The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range between the Central Valley of California and the Basin and Range Province. The vast majority of the range lies in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies primarily in Nevada.
The Sierra runs 400 miles (640 km) north-to-south, and is approximately 70 miles (110 km) across east-to-west. Notable Sierra features include Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft (4,421 m), the highest point in the contiguous United States; and Yosemite Valley sculpted by glaciers out of one-hundred-million-year-old granite. The Sierra is home to three national parks, twenty wilderness areas, and two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks; and Devils Postpile National Monument. The Sierra Nevada range is the highest mountain range in the contiguous United States.