The geography of California is rich and diverse. There are alpine mountains, foggy coastlines, hot deserts, and a fertile central valley. The U.S. state of California is home to the world's tallest (coast redwood), most massive (Giant Sequoia), and oldest (bristlecone pine) trees. A US state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States of America that share Sovereignty with the federal government California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living Species of the Genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae (formerly Sequoiadendron giganteum ( Giant Sequoia, Sierra Redwood, or Wellingtonia) is the sole species in the genus Sequoiadendron The bristlecone pines are a small group of Pine trees (Family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae) that are thought to It is also home to both the highest (Mt. Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the 48 contiguous states. Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the Contiguous United States with an elevation of. Death Valley is the lowest driest and hottest Valley in the United States. The term continental United States refers to the 48 contiguous states located on the North American continent south of the border with Canada plus the District
The state is generally divided into Northern and Southern California, although the boundary between the two is not well defined. Northern California is the northern portion of the US state of California. Southern California, or So Cal, is defined as the southern portion of the U San Francisco is decidedly a Northern California city and Los Angeles likewise a Southern California one, but areas in between do not often share their confidence in geographic identity. The US Geological Survey defines the geographic center of the state at a point near North Fork, California. North Fork is a small Unincorporated town located in Madera County California at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Yosemite National Park
Earth scientists typically divide the state into eleven distinct geomorphic provinces with clearly defined boundaries. They are, from north to south, the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Range, the Modoc Plateau, the Basin and Range, the Coast Ranges, the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada, the Transverse Ranges, the Mojave Desert, the Peninsular Ranges, and the Colorado Desert. Rogue River Oregon USAjpg|thumb|250px|Rogue River Gorge Oregon]]The Klamath Mountains, sometimes called the Salmon Mountains, are a rugged lightly populated Mountain range The Modoc Plateau lies in the northeast corner of California as well as parts of Oregon and Nevada. Basin and range is a geologic term for a type of Topography characterized by a series of separate and parallel mountain ranges with broad valleys interposed extending The Pacific Coast Ranges are the series of Mountain ranges that stretch along the west coast of North America from Alaska to northern and central Mexico The Central Valley is a large flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U The Sierra Nevada ( Spanish for "Snowy Range" is a Mountain range located in the U The Transverse Ranges (or more accurately the Los Angeles Ranges) are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, one of the various North American For the indigenous American tribe see Mohave. The Mojave Desert (moʊˈhɑːvi or /məˈhɑːvi/ ( Hayikwiir Mat'aar in Mojave The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province are a group of mountain ranges which stretch 1500 km (900 miles from southern California The Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert in the southeastern part of the U For purposes of explanation, it is also helpful to recognize the Los Angeles Basin, the Channel Islands, and the Pacific Ocean as distinct regions. The Los Angeles Basin is the coastal Sediment -filled plain located between the peninsular and transverse ranges in southern California in The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions
The Klamath Mountains are a mountain range in northwest California and southwest Oregon, the highest peak being Thompson Peak (2,744 m / 9,002 ft) in Trinity County, California. Rogue River Oregon USAjpg|thumb|250px|Rogue River Gorge Oregon]]The Klamath Mountains, sometimes called the Salmon Mountains, are a rugged lightly populated Mountain range Trinity County is a large rugged and mountainous heavily forested county located in the northwestern portion of the U They have a very varied geology, with substantial areas of serpentine and marble, and a climate summers with limited rainfall. The serpentine group describes a group of common rock-forming hydrous Magnesium Iron phyllosilicate (()3 Minerals they Marble is a nonfoliated Metamorphic rock resulting from the Metamorphism of Limestone, composed mostly of Calcite (a crystalline form of As a consequence of the geology, they have a unique flora including several endemic or near-endemic species, such as Lawson's Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Foxtail Pine (Pinus balfouriana), Brewer's Spruce (Picea breweriana) and Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana). Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is a cypress in the genus Chamaecyparis, family Cupressaceae, known by the name Lawson's Cypress The Foxtail Pine ( Pinus balfouriana) is a rare Pine that is endemic to California,in the United States, where it is found in Picea breweriana ( Brewer's Spruce or Weeping Spruce) is a species of Spruce native to western North America, where it is one Kalmiopsis ( Kalmiopsis leachiana) is a rare Flowering plant endemic to the Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon, where it is
The Cascade Range is a mountainous region stretching from British Columbia in Canada down to the northern part of California. Interstate 5 (I-5 is the main Interstate highway on the West Coast of the United States, paralleling the Pacific Ocean from Canada to Mexico British Columbia (ˌbrɪtɨʃ kəˈlʌmbiə ( BC) ( (la Colombie-Britannique C The Cascades (as they are called for short) are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from Cascade volcanoes. The last Cascade volcano to erupt in California was Lassen Peak, which erupted from 1914 to 1921. Lassen Peak (also known as Mount Lassen) is the southernmost active Volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen is the most southerly active volcano of the Cascade chain.
This region is located in the northeastern section of the state bordering Oregon and Nevada, mostly north of the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. The area is centered on Mount Shasta, near the Trinity Alps. Mount Shasta ( Úytaahkoo, Karuk) or the "White Mountain" in English a 14179-foot (4322 m Stratovolcano, is the second-highest peak in the The Trinity Alps are mountains in Northern California, located to the northwest of Redding. Mount Shasta is a dormant volcano, but there is some evidence that it or Shastina, a smaller companion, erupted in the 18th Century. Shastina is the highest Satellite cone of Mount Shasta, and one of four overlapping volcanic cones which together form the most voluminous Stratovolcano
In the northeast corner of the state lies the Modoc Plateau, an expanse of lava flows at an altitude of 4,000 to 6,000 ft (1,200 to 1,800 m) with cinder cones, juniper flats, pine forests, and seasonal lakes. The Modoc Plateau lies in the northeast corner of California as well as parts of Oregon and Nevada. Lava is molten rock expelled by a Volcano during an eruption When first expelled from a volcanic vent it is a Liquid at Temperatures A cinder cone or scoria cone is a steep conical Hill of volcanic fragments that accumulate around and downwind from a Volcanic vent. Junipers are Coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. This article is about the tree For other uses of the term "pine" see Pine (disambiguation. Nearly 1 million acres (4,000 km²) of the Modoc National Forest lie on the plateau between the Medicine Lake Highlands in the west and the Warner Mountains in the east. Modoc National Forest is a National forest in northeastern California, covering parts of Modoc, Lassen, and Siskiyou counties Medicine Lake Volcano is a large Shield volcano in northeastern California about northeast of Mount Shasta. The Warner Mountains is an 85-mile-long Mountain range running north-south through northeastern California and extending into southeastern Oregon in the The plateau supports large herds of mule deer (Odocoileus Hemionus), Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus Canadensis), and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra Americana). The mule deer ( Odocoileus hemionus) is a Deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. The elk, or wapiti ( Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest Species of Deer in the world and one of the largest Mammals in The pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana) also pronghorn antelope or prong buck, is a species of Ungulate Mammal native to interior There are also several herds of wild horses on the plateau. The Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Long Bell State Game Refuge are located on the plateau as well. The Lost River watershed drains the north part of the plateau, while southern watersheds either collect in basin reservoirs or flow into the large Big Sage Reservoir, which sits in the center of Modoc County. Modoc County is a county located in the far northeast corner of the U
To the east of the Sierra is the Basin and Range geological province, which extends into Nevada. The Basin and Range Province is a large geologic province which includes parts of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, typified by Basin and Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. The Basin and Range is a series of mountains and valleys (specifically horsts and grabens), cau the Earth's crust. This article refers to the geological form For other uses see Horst. A graben is a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults Graben is German for ditch. One notable feature of the Basin and Range is Mono Lake, which is the oldest lake in North America. Mono Lake is an Alkaline and hypersaline lake in California, United States that is a critical nesting habitat for several bird species and is The Basin and Range also contains the Owens Valley, the deepest valley in North America (more than 10,000 feet (3 km) deep, as measured from the top of Mount Whitney). Owens Valley is the arid valley of the Owens River in southeastern California in the United States.
In the eastern part of the state, below the Sierra Nevada, there is a series dry lake beds that were filled with water during the last ice age (fed by ice melt from alpine glaciers but never directly affected by glaciation; see pluvial). "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. A pluvial lake is a Lake that experiences significant increase in depth and extent as a result of increased precipitation and reduced Evaporation. Many of these lakes have extensive evaporite deposits that contain a variety of different salts. Evaporites (iˈvæpəraɪt are water-soluble Mineral sediments that result from the Evaporation of bodies of surficial Water. Salt is a Dietary mineral composed primarily of Sodium chloride that is essential for Animal life but toxic to most land plants In fact, the salt sediments of many of these lake beds have been mined for many years for various salts, most notably borax (this is most famously true for Owens Lake and Death Valley). Mining is the extraction of valuable Minerals or other geological materials from the earth usually (but not always from an Ore body Borax (from Persian burah) also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important Boron Owens Lake is a large Dry lake in eastern California 's Owens Valley, located about south of Lone Pine California. Death Valley is the lowest driest and hottest Valley in the United States.
In this province reside the White Mountains, which are home to the oldest living thing in the world, the bristlecone pine. The White Mountains of California are a triangular fault block Mountain range facing the Sierra Nevada across the upper Owens Valley The bristlecone pines are a small group of Pine trees (Family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae) that are thought to
To the west of the Central Valley lies the Coast Ranges, including the Diablo Range, just east of San Francisco, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, to the south of San Francisco. The Coast Ranges of California constitute one of the eleven traditional geomorphic provinces of California. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a Mountain range in central California, United States. The Coast Ranges north of San Francisco become increasingly foggy and rainy. These mountains are noted for their coast redwoods, which live within the range of the coastal fog, the tallest trees on Earth. Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living Species of the Genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae (formerly Fog is a cloud that is in contact with the ground Stratus clouds are usually the only clouds that touch the ground
California's geography is largely defined by its central feature — the Central Valley, a huge, fertile valley between the coastal mountain ranges and the Sierra Nevada. The Central Valley is a large flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U In Geology, a valley (also called a vale, dale, glen or strath and near or in Appalachia, a draw) is The Sierra Nevada ( Spanish for "Snowy Range" is a Mountain range located in the U The northern part of the Central Valley is called the Sacramento Valley, after its main river, and the southern part is called the San Joaquin Valley (IPA: /ˌsænwɑˈkiːn/), after its main river. The Sacramento Valley is the portion of the California Central Valley that lies to the north of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta in the U The San Joaquin Valley (ˌsæn wɑːˈkiːn refers to the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta The whole Central Valley is watered by mountain-fed rivers (notably the San Joaquin, Kings, and Sacramento) that drain to the San Francisco Bay system. The San Joaquin River ( 330 miles (530 km long is the second-longest River in California, United States. The Kings River is a major river of California, USA. It arises in the Sierra Nevada, consisting of three forks The Sacramento River is the longest River entirely within the U San Francisco Bay is a shallow productive Estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento The rivers are sufficiently large and deep that several inland cities, notably Stockton, California, are seaports. Stockton is a City in California and the seat of San Joaquin County (the fifth largest agricultural county in the United States
The southern tip of the valley has interior drainage and thus is not technically part of the valley at all. Tulare Lake, once 570 square miles (1,476 square kilometers) and now dry and covered with agricultural fields, once filled much of the area. Tulare Lake is an extinct fresh-water Lake that was formerly the largest in the Western United States.
In the east of the state lies the Sierra Nevada, which runs north-south for 400 miles (600 km). The Sierra Nevada ( Spanish for "Snowy Range" is a Mountain range located in the U The highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet (4,421 m), lies within the Sierra Nevada. Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the Contiguous United States with an elevation of. The topography of the Sierra is shaped by uplift and glacial action.
The Sierra has 200-250 sunny days each year, warm summers, fierce winters, and varied terrain, a rare combination of rugged variety and pleasant weather. The famous Yosemite Valley lies in the Central Sierra. Yosemite Valley (joʊˈsɛməti yoh-SEM-it-ee) is a world-famous scenic location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The large, deep freshwater Lake Tahoe lies to the North of Yosemite. Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. The Sierra is also home to the Giant Sequoia, the most massive trees on Earth. Sequoiadendron giganteum ( Giant Sequoia, Sierra Redwood, or Wellingtonia) is the sole species in the genus Sequoiadendron
These features inspired the founding of the Sierra Club and the Alpine Club, public-service clubs of mountaineers devoted to maintaining trails and lodges and organizing outings to explore the Sierra. Mission statement To explore enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources To educate and The Alpine Club was once described as a club of English gentlemen devoted to mountaineering first of all in the Alps members of which have successfully addressed themselves The most famous hiking and horse-packing trail in the Sierra is the John Muir Trail, which goes from the top of Mt. The John Muir Trail ( JMT) is a Long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, running from the Happy Isles trailhead Whitney to Yosemite valley, and which is part of the Pacific Crest Trail that goes from Mexico to Canada. The Pacific Crest Trail (also known as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail) is a long-distance mountain Hiking and equestrian trail that runs from The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page
The three major national parks in this province are Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park. This article is about Kings Canyon National Park USA For Kings Canyon Australia see Kings Canyon (Northern Territory. Sequoia National Park is a National park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Visalia California, in the United States of America.
Southern California is separated from the rest of the state by the east-west trending Transverse Ranges, including the Tehachapi, which separate the Central Valley from the Mojave Desert. Southern California, or So Cal, is defined as the southern portion of the U The Transverse Ranges (or more accurately the Los Angeles Ranges) are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, one of the various North American The Tehachapi Mountains (təˈhætʃəˌpi are a short transverse range in southern California in the United States, running SW-NE connecting For the indigenous American tribe see Mohave. The Mojave Desert (moʊˈhɑːvi or /məˈhɑːvi/ ( Hayikwiir Mat'aar in Mojave Urban Southern California intersperses the valleys between the Santa Susana Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains and San Gabriel Mountains, which range from the Pacific Coast, eastward over 100 miles (160 km), to the San Bernardino Mountains, north of San Bernardino. The Santa Susana Mountains are a transverse range of mountains in southern California, north of the city of Los Angeles, in the United States The Santa Monica Mountains are a low transverse range in southern California in the United States. The San Gabriel Mountains are located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County California, USA. The San Bernardino Mountains ( Huwaaly Kwasakyav in Mojave) are a short transverse Mountain range northeast of Los Angeles in The highest point of the range is Mount San Gorgonio at 11,499 feet (3,505 m). San Gorgonio Mountain (or Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback) is the highest peak in Southern California at 11499 feet (3505 m above The San Gabriel Mountains have Mount Wilson observatory, where the redshift was discovered in the 1920s. The Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO is an Astronomical observatory in Los Angeles County California. In Physics and Astronomy, redshift occurs when Electromagnetic radiation – usually Visible light – emitted or reflected by The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the " Jazz Age " or the " Roaring Twenties " when speaking about the United States and Canada
The Transverse Ranges include a series of east–west trending mountain ranges that extend from Point Conception at the western tip of Santa Barbara County, eastward (and a bit south) to the east end of the San Jacinto Mountains in western Riverside County. The Santa Ynez Mountains make up the westernmost ranges, extending from Point Conception to the Ventura River just west-northwest of Ojai, in Ventura County. Pine Mountain Ridge, Nordhoff Ridge–Topatopa Mountains, Rincon Peak–Red Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, Santa Paula Ridge, South Mountain–Oat Mountain–Santa Susana Mountains, Simi Hills, Conejo Mountains–Santa Monica Mountains are all part of the Western Transverse Ranges, in Ventura and western Los Angeles Counties. Oat Mountain is a peak of Santa Susana Mountains overlooking San Fernando Valley (near Los Angeles, California to the south and southeast
The Liebre Mountains occupy the northwest corner of Los Angeles County, and represent a northwestern extension of the San Gabriel Mountains, both on the Pacific Plate side of the San Andreas Fault. The fault divides the San Gabriel Mountains from the San Bernardino Mountains further to the east in San Bernardino County.
It is possible to surf in the Pacific Ocean and ski on a mountain during the same winter day in Southern California (but it takes planning to avoid the traffic congestion). SURF (Speeded Up Robust Features is a robust image descriptor that can be used in computer vision tasks The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions A ski is a long flat device worn on the feet designed to help the wearer slide smoothly over snow Southern California, or So Cal, is defined as the southern portion of the U
For the last 15 million years, the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana Rivers have deposited sediment from the Transverse Ranges along the southern coast of California. The Los Angeles River is a creek flowing through Los Angeles County California, from Canoga Park in the west end of the San Fernando Valley The Santa Ana River begins in San Bernardino County California, in the San Bernardino National Forest. That sediment has formed the large, flat expanse of land known as the Los Angeles Basin, on which lives most of the population of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Los Angeles Basin is the coastal Sediment -filled plain located between the peninsular and transverse ranges in southern California in Los Angeles County is a county in California and is by far the most populous county in the United States. Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States.
At its deepest point, near where the Los Angeles River meets the Rio Hondo, the sediment forming the basin is 6 miles (11 km) deep. The Rio Hondo (translation Deep River is a tributary of the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles County California, approximately long The fact that so much sediment, which is naturally less stable than other geologic formations, underlies Los Angeles and its environs is one of the reasons earthquakes are such a danger to the metropolitan area. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth 's crust that creates Seismic waves Earthquakes are recorded with a Seismometer
There are harsh deserts in the Southeast of California. A desert is a Landscape or region that receives very little precipitation. These deserts are caused by a combination of the cold offshore current, which limits evaporation, and the rain shadow of the mountains. For the Australian television series see Rain Shadow (TV series. The prevailing winds blow from the ocean inland. When the air passes over the mountains, adiabatic cooling causes most water in the air to rain on the mountains. The lapse rate is defined as the negative of the rate of change in an atmospheric variable usually Temperature, with height in an atmosphere When the air returns to sea level on the other side of the mountains, it recompresses, warms and dries, parching the deserts. When the wind blows from inland, the resulting hot dry foehn winds are called the Santa Ana Winds. A foehn wind or föhn wind is a type of dry downslope wind which occurs in the lee of a mountain range The Santa Ana winds are strong extremely dry offshore Winds that characteristically sweep through in Southern California and northern Baja California in
The Mojave Desert is bounded by the peninsular Tehachapi Mountains on the Northwest, together with the San Gabriel and the San Bernardino Mountains on the Southwest. For the indigenous American tribe see Mohave. The Mojave Desert (moʊˈhɑːvi or /məˈhɑːvi/ ( Hayikwiir Mat'aar in Mojave These Western boundaries are quite distinct, forming the dominant pie-slice shaped Antelope Valley in Southern California. The Antelope Valley in California, United States is located in northern Los Angeles County and the southeastern portion of Kern County The outlines of this valley are caused by the two largest faults in California: the San Andreas and the Garlock. The San Andreas Fault is a geologic Transform fault that runs a length of roughly 800 miles (1300 km through California in the United States. The Garlock Fault is a left-lateral strike-slip fault line running approximately northeast - southwest in southern California. The Mojave Desert extends Eastward into the State of Nevada. Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. The Mojave Desert receives less than 6 inches (150 mm) of rain a year and is generally between 3,000 and 6,000 feet (1,000 and 2,000 m) of elevation. Areas such as the Antelope Valley desert which is a high desert received snow each year, in the past it could snow 2-3 times a year; however, recently snow level has declined significantly to once a year or less. Most of the towns and cities in the California portion of the Mojave are relatively small, except for Palmdale and Lancaster. Palmdale, the first community within the Antelope Valley to incorporate as a city (on August 24, 1962 Lancaster is the eighth-largest city in Los Angeles County and the 9th fastest growing city in the United States However, some are quite famous like Barstow, a popular stop on the famous Route 66. Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The Mojave Desert also contains the lowest, hottest place in the Americas: Death Valley, where temperature normally approaches 120 °F (49 °C) in late July and early August. The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the Continents of North America and South America Death Valley National Park is a mostly Arid United States National Park located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Inyo County
The southernmost mountains of California are the Peninsular Ranges, which are East of San Diego and continue into Baja California (Mexico) in the Sierra San Pedro Martir. The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province are a group of mountain ranges which stretch 1500 km (900 miles from southern California Baja California (pronounced ˈbɑːhɑː kælɨˈfɔrnjə in English is the northernmost state of Mexico. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. The Sierra San Pedro Mártir is a Mountain chain that runs north-south along the middle part of the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California The Peninsular Ranges contain the Laguna Mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains, the Santa Ana Mountains and the Palomar Mountain Range, notable for its famous Palomar observatory. The Laguna Mountains are a section of the Peninsular Ranges in eastern San Diego County. The San Jacinto Mountains (' Avii Hanupach in Mojave) are a short Mountain range east of Los Angeles in southern California in The Santa Ana Mountains are a short peninsular Mountain range along the coast of Southern California in the United States. The Palomar Mountain Range is a high Peninsular mountain range in northern San Diego County of Southern California. Palomar Observatory is a privately owned Observatory located in San Diego County California, 90 miles (145 Km) Southeast of Mount Wilson San Jacinto Peak's eastern shoulder has a cable tram that runs from the desert floor to nearly the top of the mountain where riders can set off hiking or go cross-country skiing. San Jacinto Peak is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and of Riverside County California. The word 'hiking' is understood in all English-speaking countries but there are differences in usage Cross-country skiing (also known as XC skiing) is a Winter sport popular in many countries with large snowfields primarily Northern Europe,
To the east of the peninsular ranges lie the Colorado and Sonoran Deserts, which extend into Arizona and Mexico. The Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert in the southeastern part of the U The Sonoran Desert (sometimes called the Gila Desert after the Gila River or the Low Desert in opposition to the higher Mojave Desert) is The State of Arizona ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. One feature of the desert is the Salton Sea, an inland lake that was formed in 1905 when a swollen Colorado River breached a temporary canal near the U.S.-Mexico border and flowed into the Salton Basin for almost two years. The Salton Sea is an inland Saline lake, occupying the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink, part of the larger Colorado Desert in Southern Year 1905 ( MCMV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting The Colorado River (' Aha Kwahwat in Mojave) is a River in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately Today, the Salton Sea remains as California's largest lake.
The Channel Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Southern California. The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel An island (ˈaɪlənd or isle (/ˈaɪl/ is any piece of land that is completely surrounded by water in two dimensions above high tide and isolated from other significant The coast is defined as the part of the land adjoining or near the Ocean. They are divided into two groups, the Northern islands and the Southern islands. There are eight islands total:
|Northern islands||Southern islands|
|Anacapa Island||San Clemente Island|
|San Miguel Island||San Nicolas Island|
|Santa Cruz Island||Santa Barbara Island|
|Santa Rosa Island||Santa Catalina Island|
Four of the islands are located in Santa Barbara County, two are located in Ventura County, and two are located in Los Angeles County. Santa Barbara County is a County located on the Pacific coast of the southern portion of the U Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the US state of California ( Southern California) Los Angeles County is a county in California and is by far the most populous county in the United States. The islands have relatively few people. The only island with a sizable settlement is Santa Catalina, with its towns of Avalon and Two Harbors. Avalon, or Avalon Bay, is the only city on Santa Catalina Island. Two Harbors, colloquially known as " The Isthmus " is a small unincorporated island village on Santa Catalina Island California with a population The islands of Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa make up the Channel Islands National Park. Channel Islands National Park is a National park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U There is also a marine sanctuary in the islands, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is a reserve area off the Pacific coast of the United States, near California. The Channel Islands, and in particular San Nicolas Island, are famous for the Lost Woman of San Nicolas, or Juana Maria. Juana Maria (died October 18, 1853) better known to history as "The Lone Woman of San Nicolas" (her Indian name is unknown was a Native American This woman was the main character in the book Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Island of the Blue Dolphins is an American children's novel written by Scott O'Dell.
The Pacific Ocean lies to the west of California. The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions Sea temperatures rarely exceed 65 °F (18 °C), even in summer, because of up-welling deep waters with dissolved nutrients. Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense cooler and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface replacing the warmer Therefore, most sea life in and around California more closely resembles Arctic, rather than tropical, biotopes. Biotope is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals. The sea off California is remarkably fertile, a murky green filled with fish, rather than the clear dead blue of most tropical seas. Before 1930, there was an extremely valuable sardine (herring) fishery off Monterey, but this was depleted, an event later famous as the background to John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Year 1930 ( MCMXXX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. For the hide and seek-like game see Hide and seek. Sardines, or pilchards, are a group of several types of small Oily Herring are small Oily fish of the genus Clupea found in the shallow temperate waters of the North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea, the North John Steinbeck III (February 27 1902—December 20 1968 was one of the best-known and most widely read American writers of the 20th century Cannery Row is a novel by John Steinbeck. It was published in 1945
California's most infamous natural hazard is earthquakes due to the many faults that run through California, Nevada, and the Pacific Coast. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth 's crust that creates Seismic waves Earthquakes are recorded with a Seismometer Major historical earthquakes include:
Coastal cities are vulnerable to tsunamis from locally generated earthquakes as well as those elsewhere in the Pacific Ring of Fire. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake (also known as Sylmar earthquake) struck the San Fernando Valley near Sylmar at 60055 a The Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the Quake of '89 and the World Series Quake, was a major Earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay A tsunami ((tsuːˈnɑːmi is a series of waves created when The Great Chilean Earthquake tsunami (1960) killed one person and caused $500,000 to $1,000,000 dollars of damage in Los Angeles, damaged harbors in many coastal cities, and flooded streets in Crescent City. The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake (Gran terremoto de Valdivia of 22 May, 1960 is the most powerful Earthquake ever Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West Crescent City is the only incorporated city of Del Norte County California and serves as the County seat.  Waves from the Alaskan Good Friday Earthquake of 1964 killed twelve people in Crescent City and caused damage as far south as Los Angeles.
The state is subject to coastal storms, especially during the North American monsoon season. A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface and strongly implying Severe weather. A monsoon is a seasonal prevailing wind which lasts for several months Dry weather during the rest of the year produces conditions favorable to wildfires. A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, brush fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, Peat fire, California hurricanes occur less frequently than their counterparts on the Atlantic Ocean. Wikipedia_talkFeatured_lists#Proposed_change_to_all_featured_lists for an explanation of this and other inclusion tags below -->A California hurricane Higher elevations experience snowstorms in the winter months. A winter storm is an event in which the dominant varieties of precipitation are forms that only occur at cold Temperatures such as Snow or
Floods are occasionally caused by heavy rain, storms, and snowmelt. A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land a deluge Steep slopes and unstable soil make certain locations vulnerable to landslides in wet weather or during earthquakes. A landslide is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement such as rock falls deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows which can occur
California is also home to several volcanoes, including Lassen Peak, which erupted in 1914 and 1921, and Mount Shasta. Plate tectonics and hotspots Divergent plate boundaries At the Lassen Peak (also known as Mount Lassen) is the southernmost active Volcano in the Cascade Range. Mount Shasta ( Úytaahkoo, Karuk) or the "White Mountain" in English a 14179-foot (4322 m Stratovolcano, is the second-highest peak in the
California, when only partially explored by the Spanish, was once thought to be an island, as when the southern peninsula of Baja California is approached from the Gulf of California the land appears to the west. The Baja California peninsula ( English: Lower California peninsula) is a Peninsula in western Mexico. " Sea of Cortez " redirects here For the book by John Steinbeck, see The Log from the Sea of Cortez. It is expected, through the motions of plate tectonics that the sea floor spreading now acting in the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) will eventually extend through Southern California and along the San Andreas fault to below San Francisco, finally forming a long island in less than 150 million years. Plate tectonics (from Greek τέκτων tektōn "builder" or "mason" describes the large scale motions of Earth 's Lithosphere The San Andreas Fault is a geologic Transform fault that runs a length of roughly 800 miles (1300 km through California in the United States. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city (For comparison, this is also the approximate age of the Atlantic Ocean. ) Predictions suggest that this island will eventually collide with Alaska after an additional 100 million years. Alaska ( Аляска Alyaska) is a state in the United States of America, in the northwest of the North American continent
The ecology of California is diverse it is considered to span six Biogeographic provinces:"Coastal Chaparral Forest and Shrub""Dry Steppe""Coastal See also Geography of California Mountain peaks of the United StatesThis article comprises four sortable tables of mountain peaks of the U See also Fourteener Mountain peaks of the United States|Mountain peaks of North AmericaIn Mountaineering in the United States a Fourteener is a Mountain This is a list of parks and reserves in the California State Park system This is a list of forts and camps in California established by military commercial and other interests This is a list of named lakes and reservoirs in California A Almaden Reservoir Lake Almanor Lake Aloha This list of regions of the United States includes official (governmental and non-official areas within the borders of the United States, not including U List of Rivers in California ( US state) grouped by location Far North Coast Rivers and streams between the Oregon border and Humboldt See also Geography of California Mountain peaks of the United StatesThis article comprises four sortable tables of mountain peaks of the U