New U-Pb zircon ages for the Lamarck Granodiorite, associated synplutonic gabbro and diorite plutons, and two large mafic intrusive complexes that underlie them in the Sierra Nevada batholith are 92??1 Ma. These ages establish the Late Cretaceous as a period of extensive mafic-felsic magmatism in the central part of the batholith, and confirm the significance of mafic magmatism in the evolution of the voluminous silicic plutions in the Sierran arc. The lack of significant zircon inheritance in any of the units analyzed supports isotopic evidence that the Lamarck and other Late Cretaceous Sierran plutons were derived predominantly from young crust. Recognition of an extensive mafic-felsic magma system in the Sierra Nevada batholith emphasizes the importance of basaltic liquids in the evolution of continental crust in arc settings. ?? 1995 Springer-Verlag.