2. Sierra Nevada Mountains

15 images Created 30 Oct 2016

My father, pioneer conservation photographer Philip Hyde, became known for his images of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and of National Parks all over the American West and the Southwest in particular. He explored the California Mountains thoroughly for close to 70 years, including backpacking into the backcountry of every California park and wilderness area.

As a young man, I backpacked with my parents, but as an adult, I mainly photograph the Northern Sierra in Plumas, Lassen, Sierra, Butte and other counties close to home, with a few rare trips to the East Side of the Sierra, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and a few others. My home overlooks Indian Creek, the largest tributary to the North Fork of the Feather River, near the headwaters of the Feather River Watershed, the largest in the Sierra.

Some call this area the Quiet Sierra or the Lost Sierra, also situated in the transition zone between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascade Mountain Range. Lassen Peak, the farthest south volcanic peak of the Cascade Mountains, is 60 miles from home in Lassen National Park. Lake Almanor Reservoir can be considered either the Sierra or Cascades, as Mt. Dyer and other peaks surrounding it are characteristic of the Sierra, yet the most prominent peak on the horizon seen from almost anywhere on the lake is Mt. Lassen. In the Beckwourth-Sierraville area, Sierra Valley is the largest high elevation valley in the world at 4,850 feet above sea level. Sierra Valley is also surrounded by a mix of volcanoes and Sierra granite peaks, geothermally heated groundwater and hot springs. Sierra Hot Springs is known around the world for its healing waters.

The words "Sierra Nevada" are already plural and do not require an "s." They mean "snowy mountains" in Spanish. The Sierra is also known as the Range of Light, the name for it coined by John Muir. I personally also consider it the range of Falling Water. The Sierra is known for its many rivers, lakes and streams.
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