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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Phenomenon: Glacial Relics

The Ice Age left its mark from Acadia to Yosemite. Here's scenic evidence.

by: Drew Pogge

PAGE 1 2 3 4
Tarn (Public Domain photo)
Tarn (Public Domain photo)
Arete (Chuck Haney)
Arete (Chuck Haney)
Glacial Erratic (George Wuerthner)
Glacial Erratic (George Wuerthner)

Hanging Valley
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite Falls

Hanging valleys form when small tributary glaciers erode shallower troughs than those made by the main ice flow. The result is a U-shaped notch high on the wall of the main valley. When the ice is gone, streams plunge as waterfalls from the mouths of these high, often vertical gorges, creating spectacular cascades.

>>Yosemite Falls
Glaciers excavated Yosemite Valley a million years ago when ice from the Sherwin glaciation eroded the central chasm much deeper than smaller, adjacent troughs. Yosemite Creek flows over a hanging valley and plunges 2,425 feet in a series of cataracts to the floor below. To see the cascade up close, hike the steep, 7-mile Yosemite Falls Trail from the Camp 4 trailhead.

Yosemite Falls UTM 11S 0271194E 4181809N

Yosemite National Park (209-372-0200; nps.gov/yose)


PAGE 1 2 3 4

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READERS COMMENTS

phillip denney
Feb 15, 2010

What is the source of the Andrews glacier/tarn photo? It looks nearly identical to the Willis Lee photo published in 1916. Could there be no recession in 85 years?
Please respond

pdenney@socolo.net

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