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U.S. Landforms: Sierra Nevada Range

   

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Sierra Nevada Range

 

Sierra Nevada Range

The Sierra Nevada Range is almost entirely within California. Only a small section of the range lies in western Nevada, next to the Great Basin. Three national parks are contained within the range including Yosemite National Park, as is Lake Tahoe, one of the most popular tourist resorts in California. The range extends about 400 miles east to west through east-central California. Mt. Whitney (14,494) feet is the highest peak in the range. It is also the highest peak in the lower 48states, edging Mt. Elbert in Colorado by about 61 feet.

The rugged Sierra Nevada range was the last obstacle for westward travelers on the California Trail. It was here, in November of 1846, where the Donner’s and other families (collectively known as the Donner Party) became stranded high in the mountains after a major snowfall blocked their path. Unable to travel past snow drifts that rose 5-10 feet high, the travelers quickly ran out of food, forcing some to resort to cannibalism after members of the party had starved to death. Of the 87 people originally with the party, 48 survived and made it to their final destination.

 

More on the Sierra Nevadas
   
Half Dome

Yosemite National Park

Learn all about Yosemite National Park and watch a thrilling video!

   
Sequoias

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Learn all about the majestic trees at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and watch a thrilling video.

   
Sutter's Fort

California Trail

Take an interactive tour of the famous California Trail and learn what role the Sierra Nevada Range played in timing the trip to California.

 

Click here for a United States Landforms Online Scavenger Hunt

Click here for a United States Landforms Printable Scavenger Hunt.