STS51F-042-0034 Sierra Nevada Mountains and San Joaquin Valley, California, U.S.A. August 1985
This photograph encompasses the Sierra Nevada Mountains, reddish Owens Lake, the southern San Joaquin Valley, and the faulted Owens River Valley. Traversing the Sierra Nevada Mountains westward from Owens Lake is the north-south-trending Kern River Valley. This deep valley can be traced from its source near snowcapped Mount Whitney [highest peak in the 48 contiguous states at 14 491 feet (4417 meters)] to Lake Isabella (Y-shaped reservoir with a highly reflective surface) and then southwest to Bakersfield. Immediately west of the forested Sierra Nevada Mountains is the broad expanse of the southern intensively agricultural San Joaquin Valley. Discernible are the vague outline of Bakersfield, several smaller rural cities, and the low mountains and hills to the west and southwest that eventually grade into the Coast Range.

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