California State Route 180
State Route 180 is a state highway in California, United States, which runs through the heart of the San Joaquin Valley from Mendota through Fresno to Kings Canyon National Park, with an unbuilt segment defined west to Paicines. Nearly the entire 24-mile stretch from the Kings River crossing to Cedar Grove is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System, nearly the entire route from Paicines to Cedar Grove is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System. Two short segments travel through national parks, so are not state maintained and are the exceptions to the above: a segment through the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park, the far eastern end of the road inside of Kings Canyon National Park; the freeway through Fresno has the distinction of having the most traveled section of road in the San Joaquin Valley. Major plans include an extension west to Interstate 5; the actual western terminus of SR 180 is at SR 33 in Mendota, with an unconstructed portion defined west across Interstate 5 to SR 25 in Paicines signed as County Route J1.
In Mendota, the route is carried on Oller Street and San Benito Avenue travels along Whitesbridge Avenue through Kerman to Fresno. Through Fresno, from Brawley Avenue to DeWolf Avenue, it is a 4-to-10-lane freeway intersecting SR 99 in a 2-level stack, SR 41 in a 4-level stack, the southern terminus of SR 168. SR 180 is a busy commercial route along most of its urban length, being a main street of Mendota, Kerman and Fresno's Squaw Valley, as was the old highway through Fresno. In east Fresno, the Kings Canyon corridor is one of the largest multicultural business districts in the city, together with east Belmont a mile north; the old Fresno "main street" of Broadway has long been torn down for Chuckchansi Park and Fulton Mall parking, but Stanislaus and Ventura Streets remain commercially viable, despite having fallen into some neglect over the years. This segment is being redeveloped as part of the Ventura Widening and Downtown Entryway Beautification Project, as well as the preservation or relocation of a number of historic buildings in Old Armenian Town on Ventura, with the creation of a new commercial district by the same name.
The old routing of SR 180 through downtown Fresno remains on the books, but is no longer signed and not considered a business route. The road no longer connects with its freeway bypass at all. Local agencies are now forced to maintain or improve the road. East of Fresno, the freeway links up with the original routing on Kings Canyon Blvd, continues north of Sanger, through Centerville and Fresno's Squaw Valley, before arriving at the entrance to Sierra National Forest near Dunlap, it follows the Kings River into General Grant Grove, where SR 198 splits off south toward Sequoia National Park. SR 180 turns north, passing through Wilsonia, leaving General Grant Grove turns east as it nears the South Fork of the Kings River near Hume, passes through Cedar Grove, terminates in Kanawyers at the entrance of the Kings Canyon National Park; the entire portion beyond Hume Road is closed during winters after the first snowfall. The majority of SR 180, from SR 25 to the entrance of General Grant Grove, is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, but only the piece in Fresno has been constructed to freeway standards.
A 24-mile length east of unbuilt State Route 65 near Minkler to the boundary of Kings Canyon, excepting the 2-mile portion through General Grant Grove, is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System. The road inside of General Grant Grove and Kings Canyon is a Forest Service Byway; the old route east of SR 99 to the General Grant Grove is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. In Fresno, SR 180 is Sequoia-Kings Canyon Freeway, named for its destinations to the east in the Sierra Nevada - Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. Overlapping this, between SR 99 and Clovis Avenue it is the Senator Jim Costa Highway, after a longtime Assemblyman and Congressman for Fresno; the SR 41/SR 180 interchange is named the Rose Ann Vuich Interchange, for the longtime State Senator who secured funding for the initial freeway. Inside of Kings Canyon it is the Kings River Highway.
SR 180 handles a wide range of traffic volumes, from a low of 5,000 per day near Kerman, to over 160,000 at the congested SR 168 interchange, the most-traveled highway segment in the San Joaquin Valley. A study into the use of Measure C funds found that traffic volumes will increase between 50% and 100% across the entire road by 2020 in the more rural areas. In 1905, the easternmost portion of what is now SR 180 was created as Legislative Route 41, from General Grant Grove to the Kings River Canyon. In 1935 LR 41 was extended to be a road from Kings Canyon to Tracy, signed as SR 180 to Mendota and SR 33 beyond. Through Fresno from the west, the route turned on B Street, Stanislaus Street, down Broadway, turned at Ventura Street and left downtown on it, becoming Kings
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is an American national park located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, bounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers an area of 747,956 acres and sits in four counties: centered in Tuolumne and Mariposa, extending north and east to Mono and south to Madera County. Designated a World Heritage site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, mountains, meadows and biological diversity. 95% of the park is designated wilderness. On average, about 4 million people visit Yosemite each year, most spend the majority of their time in the 7 square miles of Yosemite Valley; the park set a visitation record in 2016, surpassing 5 million visitors for the first time in its history. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Galen Clark and others lobbied to protect Yosemite Valley from development leading to President Abraham Lincoln's signing the Yosemite Grant in 1864.
John Muir led a successful movement to have Congress establish a larger national park by 1890, one which encompassed the valley and its surrounding mountains and forests, paving the way for the National Park System. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, the park supports a diversity of plants and animals; the park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet and contains five major vegetation zones: chaparral and oak woodland, lower montane forest, upper montane forest, subalpine zone, alpine. Of California's 7,000 plant species, about 50% occur in the Sierra Nevada and more than 20% are within Yosemite; the park contains suitable habitat for more than 160 rare plants, with rare local geologic formations and unique soils characterizing the restricted ranges many of these plants occupy. The geology of the Yosemite area is characterized by granitic remnants of older rock. About 10 million years ago, the Sierra Nevada was uplifted and tilted to form its gentle western slopes and the more dramatic eastern slopes.
The uplift increased the steepness of stream and river beds, resulting in the formation of deep, narrow canyons. About one million years ago and ice accumulated, forming glaciers at the higher alpine meadows that moved down the river valleys. Ice thickness in Yosemite Valley may have reached 4,000 feet during the early glacial episode; the downslope movement of the ice masses cut and sculpted the U-shaped valley that attracts so many visitors to its scenic vistas today. The name "Yosemite" referred to the name of a renegade tribe, driven out of the area by the Mariposa Battalion; the area had been called "Ahwahnee" by indigenous people. Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for nearly 3,000 years, although humans may have first visited the area as long as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago; the indigenous natives called themselves the Ahwahnechee, meaning "dwellers in Ahwahnee." They are related to the Northern Mono tribes. Many tribes visited the area to trade, including nearby Central Sierra Miwoks, who lived along the drainage area of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers.
A major trading route went over Mono Pass and through Bloody Canyon to Mono Lake, just to the east of the Yosemite area. Vegetation and game in the region were similar to that present today; the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century increased travel by European-Americans in the area, causing competition for resources between the regional Paiute and Miwok and the miners and hangers on. In 1851 as part of the Mariposa Wars intended to suppress Native American resistance, United States Army Major Jim Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into the west end of Yosemite Valley, he was pursuing forces of around 200 Ahwahneechee led by Chief Tenaya. Accounts from this battalion were the first well-documented reports of ethnic Europeans entering Yosemite Valley. Attached to Savage's unit was Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, the company physician, who wrote about his awestruck impressions of the valley in The Discovery of the Yosemite. Bunnell is credited with naming Yosemite Valley, based on his interviews with Chief Tenaya.
Bunnell wrote. The Miwok, a neighboring tribe, most white settlers considered the Ahwahneechee to be violent because of their frequent territorial disputes; the Miwok term for the Pai-Ute band was yohhe'meti, meaning "they are killers". Correspondence and articles written by members of the battalion helped to popularize the natural wonders of the Yosemite Valley and the surrounding area. Chief Tenaya and his Ahwahneechee were captured and their village burned; the chief and some others were allowed to return to Yosemite Valley. In the spring of 1852 they attacked a group of eight gold miners, moved east to flee law enforcement. Near Mono Lake, they took refuge with the nearby Mono tribe of Paiute, they stole horses from their hosts and moved away, but the Mono Paiutes tracked down and killed many of the Ahwahneechee, including Chief Tenaya. The Mono Paiute took the survivors as captives back to Mono Lake and absorbed them into the Mono Lake Paiute tribe. After these wars, a number of Native Americans continued to live within the boundaries of Yosemite.
A number of Indians supported the growing tourism industry by worki
Fresno is a city in California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. It covers about 112 square miles in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, the southern portion of California's Central Valley. Named for the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River, Fresno was founded in 1872 as a railway station of the Central Pacific Railroad before it was incorporated in 1885; the city has since become an economic hub of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, with much of the surrounding areas in the Metropolitan Fresno region predominantly tied to large-scale agricultural production. The population of Fresno grew from a 1960 census population of 134,000 to a 2000 census population of 428,000. With a census-estimated 2017 population of 527,438, Fresno is the fifth-most populous city in California, the most populous city in the Central Valley, the most populous inland city in California, the 34th-most populous city in the nation. Fresno is near the geographical center of California.
It lies 220 miles north of Los Angeles, 170 miles south of the state capital, 185 miles southeast of San Francisco. Yosemite National Park is about 60 miles to the north, Kings Canyon National Park is 60 miles to the east, Sequoia National Park is 75 miles to the southeast; the original inhabitants of the San Joaquin Valley region were the Yokuts people and Miwok people, who engaged in trading with other Californian tribes of Native Americans including coastal peoples such as the Chumash of the Central California coast, with whom they are thought to have traded plant and animal products. The first European to enter the San Joaquin Valley was Pedro Fages in 1772; the county of Fresno was formed in 1856 after the California Gold Rush. It was named for the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River; the county was much larger than it is today as part of Tulare County, comprising its current area plus all of what became Madera County and parts of what are now San Benito, Kings and Mono counties.
Millerton on the banks of the free-flowing San Joaquin River and close to Fort Miller, became the county seat after becoming a focal point for settlers. Other early county settlements included Firebaugh's Ferry and Elkhorn Springs; the San Joaquin River flooded on December 1867, inundating Millerton. Some residents rebuilt, others moved. Flooding destroyed the town of Scottsburg on the nearby Kings River that winter. Rebuilt on higher ground, Scottsburg was renamed Centerville. In 1867, Anthony "McQueen" Easterby purchased land bounded by the present Chestnut, Belmont and California avenues, that today is called the Sunnyside district. Unable to grow wheat for lack of water, he hired sheep man Moses J. Church in 1871 to create an irrigation system. Building new canals and purchasing existing ditches, Church formed the Fresno Canal and Irrigation Company, a predecessor of the Fresno Irrigation District. In 1872, the Central Pacific Railroad established a station near Easterby's—by now a hugely productive wheat farm—for its new Southern Pacific line.
Soon there was a store around the station and the store grew into the town of Fresno Station called Fresno. Many Millerton residents, drawn by the convenience of the railroad and worried about flooding, moved to the new community. Fresno became an incorporated city in 1885. By 1931 the Fresno Traction Company operated 47 streetcars over 49 miles of track. In 1877, William Helm made Fresno his home with a five-acre tract of land at the corner of Fresno and R streets. Helm was the largest individual sheep grower in Fresno County. In carrying his wool to market at Stockton, he used three wagons, each drawn by ten mules, spent twelve days in making the round trip. Two years after the station was established, county residents voted to move the county seat from Millerton to Fresno; when the Friant Dam was completed in 1944, the site of Millerton became inundated by the waters of Millerton Lake. In extreme droughts, when the reservoir shrinks, ruins of the original county seat can still be observed. In the nineteenth century, with so much wooden construction and in the absence of sophisticated firefighting resources, fires ravaged American frontier towns.
The greatest of Fresno's early-day fires, in 1882, destroyed an entire block of the city. Another devastating blaze struck in 1883. In 1909, Fresno's first and oldest synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, was founded. Fresno entered the ranks of the 100 most populous cities in the United States in 1960 with a population of 134,000. Thirty years in the 1990 census, it moved up to 47th place with 354,000, in the census of 2000, it achieved 37th place with 428,000; the Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill was the first modern landfill in the United States, incorporated several important innovations to waste disposal, including trenching and the daily covering of trash with dirt. It was opened in 1937 and closed in 1987. Today, it has the unusual distinction of being a National Historic Landmark as well as a Superfund site. Before World War II, Fresno had many ethnic neighborhoods, including Little Armenia, German Town, Little Italy, Chinatown. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported Fresno's population as 94.0% white, 3.3% black and 2.7% Asian..
During 1942, Pinedale, in what is now North Fresno, was the site of the Pinedale Assembly Center, an interim facility for the relocation of Fresno area Japanese Americans to internment camps. The Fresno Fairgrounds were utilized as an assembly center. Row crops and orchards gave way to urban development in the perio
Bishop is a city in Inyo County, United States. Though Bishop is the only incorporated city and the largest populated place in Inyo County, the county seat is located in Independence. Bishop is located at an elevation of 4,150 feet; the town was named after Bishop Creek. Located near numerous tourist attractions, Bishop is a major resort town; the population of the city was 3,879 at the 2010 census, up from 3,575 at the 2000 census. The population of the built-up zone containing Bishop is much larger, however. More than 14,500 people live in a compact area that includes Bishop, West Bishop, Dixon Lane-Meadow Creek, the Bishop Reservation, it is by far the largest settlement in Inyo County. A number of western films were shot in Bishop, including movies starring John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Joel McCrea. Bishop lies west of the Owens River at the northern end of the Owens Valley, it is on U. S. Route 395, the main north-south artery through the Owens Valley, connecting the Inland Empire to Reno, Nevada.
US 395 connects Bishop to Los Angeles via State Route 14 through Palmdale. Bishop is the western terminus of U. S. Route 6; the Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony control land just west of the town. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power controls much of the upstream and surrounding area. Bishop is to the east of the Sierra Nevada, west of the White Mountains. Numerous peaks are within a short distance of Bishop, including Mount Humphreys, to the west, White Mountain Peak in the northeast, pyramidal Mount Tom northwest of town. Basin Mountain is viewed to the west from Bishop. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles, over 97% of it land. Bishop is known as the "Mule Capital of the World" and a week-long festival called Bishop Mule Days has been held since 1969 on the week of Memorial Day, celebrating the contributions of pack mules to the area; the festival attracts many tourists from the Southern California area.
Bishop is well known in the rock climbing community. Near the city are numerous climbing spots that attract visitors from around the world. There are over 2,000 bouldering problems in Bishop; the two main types of rock are volcanic granite. Bishop Visitors Bureau Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce City of Bishop Inyo National Forest Supervisor's Office Paiute Indian Reservation Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center Museum Laws Rail Museum Keoughs Hot Springs Eastern Sierra Regional Airport Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest The City of Bishop in Inyo County, California was named for one of the first European settlers in the area, Samuel A. Bishop. Owens Lake was named for Richard Owens, a member of John C. Fremont's 1845 exploration party which included Ed Kern; the entire valley became known as The Owens Valley. The Paiute Indians called Owens Lake by the name of “Pacheta” and the Owens River “Wakopee.” Geographically, Inyo County is today the second largest county in California with a population of over 18,000 residents.
The county is so big that several eastern states put together would fit neatly within its boundaries. Inyo County contains the lowest points in the contiguous United States. A difference of nearly 15,000 feet; the “Inyo” in Inyo County is believed to be a Paiute word meaning “dwelling place of the great spirit,” although some scholars are now convinced that it is a mistranslation of the word, “Indio,” Spanish for Indian. It is possible that the Paiute were trying to explain to the earliest English speaking settlers in the Owens Valley that this was their land by using a form of “Indio” they had learned from other Indian tribes, who in turn, had learned it from the Spanish or Mexicans, not realizing that not all Europeans spoke the same language, thus Inyo may mean “Indian Land.” The first American explorers in the Owens Valley of Eastern California included the famous mountain men Jedediah Smith in 1826 and Joseph Walker in 1834. This remote area of California had never been explored by the Spanish and though it was shown as Mexican territory on early maps, the Eastern Sierra region remained unvisited by them.
Present day Walker Lake in western Nevada, the Walker River on the California/Nevada border and Walker Pass in the southern Sierra were named for their discoverer, Joseph Walker. The most renowned early explorer to visit the area was John C. Fremont, he was the first Republican candidate to run for President of the United States in 1856 and a famous Union Civil War general. Sanctioned by the federal government, his 1845 mapping party to the Eastern Sierra included the celebrated Indian scout Kit Carson, for whom the capitol of Nevada, Carson City, was named. In the party were Ed Kern for whom Kern County, California was named, Richard Owens, who gave his name to the Owens Lake near Lone Pine and the Owens Valley itself. Fremont lost a cannon that he had brought along in case of Indian attacks somewhere near present day Bridgeport, California. Someone will stumble across the rusty old cannon someday; the City of Bishop came into being due to the need for beef in a booming mining camp some eighty miles to the north, Nevada, (Aurora w
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U. S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century, his third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has been subject to much criticism, he is rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.
S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, to a Dutch American family made well known by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and William Henry Aspinwall. FDR attended Groton School, Harvard College, Columbia Law School, went on to practice law in New York City. In 1905, he married his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt, they had six children. He won election to the New York State Senate in 1910, served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Roosevelt was James M. Cox's running mate on the Democratic Party's 1920 national ticket, but Cox was defeated by Warren G. Harding. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, believed at the time to be polio, his legs became permanently paralyzed. While attempting to recover from his condition, Roosevelt founded the treatment center in Warm Springs, for people with poliomyelitis. In spite of being unable to walk unaided, Roosevelt returned to public office by winning election as Governor of New York in 1928.
He was in office from 1929 to 1933 and served as a reform Governor, promoting programs to combat the economic crisis besetting the United States at the time. In the 1932 presidential election, Roosevelt defeated Republican President Herbert Hoover in a landslide. Roosevelt took office while the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in the country's history. During the first 100 days of the 73rd United States Congress, Roosevelt spearheaded unprecedented federal legislation and issued a profusion of executive orders that instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief and reform, he created numerous programs to provide relief to the unemployed and farmers while seeking economic recovery with the National Recovery Administration and other programs. He instituted major regulatory reforms related to finance and labor, presided over the end of Prohibition, he harnessed radio to speak directly to the American people, giving 30 "fireside chat" radio addresses during his presidency and becoming the first American president to be televised.
The economy having improved from 1933 to 1936, Roosevelt won a landslide reelection in 1936. However, the economy relapsed into a deep recession in 1937 and 1938. After the 1936 election, Roosevelt sought passage of the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court of the United States; the bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented passage of the bill and blocked the implementation of further New Deal programs and reforms. Major surviving programs and legislation implemented under Roosevelt include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Social Security. Roosevelt ran for reelection in 1940, his victory made him the only U. S. President to serve for more than two terms. With World War II looming after 1938, Roosevelt gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China as well as the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union while the U. S. remained neutral.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, an event he famously called "a date which will live in infamy", Roosevelt obtained a declaration of war on Japan the next day, a few days on Germany and Italy. Assisted by his top aide Harry Hopkins and with strong national support, he worked with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in leading the Allied Powers against the Axis Powers. Roosevelt supervised the mobilization of the U. S. economy to support the war effort and implemented a Europe first strategy, making the defeat of Germany a priority over that of Japan. He initiated the development of the world's first atomic bomb and worked with the other Allied leaders to lay the groundwork for the United Nations and other post-war institutions. Roosevelt won reelection in 1944 but with his physical health declining during the war years, he died in April 1945, just 11 weeks into his fourth term; the Axis Powers surrendered to the Allies in the months following Roosevelt's death, during the presidency of Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, in the Hudson Valley town of Hyde Park, New York, to businessman James Roosevelt I and his second wife, Sara Ann Delano. Roosevelt's parents, who were sixth cousins, both came from wealthy old New York families, the Roosevelts, the Aspinwalls and the Delanos, respectively. Roo
Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California. The valley is about 7.5 miles long and 3000–3500 feet deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, densely forested with pines. The valley is drained by the Merced River, a multitude of streams and waterfalls flow into it, including Tenaya, Illilouette and Bridalveil Creeks. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, is a big attraction in the spring when the water flow is at its peak; the valley is renowned for its natural environment, is regarded as the centerpiece of Yosemite National Park, attracting visitors from around the world. The Valley is the main attraction in the park for the majority of visitors, a bustling hub of activity during tourist season in the summer months. Most visitors pass through the Tunnel View entrance. Visitor facilities are located in the center of the valley. There are both hiking trail loops that stay within the valley and trailheads that lead to higher elevations, all of which afford glimpses of the park's many scenic wonders.
Yosemite Valley is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, 150 miles due east of San Francisco. It stretches for 7.5 miles in a east–west direction, with an average width of about 1 mile. Yosemite Valley represents only one percent of the park area, but this is where most visitors arrive and stay. More than half a dozen creeks tumble from hanging valleys at the top of granite cliffs that can rise 3000–3500 feet above the valley floor, which itself is 4000 ft above sea level; these streams combine into the Merced River, which flows out from the western end of the valley, down the rest of its canyon to the San Joaquin Valley. The flat floor of Yosemite Valley holds both forest and large open meadows, which have views of the surrounding crests and waterfalls. Below is a description of these features, looking first at the walls above, moving west to east as a visitor does when entering the valley visiting the waterfalls and other water features, returning east to west with the flow of water.
The first view of Yosemite Valley many visitors see is the Tunnel View. So many paintings were made from a viewpoint nearby that the National Park Service named that viewpoint Artist Point; the view from the lower end of the Valley contains the great granite monolith El Capitan on the left, Cathedral Rocks on the right with Bridalveil Fall. Just past this spot the Valley widens with the Cathedral Spires the pointed obelisk of Sentinel Rock to the south. Across the Valley on the northern side are the Three Brothers, rising one above the other like gables built on the same angle – the highest crest is Eagle Peak, with the two below known as the Middle and Lower Brothers. To this point the Valley has been curving to the left. Now a grand curve back to the right begins, with Yosemite Falls on the north, followed by the Royal Arches, topped by North Dome. Opposite, to the south, is Glacier Point, 3,200 feet above the Valley floor. At this point the Valley splits in two, one section slanting northeast, with the other curving from south to southeast.
Between them, at the eastern end of the valley, is Half Dome, among the most prominent natural features in the Sierra Nevada. Above and to the northeast of Half Dome is Clouds Rest. Snow melting in the Sierra forms lakes. In the surrounding region, these creeks flow to the edge of the Valley to form cataracts and waterfalls. A fan of creeks and forks of the Merced River take drainage from the Sierra crest and combine at Merced Lake; the Merced flows down to the end of its canyon, where it begins what is called the Giant Staircase. The first drop is Nevada Fall. Below is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Valley; the Merced descends rapids to meet Illilouette Creek, which drops from the valley rim to form Illilouette Fall. They combine at the base of the gorges that contain each stream, flow around the Happy Isles to meet Tenaya Creek at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley proper. Tenaya Creek flows southwest from Tenaya Lake and down Tenaya Canyon flowing between Half Dome and North Dome before joining the Merced River.
The following falls tumble from the Valley rim to join it at various points: Yosemite Falls 2,425 feet Upper Yosemite Fall 1,430 feet, the middle cascades 670 feet, Lower Yosemite Fall 320 feet. Snow Creek Falls 2,140 feet Sentinel Falls 1,920 feet Ribbon Fall 1,612 feet Royal Arch Cascade 1,250 feet Lehamite Falls 1,180 feet Staircase Falls 1,020 feet Bridalveil Fall 620 feet. Nevada Fall 594 feet Silver Strand Falls 574 feet Vernal Fall 318 feet The features in Yosemite Valley are made of granitic rock emplaced as plutons miles deep during the late Cretaceous. Over time the Sierra Nevada was uplifted; the oldest of these granitic rocks, at 114 million years, occur along the Merced River Gorge west of the valley. The El Capitan pluton intruded the valley, forming most of the granitic rock that makes up much of the central part of the valley, including Cathedral Rocks, Three Brothers, El Capitan; the youngest Yosemite Valley pluton is the 87-million-year-old Half Dome granodiorite, which makes up most of the rock at