Introduction
The Sierra Gateway Map Guide thoroughly takes you into one of the premier vacation regions in the world! It covers the "usual" spots and takes you a step further, depicting a multitude of lesser known destinations.

Running nearly 400 miles, from just south of Lassen Peak, to Tehachapi Pass, the Sierra Nevada is a major mountain range. It’s tallest point, Mt. Whitney, rises 14,494 feet above sea level. This happens to be the tallest peak in the contiguous United States. Coincidentally, the lowest point on the continent, Death Valley, at 282 ft below sea level, is but a short drive from Mt. Whitney.

From a geological standpoint, the Sierra Nevada is a single block of the earth's crust, tilted upward toward the east. Granite, other igneous rocks, and metamorphic slate form the range. The slopes are covered with great forests. Miners found large quantities of gold embedded in quartz, while silver finds flourished on the eastern slopes. A number of national forests and parks are situated herein. The Pacific Crest National Trail winds it way through the rugged granite mountain range and is a popular trek for visitors from around the world.

The Sierra Nevada’s dramatic eastern escarpment rises sharply above the Great Basin deserts. The region is important to California, as a source of numerous rivers and for its scenic beauty. No other area in the country approaches the plant variety found here. Approximately 40 percent of plant species found naturally in the United States are indigenous to California, many of them in the Sierra Nevada, an area well known for its spring-blooming wildflowers with the California poppy and lupine being the most common.

A Great Basin bristlecone pine, estimated to be more than 4,000 years old, and considered the world's oldest living tree, stands in the eastern Sierra Nevada region. Giant sequoias, are found in the Sierra Nevada. Many of these trees are over 2,000 years old. Lush meadows are found abundantly in the Sierra Nevada above the timberline.

The abundant vegetation provides a natural habitat for many different animals. You’ll see coyotes, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, beaver, bobcats, cougars, deer, skunk, raccoons, elk, pronghorn antelope, bear, mountain goats, marmots and rattlesnakes. A great variety of birds also populate the Sierra Nevada. Amongst the most notable are Bald and Golden Eagles, ducks, geese, owls, woodpeckers, jays, crows, osprey, road runners, hummingbirds, finches, sparrows and many others. The countless lakes, streams, rivers and creeks are home to numerous species of fish. The trout family includes: golden, rainbow trout, German brown and brook. You’ll also find pike, catfish and salmon.

Therefore, no matter what outdoor events excite you, this is the place to go. Year round activities are almost too numerous to mention, but here goes anyway: Fishing, camping, golfing, river rafting, hiking, rock climbing, alpine skiing, mountain biking, hunting, rock collecting, sightseeing, cross country skiing, horseback riding, snow boarding, boating, swimming, water skiing, photography, sailing, jet skiing, snowmobile trail riding or just enjoying a good book! There’s numerous historical sites and museums to check out too! This Guide helps you understand and navigate California’s Sierra Nevada during your visit. There are more than 60 detailed area maps to help you get from here to there. There are over 300 full-color photographs depicting just what you might expect to see and experience, during your travels.

Detailed information is provided on three national parks: Kings County, Sequoia and Yosemite; five national forests: Inyo, Sequoia, Sierra, Stanislaus and Toiyabe; eight wilderness areas: Ansel Adams, Carson-Iceberg, Dinkey Lakes, Domeland, Emigrant, Golden Trout, Hoover, Jennie Lakes, John Muir, Kaiser, Mokelumne, Monarch and South Sierra; and 10 California counties: Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Tulare and Tuolumne.

Phone numbers, addresses, websites and email listings are provided for your convenience in contacting those places in which you find an interest. Find a Kiosk, local library or other facility with a computer during your trip, get on-line and request any data you wish from those doing business in the Sierra Nevada.

Herein you’ll find nearly everything you’ll need to make your vacation successful. No matter if you’re from around the corner or the other side of the world, this Guide will provide you with valuable information. Jump right in and enjoy yourself!