Sierra Nevada...

Where in the world is Sierra Nevada? Does this name refer to a town, mountain range, or both? And, is it in CA? NV? or both?

  • Jinx

The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range that marks the barrier between California and Nevada. It’s mostly in California, but some of the range ventures into Nevada. Important Sierra landmarks include Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Mammoth Mountain, Seqoia National Park and Mount Whitney.

And it takes its name (possibly) from the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain.

“Sierra” is a mountain description, basically referring to a range with jagged peaks. It has the same root as “serrate.”

BTW, don’t you have a decent dictionary. I took a quick look at my 1980 M-W, and it was right there in the Geographical Names section.

Neurotik I right as far as he (or she?) goes. The part of the Sierra Nevada range that he describes is only the very northern end where it turns into the Cascades.

It is more accurate to say that the range forms the eastern boundry of California’s Central Valley. It also forms the western edge of the formation called basin and range which covers most of Nevada and is characterized by north-south mountain ranges separated by basins with interior drainage, i.e. streams without an outlet to the sea.

As was said “Sierra” is related to “serrate” or jagged and “Nevada” means “snow covered” from the Spanish.

<-- It is right over there.
Actually, Sequoia National Park (and Kings Canyon) Sequoia National Forest and Mt. Whitney (located near the southern end of the John Muir Wilderness) would all be characterized as being in the southern Sierra Nevada. In fact, there are portions of Sequoia National Forest that are nearly in the Tehachapi Mtns. (where the southern end of the Sierra Nevada terminates).

True story.

There is a brand of cookies (I can’t recall the particular name) that names all of the different kinds after places. For example, they have a Sausalito cookie, a Tahoe, etc. I don’t remember all of the various names but I did notice several years ago the following inconsistency. On the Tahoe package, there was a little blurb on the back extolling the virtues of beautiful Lake Tahoe, located in the lovely Rocky Mountains! I was quite aghast and left a voicemail on their customer service line. The last time I checked, the blurb had been changed.

I like to think that it was because of my phone call!

That’d be Pepperidge Farms.

Right now, it’s in my stomach. Mmmmm, tasty.