Friday, May 31, 2013
From a Land of Riches to the Barrens: The Basin and Range
The Sierra Nevada is the realm of the cool dark forests and the high glaciated peaks. The Basin and Range is a place where sagebrush reigns, and practically the only trees are dumpy little pinyon pines and juniper. It's a hard dry land. We crossed Montgomery Pass into Nevada and had a close look at Boundary Peak, which at 13,147 feet (4,007 m), is the highest point in Nevada. Ironically it is not the highest peak in the mountain range in which it is situated. Adjacent Montgomery Peak is 13,441 feet (4,097 m) tall, but as the name suggests, the state boundary falls between the two. A bit farther south, White Mountain Peak soars to 14,252 ft (4,344 m), the third highest peak in California.