Sierra Nevada Fossils

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Sierra Nevada Fossils

by Inyo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:17 pm

Folks interested in combining hikes in the Sierra Nevada with fossil observations might want to check out a couple of paleontology-related web pages I rather recently uploaded. They're completely personal, non-commercial cyber-sites, of course.

The first is "High Sierra Nevada Fossil Plants, Alpine County, California" over at It's a visit to a 7 million year-old (late Miocene) fossil leaf and petrified wood locality situated above the local timberline (around 9,000 feet). Features a detailed text, with on-site photographs and images of representative fossil specimens.

Also included is an overview of the paleobotany and vertebrate paleontology along the general route to the High Sierra fossil site (text and photos). Three Tertiary Period geologic rock formations exposed in California's Gold Country, western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, yield locally plentiful leaves and mineralized skeletal material from mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish (the extinct sabertooth salmon, for example): the middle Eocene Ione Formation (leaves); the late Oligocene to early Miocene Valley Springs Formation (leaves); and the late mid Miocene to late Pliocene Mehrten Formation (leaves and vertebrate fossils)

The second is "Fossil Plants At The Chalk Bluff Hydraulic Gold Mine, California" over at

It's a field trip to a world-famous middle Eocene (around 48 to 45 million years old) fossil leaf and petrified wood locality exposed at an abandoned hydraulic gold mine (operated from the late 1850s to roughly 1884) in the western foothills of California's Sierra Nevada, not too far from Nevada City/Grass Valley. Includes: detailed text; photographs of fossil leaves and petrified wood, and on-site images, as well.

The following user would like to thank Inyo for this post
butitsadryheat, Matt Miller, Sierra Ledge Rat

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