“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Natural Dam

Natural Dam Marker image. Click for full size.
By Eric Polk, June 2008
1. Natural Dam Marker
Click on photo to view photos and captions displayed on marker.
Inscription. Perhaps only three or four hundred years ago, an enormous rockfall dumped boulders across this canyon, damming Tenaya Creek. During spring and early summer, the stream backs up into the two pools on either side of the dam.

Tinkering with nature
Nineteenth-century tourists admired the reflection on the surface of the upper pool of Mirror Lake. To enlarge the pool and reflection, early entrepreneurs piled boulders onto the natural dam. Ironically, this helped the pool to fill with sand and silt, leading to regular dredging of the lake. Today, the National Park Service manages Tenaya Creek and Mirror Lake as a natural system.

Sediment continues to build in the upper pool, which is gradually becoming shallower. The force of springtime water scours out most deposits in the undammed lower pool.
Erected by Yosemite Fund.
Location. 37° 44.81′ N, 119° 33.056′ W. Marker is in Yosemite National Park, California, in Mariposa County. Touch for map. This marker is located on the Mirror Lake trail. Marker is in this post office area: Yosemite National Park CA 95389, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mirror Lake Resources (within shouting distance of this marker);
Natural Dam image. Click for full size.
By Eric Polk, June 2008
2. Natural Dam
The cascade in the background is the rock dam.
Bracken Fern and Baskets (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Visitors at Mirror Lake (about 600 feet away); A Seasonal Lake (about 600 feet away); Selling the Sublime (about 800 feet away); The Ahwahnee Porte Cochere (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Grand Lodge (approx. 1.3 miles away); LeConte Memorial Lodge (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yosemite National Park.
Categories. EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2015, by Eric Polk of Lakewood, California. This page has been viewed 233 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 26, 2015, by Eric Polk of Lakewood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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