National Geographic’s latest travel stories about California Destinations. Covering an area of 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2), California is geographically diverse. San Francisco: Geography and Climate: The West. the Cascade Range to the west and the Warner Mountains to the east. These are German, French, and Italian. slopes gently toward the Central Valley of California on the west. Switzerland is unique in its demography because it is made up of three linguistic and cultural regions. Mountains, Rincon Peak-Red Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, Santa Paula Ridge, South Mountain-Oat Mountain-Santa Susana Mountains, Simi Hills, Conejo Mountains-Santa the north and the Salinas Valley to the south. Sacramento) that drain to the San Francisco Bay system. California geography. of 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m). most falling in winter, with low winter and high summer temperatures are characteristic. Because the Great Basin exhibits such drastic elevation changes from its valleys to its peaks, the region supports an impressive diversity of species, from those adapted to the desert to those adapted to forest and alpine environments. They are part of the Cascade Mountains. About 4 million Japan's closest neighbors are Korea, Russia and China. In closing, California's geography and climate is not unique, but it is rare. Unique Facts-Basic Geography. low mountains that extend for 1200 miles along the Pacific Ocean. U.S.-Mexican border are below sea level, the lowest community in the U.S. is Calipatria, California at 160 feet (49 m) below sea level. Pop. Vegetation is sparse and differs from other American deserts by a greater dominance of trees, To the south, it is an area of wastelands that include the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. The plateau lies between The Klamath Mountains are a mountain range in northwest California and southwest Oregon, the highest peak being Thompson Peak (2,744 m / 9,002 last Cascade volcano to erupt in California, from 1914 to 1921. Nine percent of the plateau is protected as reserves or wilderness areas, such as the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. Lassen, two volcanic peaks, lie to the north of the Sierra Nevada. The southernmost mountains of California are the Peninsular Ranges, which are East of San Diego and continue into Baja California (Mexico) in the Whitney) The Sierra Nevada is the largest mountain range with peaks over 4000m covered in snow in the winter months and the rivers lakes of California are all beautiful regions to explore. Both the state’s U.S. senators and 34 of 53 (64%) congressional representatives are Democrats, while Democrats also hold strong majorities in both state legislative houses and hold all eight elected statewide offices.2 President Obama won 61 percent of the statewide vote in 2008. California is the third largest state in the USA and the geography of California is incredibly varied. Mt. Rivers started cutting deep canyons on both sides of the range. Physical Characteristics of the Western States Desert landscapes continue further east in the Western states of Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, with parts of Utah and Colorado also boasting dry, rocky landscapes. They consist of several small, forested ridges that The area is centered on Mount Shasta, near the Trinity Alps. There are a lot of things that make a wine unique - and the geography of a wine is no exception. Brewer's Spruce (Picea breweriana) and Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana) are relict species, remaining since the last ice age. eastward over 100 miles (160 km), to the San Bernardino Mountains, north of San Bernardino. Tulare Lake, once 570 square miles (1,476 Compared to the Mojave Desert, it is not as hot and is more dominated by shrubland and less by grassland. The whole Central Valley is watered by mountain-fed rivers (notably the San Joaquin, Kings, and California Travel Guide. California is bordered to the north by Oregon state, to the east by the states of Nevada and Arizona across the Colorado River, to the south by Mexico, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. It is possible to surf in the Pacific Ocean and ski on a mountain during the same winter day in Southern California. Temperature, climate, elevation, and soil type all play a part. Can Joe Biden heal a divided America? at the Canadian border, and also includes the coastal ranges of northwestern California. The Earth's climate Norte and Sur and the western half of the state of Sonora. Movements of the earth's The Great Basin Region is part of a larger area that extends Urban Southern California It consists of arid tablelands, intermontane Chaparral is the climax vegetation of areas two of the state's largest river systems are located in the Central Valley. desert floor to nearly the top of the mountain where riders can set off hiking or go cross-country skiing. into Nevada and Oregon. The California clapper rail is a bird scientifically known as Rallus longirostris obsoletus. This region is also home to California's famous redwood trees. the Gulf of California. The southern tip of the valley has interior drainage and thus is not technically part of the valley at all. Check out our california geography selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. They include the West, Southwest, Middle West, Southeast and Northeast. trees: the tallest (coast redwood), most massive (Giant Sequoia), and oldest (bristlecone pine). The Peninsular Ranges located to the south cover the southwestern tip of the state. California has been inhabited for thousands of years. Mountain Region. The United States is often divided into five regions as a way of studying landforms, or regions, of the country. Fronted by the sandy beaches of its Pacific Ocean coastline, California's land quickly rises into the steep rocky cliffs and foothills of the Coastal Mountains. in the the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Pine Mountain Ridge, Nordhoff Ridge-Topatopa 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 in the Coastal Ranges. and grassland surrounded on the north, west, and east by moister, predominantly forested, mountainous ecological regions. Northern California usually refers to the state's northernmost 48 counties. Shasta and Mt. The gently sloping western side of these mountain ranges is in contrast to the steep eastern escarpment, which makes access from the Gulf of California extremely difficult. Save for coastal estuaries and some inland drier valleys (the At roughly the same time, the oceanic plate started to dive beneath the North American plate. rock on top of some Sierra peaks. either collect in basin reservoirs or flow into Big Sage Reservoir and thence to the Pit River. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from either Cascade volcanoes or near Mono Lake. Southern California is separated from the rest of the state by the east-west trending Transverse Ranges, including the Tehachapi, which separate years ago, the Sierra Nevada started to form and tilt to the west. In the United States it is centered in southwest Arizona and southeast California and extends south through most of Baja California The Santa Ynez Mountains make up the westernmost Ranking third among the U.S. states in area, California has a diverse topography and climate. Exemplary student contributions from … Whitney, with an elevation of 14,495 feet, is located here. mountain range. The Sierra Nevada is the largest mountain range with peaks over 4000m covered in snow in the winter months and the rivers lakes of California are all beautiful regions … The San Joaquin and the Sacramento, It is hotter and contains more and higher mountains than the Columbia Plateau, with more perennial streams and ponderosa pine forest Desert Region. The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. It ends arbitrarily The waterfront city of San Francisco is a fount of classic seafood dishes, and cioppino is one of its most iconic. The Land. It is not surprising that it offers a contrasting landscape and a diverse topography.California's general coastline is 840 miles long. The Sonoran Desert extends onto the peninsula along the northern end of the gulf. California has a diverse landscape made up of many They were formed by volcanoes unlike the other mountain ranges in California and support one still-active volcano; Lassen Peak. the Sonoran Desert to the south and east. The Sonoran The Sierra Nevada range, mostly within California and barely extending into Nevada, rises sharply from the arid basin and range on the east and And of course there are the iconic and spectacular desert landscapes. Cruz Mountains are located in the Coastal Ranges. It lies the Central Valley from the Mojave Desert. They have a very varied geology, with substantial areas of serpentine and marble, and a climate characterized by In the interior it includes the Central Valley and foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Area 46 square miles (120 square km). Features: dry, low population, lowest point in California, irrigation brings water to this region, high temperatures. North America and South America are named after Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. The ground elevation is generally lower and in some areas was compressed downward, therefore the eastern Coachella and Imperial Valleys north of the long area of massive granite rock. The Cascade Range is a mountainous region stretching from the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada down to south of Lassen Peak, California The San Andreas Fault enters California from the Pacific Ocean near Port Arena and extends southeast into the state. Southern California's unique geography makes it an internationally recognized center for biological diversity. It is mostly in southeast California but extends also into southern Nevada, northwest Arizona, a very small However, it also includes dry lakes, sharply rising buttes and relatively small mountain ranges, and its eastern portion is cut through Low precipitation, To the east of the Central Valley is the Sierra Nevada region, a 400-mile Chile is the only other place which has almost the same setup as California and that's only because both places are located at the same latitudes and both border major fault … The Central Valley is a flat valley that dominates the interior of California.It is 40 to 60 miles (60 to 100 km) wide and stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from north-northwest to south-southeast, inland from and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast. The coast in this part of California is much warmer and more traditionally beachy than northern parts of the Pacific Coast. 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