GEOGRAPHIC SKETCH OF THE YOSEMITE REGION AND THE SIERRA NEVADA
Extraordinary though its character may be, the Yosemite Valley is not unique. There are in the Sierra Nevada several other valleys of essentially the same type. In the upper Merced Canyon, about 2 miles above the Yosemite and at a level 2,000 feet higher, is the little Yosemite (pl 4, A), which is described elsewhere in this paper. The Hetch Hetchy Valley, at the lower end of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne (p1. 5, B), though only half as long and half as wide, bears a striking resemblance to the Yosemite, having not only the same proportions of depth to width but the same style of cliff sculpture. Muir, who loved to dwell in the Hetch Hetchy, sometimes referred to it as the "Tuolumne Yosemite."
In the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kings River, about 50 miles southeast of the Yosemite, is the famed Tehipite (te-hip'ity) Valley, which though only 1-1/2 miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide, rivals the Yosemite in scenic grandeur. (See pl. 4, B.) The Tehipite Dome is, in fact, as strikingly modeled as any of the major rock forms in the Yosemite region. About 10 miles southeast of the Tehipite is the great yosemite of the South Fork of the Kings River, popularly known as the Kings River Canyon. (See pl. 5, A.) It is 9 miles long2 miles longer than the Yosemitebut is proportionately narrower. Nor are its walls so high, so sheer, so impressively modeled as those of the Yosemite Valley. The Kings River Canyon, however, is surrounded by titanic peaks that rise 5,000, 6,000, and even 8,000 feet above its floor.
The occurrence of such valleys in different parts of the Sierra Nevada is highly significant and must be taken into account in any discussion of the Yosemite's mode of origin.
Last Updated: 28-Nov-2006