Sierra Nevada Mountains and San Joaquin Valley, California – December 21st, 2008
We have here a clear view of a geographically diverse area: the Sierra Nevada Mountains, capped by snow, the green San Joaquin Valley to the West, and desertous Death Valley to the East.
The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for “snowy mountain range”) is a mountain range located in California, USA. In a few places, it overlaps into neighboring state of Nevada.
The range stretches 400 miles (650 km), from Fredonyer Pass in the north to Tehachapi Pass in the south.
The height of the mountains in the Sierra Nevada gradually increases from north to south. The entire range attains its peak at Mount Whitney (14,505 feet, 4,421 m).
The San Joaquin Valley refers to the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Stockton.
Although most of the valley is rural, it does contain urban cities such as Stockton, Fresno, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford, Modesto, Bakersfield, and Merced.
The San Joaquin Valley has hot, dry summers and cool winters characterized by dense Tule fog. The rainy season occurs from November through April.
Death Valley, on the other hand, on the border of California and Nevada, is the lowest, driest and hottest valley in the United States. It is the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 85.5 m (282 ft) below sea level.
Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere (134 °F (56.7 °C) It has an area of about 3,000 square miles (7,800 km²).