Sierra Nevada: A mountain range in California with the shape of a tilted block, composed largely of granitic and metamorphic rock (from the Spanish "snowy saw-tooth range").
The Sierra Nevada? Rising out of the sea? What's that about? The Sierra Nevada, California's well-known mountain range with Yosemite and all that is 80 or 90 miles away to the east, across the Great Valley. We are at the beach, so why are we talking about the Sierra Nevada?
You can look at the mountains of Big Sur (the Grande South!) as being a sierra in the sense of being quite rugged. Our location today, Limekiln State Park, is located along the Big Sur Coast north of San Simeon. The mountains here have never been glaciated, but the peaks above the park seem to be rather inaccessible. And they rise nearly a mile out of the surf (nearby Cone Peak is 5,155 feet high and only a little over two miles from the coastline). That certainly makes it a "sierra". But the Sierra Nevada?
As to how they got here in Central California, one need look no further than California's favorite fault, the San Andreas.
The kilns rise out of the forest like bizarre temples or alien landing beacons. They were built to process marble into lime for construction material, and were active from 1887 to 1890. After the marble was used up, the kilns were abandoned, and the forest slowly grew back. In the 1980s, a private landowner wanted to log the forest again, but many Big Sur aficionados objected and in 1994 Limekiln became a state park. The park has faced problems in its short existence, including a fire in 2008, and closure by the state in 2012 due to the budget crisis.
The park is back, though, and it is a pleasant place to visit. There is a modest campground with maybe two dozen sites with some sites near the beach and others up in the canyon among the redwood trees. It has a half-mile trail to the lime kilns, and a short spur trail to one of the more unusual looking waterfalls to be seen anywhere, 100-foot tall Limekiln Falls. The odd cone-shaped appearance of the fall results from the accumulation of calcium carbonate deposits dissolved from the mountains upstream.
read the intro here if you want to argue the point!)