An easy spot to get to from the junction where highway 88 & 89 meet in Hope Valley. There’s a small parking lot and you walk along a path towards the river. It’s pretty quite except for the occasional sounds of a car or truck on the highway. You come to a bridge and the Carson River follows under it. The late afternoon sun lights up the recent snows and the ripples of the water.
First fall hike of the year. Went to Hope Valley to look for fall colors but we were stopped by the water flowing in the river. That’s Pickett Peak in the background.
Walked across this ridge and it was loaded with quartz crystals. You can see the faint veins of white running through the granite. When I got back, I searched the web for “red granite with crystals” and this is what I learned.
What is Pegmatite?
Pegmatites are extreme igneous rocks that form during the final stage of a magma’s crystallization. They are extreme because they contain exceptionally large crystals and they sometimes contain minerals that are rarely found in other types of rocks.
To be called a “pegmatite,” a rock should be composed almost entirely of crystals that are at least one centimeter in diameter. The name “pegmatite” has nothing to do with the mineral composition of the rock.
Most pegmatites have a composition that is similar to granite with abundant quartz, feldspar and mica. These are sometimes called “granite pegmatites” to indicate their mineralogical composition.