Granite Rocks Are The Foundation Of Yosemite

Yosemite is filled with granite rocks. I did some research so that I could teach my kids and share with you some interesting things about granite. Millions of years ago granite was formed deep inside of the earth. At about 40-60 miles below the ground there is a liquid called magma. Under very hot temperatures, the liquid minerals (quartz, feldspar, mica and hornblende) mix with the magma and under large amounts of pressure, slowly cools down.

As the cooling process begins, the magma and the minerals interlock like pieces of a puzzle. This makes the rock strong, hard and very durable.

The magma and minerals cool and solidify very slowly below the earths surface. During this process large crystals come into formation.

The crystals rise to the surface and the final masterpiece is the beautiful granite rock.

Because all of this happens beneath the earths surface, granite is known as igneous rock. Igneous rock is the oldest kind of rock. It is also the hardest rock that we know of.

Igneous rock is found all around the world. But Yosemite is home to the largest single piece of solid granite in the world. That's right, El Capitan is the largest single piece of solid igneous rock rising 3,593 feet out of the ground.

Yosemite National Park is a favorite place for rock climbers. They come from around the world to scale the granite walls of Yosemite.

See how the granite in El Capitan takes on different looks

Horsetail Falls and El Capitan




The granite rocks provide lots of natural cracks and crevices that allow rock climbers to get good hand and foot holds when scaling the rock.

When I look closely at granite I see light and dark minerals. The black grains are the mineral mica. The gray grains are the mineral quartz. The white grains are the mineral feldspar. And other darker minerals are the hornblende. When you are here in Yosemite, you can see the minerals and crystals very well in person. Pictures do not always do justice to what we see in person!

When you come to Yosemite you will see domes, spires, arches, sheets and huge blocks of igneous rock. Some of the mountains are jagged, some are as smooth as can be. The terrain varies considerably...but it is all spectacular!

I often see rocks that are split and they are called fractures or joints. This is where water or glaciers have found a weak spot and split the granite. Half Dome and El Capitan have the least amount of fractures of all the rock here in Yosemite.


Return From Granite Rocks To the Home Page


Site Map   Site Policies   About Me   Advertise On Site   Contact



Help me help my kids! Two of my children have a fast paced and fun trading card game. Their website is Exodus Trading Cards and they are trying to grow their business with a grant from Chase Bank. We have untill June 19th to get 250 votes that says their business is worthy of going onto the next level in the grant process. You do not give any personal information to vote. You can vote with 2 simple clicks.  Vote and then come back and enjoy my site about Yosemite! Thank you for your support. Kathy

Vote Now!








Dumb People In Yosemite



Get US National Park Checks



Printable Worksheets For Kids



2015 Calendars



Yosemite Nat Park In Today's News




Insiders's Guide To Yosemite





Printable Worksheets For Kids



Get US National Park Checks


Bass Pro Shops