Courtright Reservoir

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The geology surrounding Courtright Reservoir is incredible! The Sierra Nevada is comprised predominantly of granitic rock that intruded approximately 200 million years ago forming the Sierra Nevada batholith.The granitic intrusion metamorphosed older overlying sedimentary and volcanic rocks, which are observed today as roof pendants on the high peaks. Formation of the modern Sierra Nevada began about 50 Ma when uplifting of the earth’s crust commenced, followed by periods of extensive weathering and glaciation forming the current topography and geologic features in the region.

Granite forms plutons of igneous rock several kilometers below the surface as magma slowly cools and crystallizes. The granite is under great overhead pressure. Then, granite is uplifted to the surface during a mountain-building event. During the mountain building process, the overlying rock is eroded as the granite is uplifted, and the pressure on the granite reduced. The granite expands and forms fractures or sheet joints parallel to the surface. The granite then erodes in concentric layers (similar to how an onion peels) forming rounded masses called exfoliation domes.

This page exhibits some of the granite plutons (domes) surrounding the reservoir.


Click here to see Panoramic Images of Courtright Reservoir as seen from
a granite dome on the west shore (click here to open in it's own window).

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Dogtooth Peak in Dinky Wilderness



Three Sisters Peak and  Dogtooth Peak in Dinky Wilderness






An old knarled cedar tree







Later in the day as I was coming down off of the granite dome where I had taken many photos of Courtright and the surrounding area I came across this scene.  I liked how the light illuminated the ground cover.



Go To Page 3 for more Photos

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Last Updated: 10/14/2008