Kings Canyon National Park, California

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The difference between glaciated and non-glaciated landscapes is spectacularly visible in this picture, showing the High Sierra in the northern part of Kings Canyon National Park, California. There are no roads anywhere in the scene. The higher parts of the landscape have been sculpted into smooth curves and scalloped peaks by the glaciers, but the deep canyon, which was not glaciated, shows a completely different texture.

The junction of the canyons at the bottom of the picture is located at 36o 51' 58" N, 118o 30' 57" W. The highest peaks in the area are about 12,500 feet. The high peak to the right of the canyon just below the center of the picture is 12,950 foot Arrow Peak, located at 36o 55' 42" N, 118o 29' 27" W.. The range in the distance is the White Mountains, rising to 14,000 feet. Between the White Mountains and the Sierra Nevada is the Owens Valley, here covered by clouds.

Although this is a spectacular scene, it is not a colorful one. In winter, as seen here, the landscape is covered with snow. In the summer the rocks are mostly light gray granite.

Original Scene

(author's image)

Possible Coloring

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Created 05 February 2008, Last Update 15 January 2020