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Sierra Nevada

Geology: 400 million to about 130 million years ago an ocean covered the seafloor platform area known today as the Sierra Nevada. In the course of history, a complex and long geological processes took place leading to the formation of the Sierra Nevada mountain range during of the Jurassic period. How that happened? The Pacific Plate which is an oceanic tectonic plate lies beneath the Pacific Ocean Next to  the  North American Plate  that covers  most of North America.The western side of the North American plate is known as the Farallon Plate that had  totally subducted beneath the North American Plate during the Jurassic period leaving it direct in contact with the Pacific Plate .The result of this geological confrontation was translated by the pressure that created the famous and destruct San Andreas fault that constitutes today natural frontier between both the North America & the Pacific Plate.
This may  explain  the excessive earthquakes that rocks mostly San Francisco bay area such the destructive 1906 & 1989 earthquakes. During this geological evolution, probably 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 such King Canyon and the Yosemite Valley. 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. 
Sierra Nevada History: The Sierra Nevada was inhabited mostly by the Sierra Miwok for thousands of years. It was named by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo 1542 who led the first European expedition to reach and explore the North American west coast, under the Spanish flag. However, the Sierra Nevada remained almost unexplored until the discovery of Gold in 1848. Between 1848 and 1873, more than a billion ounces of gold were removed from California soil.
Geography: The Sierra Nevada stretches over 400 miles from south (Tehachapi Pass) to   north to south Fredonyer Pass. It constitutes a natural frontier between Nevada   in the east and California central Valley in the west. The Sierra Nevada is home to all US & the World marvels. Biologically, its home to the Unique Giant Sequoias in King Canyon, Sequoias and Yosemite National Park. Also, Bristle cone pine, probably the oldest tree on the surface of earth grows in the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. Geologically, It's home to The US highest Peak out of Alaska ,Mount Whitney(14,505 feet) that dominated the Death valley  , The Lowest Point In The Western Hemisphere with 282 Feet Below Sea Level . The Sierra Nevada is home to many other wonders such the Yosemite Falls, the highest in north America, and steep canyons In addition, it contains other unique geological phenomena and monuments such the tuffas of Mono lake and the sharp naturally sculptured stones of devil post pile(see our 2 day trip to the Sierra Nevada including these monuments) .Other natural wonder of the Sierra Nevada, Tahoe, etch, Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Tehipite Valley and Kern Canyon are the most well
Biology: The Sierra Nevada is home to unique inhabitant such the world largest living trees, the Giant Sequoias, the largest living trees on the surface of earth that measure 102.6 Circumference at ground and 36.5Feet around. The Sierra Nevada is also  home to earth's oldest living inhabitant, Bristlecone (Pinus longaeva & aristata(  4,767 years).