Lyell Glacier

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Lyell Glacier
Geo LyellGlacier.jpg
East lobe of Lyell Glacier
Location in California
Location in California
Lyell Glacier
Location in California
Type Mountain glacier
Location Yosemite National Park, Tuolumne County, California, United States
Coordinates 37°44′35″N 119°16′09″W / 37.74306°N 119.26917°W / 37.74306; -119.26917Coordinates: 37°44′35″N 119°16′09″W / 37.74306°N 119.26917°W / 37.74306; -119.26917[1]
Length .5 mi (0.80 km) estimated
Terminus Talus
Status Retreating

Lyell Glacier is in the Sierra Nevada of California. The glacier was discovered by John Muir in 1871,[2] and is the largest glacier in Yosemite National Park. The glacier lies on the northern slopes of Mount Lyell.[3]

The glacier has retreated since the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-19th century. During the mid-20th Century, the glacier split into two smaller glaciers occupying the high cirques of Mount Lyell.

Since 1883, the glacier area has retreated up to 70 percent.[4] Another glacier, the Maclure Glacier on nearby Mount Maclure, has also retreated significantly.

Lyell Glacier in 1883

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lyell Glacier". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  2. ^ Muir, John, 1873. On Actual Glaciers in California. American Journal of Science and Arts, v:69-71
  3. ^ Mount Lyell, CA (Map). TopoQwest (United States Geological Survey Maps). Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Twentieth Century Glacier Change in the Sierra Nevada, California". Hassan Basagic. May 14, 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2007-01-11.