Geologic Trip, Yosemite Valley

Taft Point


Taft Point (left), on the south rim of Yosemite Valley, provides a great view of Yosemite Valley and El Capitan on the far side of the valley. From here you can also see the gently rolling upland surface of the Sierra Nevada along the skyline. This land surface was formed during Miocene time and has remained unchanged except for uplift and westward tilting through the Pliocene and Pleistocene. During this uplift, the Merced River cut a steep canyon into the old Miocene surface. This canyon was then modified by Pleistocene glaciers to become the scenic Yosemite Valley that we see today.

Related Links

Geologic background: Yosemite Valley (pdf)

Geologic trips: Bridalveil Fall El Capitan Half Dome Taft Point Yosemite Falls


Exterior Websites

National Park Service: Yosemite NP

USGS: Geology of Yosemite Valley, Geologic Map of Yosemite NP