Geologic Trip, Yosemite Valley
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.