quarterly. 
  6. ^ 4/2/1776. Expanded Diary of Pedro Font. Retrieved on February 3, 2007.
  7. ^ Muir, John (1894). Mountains of California. 
  8. ^ Sierran Steppe - Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest. Ecological Subregions of the United States. US Forest Service. Retrieved on 2007-01-27.

For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... September 27 is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... February 3 is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

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Sacramento (capital)
Topics

Climate | Districts | Economy | Elections | Geography | Government | History | Politics | Californians Image File history File links Flag_of_California. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties Libertarian Party State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Nickname: River City Location of Sacramento in California County Sacramento Government  - Mayor Heather Fargo Area  - City  99. ... Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, site of first U.S. capital. ... Greetings from California, vintage large-letter postcard. ... There are several different types of districts in California. ... The number of elections in California varies by year. ... A field of California golden poppies circa 1910. ... The recent and current politics of the U.S. state of California are complex and involve a number of entrenched interests. ... This is a partial list of well-known people from California. ...

Regions

Antelope Valley | Big Sur | Central Coast | Central Valley | Channel Islands | Coachella Valley | Conejo Valley | Cucamonga Valley | Death Valley | East Bay (SF) | Eastern California | Emerald Triangle | Gold Country | Greater Los Angeles | Inland Empire | Los Angeles Basin | Mojave | North Bay (SF) | North Coast | Northern California | Owens Valley | The Peninsula | Pomona Valley | Redwood Empire | Russian River | Sacramento Valley | San Francisco Bay Area | San Joaquin Valley | SanSan | Santa Clarita Valley | Shasta Cascade | Sierra Nevada | Silicon Valley | South Bay (SF) | Southern California | Tech Coast | Tri‑Valley | Wine Country | Yosemite This list of regions of the United States includes official (governmental) and non-official areas within the borders of the United States, not including U.S. states, the federal district of Washington, D.C. or standard subentities such as cities or counties. ... A truck passes eastbound along the busy Highway 58 through the Antelope Valley. ... Big Sur is a thinly-settled region of the central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. ... The Central Coast is an area of California, United States, extending from Santa Cruz in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, but centering primarily on Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. ... The California Central Valley Part of the Valley as seen from overhead A typical Central Valley scene at ground level The Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. ... The Channel Islands of California, also called the Santa Barbara Islands, are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America. ... Coachella Valley The Coachella Valley is an irrigated agricultural and recreational desert valley in southern California east of Los Angeles. ... The Conejo Valley is a region spanning both Southeastern Ventura County and Northwestern Los Angeles County in Southern California. ... The Cucamonga Valley is a region between the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas, in San Bernardino County and Riverside County, of California, USA. It is located east of the Pomona Valley and it is a major site of wine production. ... Death Valley and Panamint Range The salt lake at Badwater, Death Valley is the lowest point in western hemisphere. ... A part of the East Bay showing Concord, Walnut Creek, Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Clayton The East Bay is a subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States. ... Eastern California is not a well-defined term. ... The Emerald Triangle is a collection of three counties in Northern California, consisting of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity. ... Gold Country (also Mother Lode Country) is a region of northeastern California famed for the mines and mineral deposits which so famously brought the 49ers west for the California Gold Rush. ... The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is the agglomeration of urbanized area around the city of Los Angeles, California. ... The Inland Empire and its regions within The Inland Empire refers to the region in Southern California located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. ... The Los Angeles Basin is the coastal sediment-filled plain located between the peninsular and transverse ranges in southern California in the United States containing the central part of the city of Los Angeles. ... Looking across from Emigrant Pass towards the Kingston Range in the eastern Mojave. ... The North Bay is a subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, United States. ... The Redwood Empire (also Redwood Coast or North Coast) is a region of California that stretches from San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon coast. ... Northern California, sometimes referred to as NorCal, is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. ... Owens Valley is the arid ranching valley of the Owens River in southeastern California in the United States. ... USGS Satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... The Pomona Valley, a part of the Inland Empire (the Pomona Valley is its own georgraphical area, and should not be bundled in with the Inland Empire. ... The Redwood Empire (also Redwood Coast or North Coast) is a region of California that stretches from San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon coast. ... The Russian River downstream of Duncans Mills The Russian River rises in the coastal mountain ranges of Mendocino County, north of Ukiah in Northern California. ... The Sacramento Valley is the portion of the California Central Valley that lies to the north of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ... USGS satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... California Population Density Map Population-density map of SanSan The SanSan megalopolis is a name for a chain of metropolitan areas in western California along the coast extending from San Francisco to San Diego. ... The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. ... The Shasta Cascade region of California is located in the northeastern and north-central sections of the state bordering Oregon and Nevada, north of the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. ... A view of downtown San Jose, the self-proclaimed Capital of Silicon Valley. ... The South Bay is a subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States and is roughly synonymous with Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara Valley. ... Downtown Los Angeles Skyline Southern California, also colloquially referred to as SoCal, is an informal name for the megalopolis and nearby desert that occupies the southern-most quarter of the U.S. state of California. ... Tech Coast is the nickname given to the Southern California region extending from Santa Barbara in the north to San Diego in the south. ... The Tri-Valley region of California is based around the San Francisco Bay Area cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and San Ramon in the three valleys from which it takes its name: Amador Valley, Livermore Valley and San Ramon Valley. ... Wine Country is a region of Northern California in the United States, known as a wine-growing region since 1838. ... Yosemite National Park (pronounced Yo-SEM-it-ee, IPA ) is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. ...

Metros

Bakersfield | Chico | Fresno | Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale | Modesto | Napa | Oakland-Fremont-Hayward | Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura | Redding | Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario | Sacramento-Roseville | Salinas | San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos | San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City | San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara | Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine | Santa Barbara-Santa Maria | Santa Cruz-Watsonville | Santa Rosa-Petaluma | Stockton | Vallejo-Fairfield | Visalia-Porterville | Yuba City In the United States, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has produced a formal definition of metropolitan areas. ... City nickname:Californias Country Music Capital County Kern County, California Area  - Total  - Water 296. ... Nickname: City of Roses, City of Trees Location of Chico in California Coordinates: Country State County United States California Butte Settled 1843 Founded 1860 Incorporated January 8, 1872 Government  - Mayor Andrew Holcombe  - City Council Scott Gruendl Steve Bertagna Larry Wahl Ann Schwab Mary Flynn Tom Nickell  - City Manager Greg Jones... Nickname: Fresno, the All American City & Raisin Capital of the World Location in the state of California County Fresno Government  - Mayor Alan Autry Area  - City 104. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type mayor-council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D)  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... Nickname: The International City (on flag), Friendly City (in Latin on citys seal), or the LBC Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: Country United States State California County Los Angeles County Government  - Mayor Bob Foster Area  - City  65. ... Nickname: The Jewel City Location of Glendale within Los Angeles County and the State of California. ... Modesto is the county seat of Stanislaus County in the U.S. state of California. ... Napa is the county seat of Napa County, California. ... Oakland, founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in California[1] and the county seat of Alameda County. ... Fremont (IPA: ) is a city in California that was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the merger of five smaller communities: Centerville, Irvington, Mission San Jose, Niles, and Warm Springs. ... Hayward is a city located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County. ... Nickname: The City that Cares Location of Oxnard, California Coordinates: Country United States State California County Ventura County  - Mayor Dr. Thomas E. Holden Area    - City  36. ... Thousand Oaks is a city in Ventura County, California, in the United States. ... Coordinates: Country United States State California County Ventura Mayor Carl Morehouse Area    - City 84. ... Redding from space, April 1994 Redding is the county seat of Shasta County, California, USA, located on the Sacramento River and on Interstate 5 south of Shasta Lake. ... Nickname: The City of Trees Location in the state of California Coordinates: Country United States State California County Riverside Government  - Mayor Ron Loveridge Area  - City  78. ... The San Bernardino skyline viewed from Grand Terrace, California San Bernardino is the county seat of San Bernardino County, California, United States. ... Ontario is a city located in San Bernardino County, California. ... Nickname: River City Location of Sacramento in California County Sacramento Government  - Mayor Heather Fargo Area  - City  99. ... Roseville is a city in Placer County, California, located in the metropolitan area of Sacramento. ... Nickname: Americas Salad Bowl Location of Salinas, California Country United States State California County Monterey Government  - Mayor Dennis Donohue Area  - City 19 sq mi (49. ... Nickname: Americas Finest City Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates: Country United States State California County San Diego Founded July 16, 1769 Incorporated March 27, 1850 Government  - Mayor Jerry Sanders  - City Attorney Michael Aguirre  - City Council Scott Peters Kevin Faulconer Toni Atkins Tony Young Brian Maienschein... Location of Carlsbad within San Diego County, California. ... San Marcos is a city located in the northern portion of San Diego County, California, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 54,977. ... Nickname: The City by the Bay; Fog City; The City; Baghdad by the Bay Location of the City and County of San Francisco, California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California City-County San Francisco Government  - Mayor Gavin Newsom Area  - City  47 sq mi (122 km²)  - Land  46. ... Hillsdale Inn, Honeymoon Suite (demolished 5 April 2001) San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, USA. It is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the East, and Belmont to the south. ... Redwood City is a suburb located on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. ... Nickname: Capital of Silicon Valley Location of San Jose within Santa Clara County, California. ... Location of Sunnyvale within Santa Clara County, California. ... Official website: http://www. ... Location of Santa Ana within Orange County, California. ... Location of Anaheim within Orange County, California Coordinates: Country United States State California County Orange Mayor Curt Pringle Area    - City 130. ... Location of Irvine within Orange County, California. ... Santa Barbara is a city in California, United States. ... Santa Maria is the largest city in Santa Barbara County, California. ... Santa Cruz is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California, United States. ... Watsonville is a city located in Santa Cruz County, California. ... Location of Santa Rosa, California Country United States State California County Sonoma Mayor Jane Bender Area    - City 104. ... Petaluma is a city with a well preserved historic city center [1] in Sonoma County, California, in the United States. ... City nickname: Californias Sunrise Seaport City slogan: Stocktons Great, Take A Look! County: San Joaquin Area code: 209 ZIP code: 952xx Area:  - Total  - Water 144. ... Vallejo (pronounced IPA: , vuh-LAY-oe) is a city in Solano County, California, United States. ... The Welcome to Fairfield roadside sign Fairfield Courthouse Fairfield is a city located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, USA, approximately 45 miles from both San Francisco and Sacramento. ... Visalia is a Central California city situated in the heart of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley, approximately 230 miles southeast of San Francisco and 190 miles north of Los Angeles. ... Porterville is a city in Tulare County, California, United States. ... Town Square located in downtown Yuba City. ...

Counties

Alameda | Alpine | Amador | Butte | Calaveras | Colusa | Contra Costa | Del Norte | El Dorado | Fresno | Glenn | Humboldt | Imperial | Inyo | Kern | Kings | Lake | Lassen | Los Angeles | Madera | Marin | Mariposa | Mendocino | Merced | Modoc | Mono | Monterey | Napa | Nevada | Orange | Placer | Plumas | Riverside | Sacramento | San Benito | San Bernardino | San Diego | San Francisco | San Joaquin | San Luis Obispo | San Mateo | Santa Barbara | Santa Clara | Santa Cruz | Shasta | Sierra | Siskiyou | Solano | Sonoma | Stanislaus | Sutter | Tehama | Trinity | Tulare | Tuolumne | Ventura | Yolo | Yuba The U.S. state of California is divided into 58 counties. ... Official website: http://www. ... Alpine County is the smallest county, by population, in the U.S. state of California. ... Amador County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California. ... Butte County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of state capital Sacramento. ... Calaveras County is a county located in Californias Gold Country. ... Colusa County is a county located in Californias Central Valley, northwest of Sacramento. ... Official website: http://www. ... Del Norte County is Californias northwesternmost county, located on the Pacific coast south of Oregon. ... Location in the state of California Formed 1850 Seat Placerville Area  - Total  - Water 4,631 km² (1,788 mi²) 200 km² (77 mi²) 4. ... Fresno County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, south of Stockton and north of Bakersfield. ... Glenn County is a county located in the California Central Valley north of Sacramento County. ... Humboldt County is a county located on the northwest coast of the U.S. state of California, on the Pacific Ocean. ... Imperial County is a county located in the Imperial Valley, in the far southeast of the U.S. state of California, and borders both Arizona and Mexico. ... Inyo County is a county located in east-central California, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park. ... Kern County is a county located in the southern Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. ... Kings County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, southeast of Fresno County. ... Lake County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of California, north of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... Lassen County is a county located in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of California. ... Los Angeles County is a county in California and is the most populous county in the United States. ... Madera County is a county of California, located in the Central Valley north of Fresno County. ... Marin County (pronounced mah-RIN) is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. ... Mariposa County is a county in the U.S. state of California, located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. ... Mendocino County is a county located on Californias north coast, north of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sonoma County and west of the Central Valley. ... Merced County is a county located in Californias Central Valley, north of Fresno and southeast of San Jose. ... Modoc County is a county located in Californias far northeast corner, bounded by Oregon to the north and Nevada to the east. ... Mono County is a county located in the east central portion of the U.S. state of California, to east of the Sierra Nevada between Yosemite National Park and Nevada. ... Monterey County is a county located on the Pacific coast of California, its northwestern section forming the southern half of Monterey Bay. ... Napa Valley redirects here. ... Nevada County is a county located in Californias Sierra Nevada, in the Mother Lode country. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Placer County is a county located in California, USAs Sierra Nevada, in the Gold Country. ... Plumas County is a county located in Californias Sierra Nevada. ... Riverside County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of California, stretching from Orange County to the Colorado River, which is the border with Arizona. ... Sacramento County is a county of the U.S. state of California. ... San Benito County is a county located in the Coast Range Mountains of the U.S. state of California, south of San Jose. ... Official website: http://www. ... San Diego County is a county located on the Pacific Ocean in the far southwest of the U.S. state of California, along its border with Mexico. ... Nickname: The City by the Bay; Fog City; The City; Baghdad by the Bay Location of the City and County of San Francisco, California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California City-County San Francisco Government  - Mayor Gavin Newsom Area  - City  47 sq mi (122 km²)  - Land  46. ... San Joaquin County is a county located in the United States of America in Californias Central Valley, just east of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... San Luis Obispo County is a county located on the central Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California, between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. ... Official website: http://www. ... Santa Barbara County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the southern portion of the U.S. state of California, just west of Ventura County. ... Location of Santa Clara County within California. ... Santa Cruz County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area, it forms the northern coast of the Monterey Bay. ... Shasta County is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California, in the Cascade Mountains. ... Sierra County is a county located in Californias Sierra Nevada, northeast of Sacramento on the border with Nevada. ... Siskiyou County is a county located in far northernmost California, USA, in the Cascade Mountains on the Oregon border. ... Solano County is a county located in central part of the U.S. state of California, about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento and is one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. ... Sonoma County is on the north Pacific coast of California, in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. ... Stanislaus County is a county located in Californias California Central Valley, between Stockton and Fresno. ... Sutter County is a county located along the Sacramento River in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of state capital Sacramento. ... Location in the state of California Formed 1856 Seat Red Bluff Area  - Total  - Water 7,672 km² (2,962 mi²) 29 km² (11 mi²) 0. ... Trinity County is a county located in northwestern California, along the Trinity River and among the Klamath Mountains. ... Tulare County is a county located in U.S. state of Californias Central Valley, south of Fresno. ... Tuolumne County is a county located in the U.S. state of Californias Sierra Nevada. ... Official website: http://www. ... Yolo County is located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California, bordered by the counties of Sacramento, Solano, Napa, Lake, Colusa, and Sutter. ... Yuba County is located in the U.S. state of Californias Central Valley, north of Sacramento, along the Feather River. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sierra Nevada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (164 words)
Sierra Nevada, meaning "snowy range" in Spanish, is the name of at least two mountain ranges:
There are also two single mountains named Sierra Nevada in the Andes which are volcanoes.
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), though technically not in the Andes
Sierra Nevada (US) - definition of Sierra Nevada (US) in Encyclopedia (1481 words)
The Sierra Nevada stretches 400 miles (650 km), from Fredonyer Pass in the north to Tehachapi Pass in the south.
Lake Tahoe is a large, clear freshwater lake in the northern Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 6225 feet (1,897 m) and an area of 191 square miles (489 km²).
The earliest identified inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada were the Paiute tribe on the east side and the Miwok tribe on the west.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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