Campbell's 2017 Western Trip travel blog

Upper Pines Campsiote Under Glacier Point

View of Valley during Ranger Walk

Another view of Valley

Panorama of Valley Veiw

El Capitan - White cavity area at upper center shows from where...

October 10 – Travel to Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite NP

We arrived an hour early at the campsite and parked nearby until the previous resident left at noon.

We are camped under the shadow of Glacier Point in a U-shaped valley formed by glaciers eons ago.

Parking was a challenge and driving to the visitor’s center was time consuming with the major road construction projects and the thousands of visitors.

I attended the ranger talk/walk with a subject of geology of the valley. In summary, the heavy Pacific Plate pushed under the lighter Contential Plate lifting it resulting in the formation of the Sierra Mountains. The friction between the two layers caused the base of the upper layer to melt which then cooled to granite as seen in the Yosemite Valley.

On top of the granite in the lifted layer was 3 miles of softer material that over time was cut through by the Merced River to form a vee notch valley, the bottom of which was one mile below the top of the current granite peaks.

Over time, the softer material eroded, exposing the granite, half filling the Merced River valley and filling the San Joaquin Valley with 800’ of sediment. Later, glaciers moved down the Merced River Valley changing the vee shape of the valley to a u-shape. I knew that you wanted to know. : )

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