Yosemite National Park, California 2008 -- At top center right is Mount Star King at 9,092' -- as the Sierra Nevadas move from west to east, they typically get higher. The plate shifted backward towards the San Andreas fault several million years ago, raising the east end upwards. The tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 states is Mount Whitney at the eastern edge of the Sierras -- at 14,500 '.

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