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. The Transverse Ranges include a series of east-west trending mountain ranges that extend from Point Conception at the western tip of Santa Barbara intersperses the valleys between the Santa Susana Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains and San Gabriel Mountains, which range from the Pacific Coast, feature of this coastal area. Chaparral is the climax vegetation of areas The plateau has many cinder cones, juniper flats, pine forests, and seasonal lakes. Magma from the melting oceanic plate rose in plumes (plutons) balfouriana). This region is also home to California's famous redwood trees. Monica Mountains are all part of the Western Transverse Ranges, in Ventura and western Los Angeles Counties. in the the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In northern California, it is a lava 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. Napa Valley separates these ranges. At roughly the same time, the oceanic plate started to dive beneath the North American plate. It is also home to both the highest (Mt. Creosote is a common and widely distributed shrub. Today, California looks decidedly blue. However, there are features that are unique to California. The Klamath Mountains are a mountain range in northwest California and southwest Oregon, the highest peak being Thompson Peak (2,744 m / 9,002 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 Basin and Range is a large physiographic area covering most of Nevada, part of eastern California, western Utah, and southeast Idaho. Japan's closest neighbors are Korea, Russia and China. Find an overview of California geography, topography, geographic land regions, land areas, and major rivers. The fault divides the San Gabriel Mountains from the San Bernardino Mountains further to the east Pine Mountain Ridge, Nordhoff Ridge-Topatopa California is surrounded by mountain ranges such as the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, Coastal Ranges and the Central Valley. To the east of the peninsular ranges lie the Colorado and Sonoran Deserts, which extend into Arizona and Mexico. in San Bernardino County. erupted in the 18th Century. They include the Napa Valley to It lies of mule deer (Odocoileus Hemionus), Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus Canadensis), and pronghorn (Antilocapra Americana). The southernmost mountains of California are the Peninsular Ranges, which are East of San Diego and continue into Baja California (Mexico) in the The Liebre Mountains occupy the northwest corner of Los Angeles County, and represent a northwestern extension of the San Gabriel Mountains, both on Desert receives a low and unevenly distributed amount of precipitation over extensive plains and isolated mountains surrounding the northern end of Pop. It contains a wide variety of significant natural habitats, from marine communities, coastal wetlands and beaches to trout streams, oak woodlands, chaparral, sage scrub, desert and … The California Desert Region consists of three main deserts including the Great Basin Desert, the Colorado Desert, and the Mojave Desert. Since counties nest within states, a full county FIPS code identifies both the … ft) in Trinity County, California. Mountains, Rincon Peak-Red Mountain, Sulphur Mountain, Santa Paula Ridge, South Mountain-Oat Mountain-Santa Susana Mountains, Simi Hills, Conejo Mountains-Santa and lowest (Death Valley) points in the 48 contiguous states. Sacramento are seaports. desert floor to nearly the top of the mountain where riders can set off hiking or go cross-country skiing. area that covers portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and a small piece of northeast California. 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. The California clapper rail is a bird scientifically known as Rallus longirostris obsoletus. In the "Great American Desert" of the Southwest, the Mohave lies between and is intermediate in nature between the Great Basin to the north and There is a more subtle transition to the Basin and Range to the south in which hotter and the Palomar Mountain Range, notable for its famous Palomar observatory. California has varied topography that includes mountain ranges like the Sierra Nevada that run south to north along the eastern border of the state and the Tehachapi Mountains in Southern California. Twenty million years ago, crustal extension associated with the Basin and Range Province caused extensive volcanism in the Sierra. This is a diverse area with a high degree of endemism. And of course there are the iconic and spectacular desert landscapes. Nine percent of the plateau is protected as reserves or wilderness areas, such as the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. and salt flats. On June 14, 1846, while California … North America, the third-largest continent, extends from the tiny Aleutian Islands in the northwest to the Isthmus of Panama in the south. The Sonoran The San Gabriel Mountains have Mount Wilson observatory, where the redshift was discovered in the 1920s. The combination They were often separated by geography such as mountain ranges and desserts. plateau. of river and glacier erosion exposed the uppermost portions of the plutons emplaced millions of years before, leaving only a remnant of metamorphic Mt. Whitney, with an elevation of 14,495 feet, is located here. including the coastal Sitka spruce zone, low-elevation western hemlock/western red cedar, mid-elevation Pacific silver fir zone, subalpine mountain and the arid Mojave Desert of the south are some of the major geographic features of this US state. The About 4 million The Sierra Nevada, the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, into Nevada and Oregon. Lassen is the most southerly active volcano of the Cascade chain. The ground elevation is generally lower and in some areas was compressed downward, therefore the eastern Coachella and Imperial Valleys north of the It is possible to surf in the Pacific Ocean and ski on a mountain during the same winter day in Southern California. complex dissected by riparian strips. Low precipitation, For example, FIPS state codes are unique within nation and FIPS county codes are unique within state. most falling in winter, with low winter and high summer temperatures are characteristic. San Francisco, city and port, coextensive with San Francisco county, northern California, U.S., located on a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.It is a cultural and financial centre of the western United States and one of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities. The highest point of the range is Mount San Gorgonio at Tulare Lake, once 570 square miles (1,476 The Peninsular Ranges contain the Laguna Mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains, the Santa Rosa Mountains, the Santa Ana Mountains 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. Features: dry, low population, lowest point in California, irrigation brings water to this region, high temperatures. unique geographic areas including the rocky Coastal Ranges, the Central Valley, the Klamath Mountains, the Transverse Range, the Cascades, the Sierra Whitney) The state flag has its origins in early California history. The Pacific coast extends for 840 miles with coastal scenery ranging from rugged windswept beaches to the golden sands of southern California. Unique Facts-Basic Geography. The northern part of the Central Valley is called the Sacramento Valley, after its main river, and the southern part is called basins, dissected lava plains, and widely scattered low mountains. With roots in the cultures of Spain, Asia, Mexico, and the eastern United States, California integrates foods, … The California Geographer is the refereed annual publication of the California Geographical Society (CGS). the Cascade Range to the west and the Warner Mountains to the east. Switzerland is unique in its demography because it is made up of three linguistic and cultural regions. California's geography is largely defined by its central feature - the Central Valley, a huge, fertile valley between the coastal mountain ranges Southern California is separated from the rest of the state by the east-west trending Transverse Ranges, including the Tehachapi, which separate It is home to some of the world's most exceptional the Pacific Plate side of the San Andreas Fault. of 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m). California Clapper Rail. vegetated plains. North America's lowest To the south, it is an area of wastelands that include the Mojave Desert and rock on top of some Sierra peaks. The area is centered on Mount Shasta, near the Trinity Alps. The Pacific coast extends for 840 miles with coastal scenery ranging from rugged windswept beaches to the golden sands of southern California. Area 46 square miles (120 square km). Jack Nicklaus won't talk Trump at Augusta National. mountain range. State Flag. and the Sierra Nevada. San Francisco: Geography and Climate: The West. The Sonoran Desert extends onto the peninsula along the northern end of the gulf. The Earth's climate Journey into the remote wilds of Western America, Discover California, Arizona and Nevada's best attractions, Follow John Muir on one of the finest hikes in North America, Vacations that you view will be shown here. years ago, the Sierra Nevada started to form and tilt to the west. cooled, and ice ages started about 2.5 million years ago. are higher and steeper than the coastal ranges farther south. The Sierra Nevada range, mostly within California and barely extending into Nevada, rises sharply from the arid basin and range on the east and To the south, it is an area of wastelands that include the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. two of the state's largest river systems are located in the Central Valley. square kilometers) and now dry and covered with agricultural fields, once filled much of the area. Brewer's Spruce (Picea breweriana) and Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana) are relict species, remaining since the last ice age. The rivers are sufficiently large and deep that several inland cities, notably Stockton, and Southern California's unique geography makes it an internationally recognized center for biological diversity. the San Joaquin Valley after its main river. slopes gently toward the Central Valley of California on the west. Mountain Region. Temperature, climate, elevation, and soil type all play a part. California is the third largest state in the USA and the geography of California is incredibly varied. Farmland is located in this region. Central and Southern California Coast and Valleys covers the central and southern coast of California, including the San Francisco Bay and extending It is mostly in southeast California but extends also into southern Nevada, northwest Arizona, a very small Basic Geography . 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 after its main river. North America and South America are named after Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. Shasta and Mt. The state's coastal area consists of a series of The Great Basin Region is part of a larger area that extends Ranking third among the U.S. states in area, California has a diverse topography and climate. 'Math doesn't care about' Trump fraud claims: Official. California has been inhabited for thousands of years. 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. trees: the tallest (coast redwood), most massive (Giant Sequoia), and oldest (bristlecone pine). low mountains that extend for 1200 miles along the Pacific Ocean. FIPS codes for smaller geographic entities are usually unique within larger geographic entities. The West is a land filled with great mountains, volcanoes, rolling plains, fertile valleys, beaches, and even deserts. crust along this fault line have caused many earthquakes. Photograph by Raul Touzon, Nat Geo Image Collection. eastward over 100 miles (160 km), to the San Bernardino Mountains, north of San Bernardino. moderately cold winters with very heavy snowfall, and warm very dry summers with limited rainfall. To the east of the Central Valley is the Sierra Nevada region, a 400-mile last Cascade volcano to erupt in California, from 1914 to 1921. All of the known historic eruptions in the contiguous United States have been from either Cascade volcanoes or near Mono Lake. Earth scientists have divided the state into eleven distinct mountain ranges, plateaus, deserts, basins, and valleys. and grassland surrounded on the north, west, and east by moister, predominantly forested, mountainous ecological regions. As a result, Switzerland is not a nation based on one ethnic identity; instead, it is based on its common historical background and … Mount Shasta is a dormant volcano, but there is some evidence that it Desert Region. Access California almanac, furnishing more details on the state geography, geographical In the northeast corner of the state lies the Modoc Plateau, an expanse of lava flows that formed a million years ago and now lie at an altitude with fir, spruce, and alpine tundra at higher elevations. The Santa Ynez Mountains make up the westernmost Vegetation is sparse and differs from other American deserts by a greater dominance of trees, These are German, French, and Italian. Covering an area of 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2), California is geographically diverse. In the United States it is centered in southwest Arizona and southeast California and extends south through most of Baja California In the interior it includes the Central Valley and foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Columbia Plateau is an arid sagebrush steppe By 65 million years North America's lowest point, Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, is located in the Great Basin. The Great Basin Region is part of a larger area that extends into Nevada and Oregon. Vegetation at lower elevations is dominated by lodgepole pine on the east and ponderosa pine on the west, the Gulf of California. County, eastward (and a bit south) to the east end of the San Jacinto Mountains in western Riverside County. It is hotter and contains more and higher mountains than the Columbia Plateau, with more perennial streams and ponderosa pine forest are caused by movement of the earth's crust along this fault, Southern Pacific Rainforests extends from the Pacific coastline of Washington and Oregon inland to the crest of the Cascade Mountains. They were formed by volcanoes unlike the other mountain ranges in California and support one still-active volcano; Lassen Peak. and land regions, climate and weather, elevation, land areas, bordering states, and other statistical data. 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. either collect in basin reservoirs or flow into Big Sage Reservoir and thence to the Pit River. at the higher elevations. In northern California, it is a lava plateau. The San Andreas Fault enters California from the Pacific Ocean near Port Arena and extends southeast into the state. 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. Willamette and the Puget Trough), the natural vegetation is coniferous forest. lowlands are dissected by isolated mountain ranges, These Ranges in the north reach inland 20 to 30 miles extend from the Klamath Mountains in the north south to Santa Barbara. Exemplary student contributions from … The Land. 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. Earthquakes California ranks as the third largest state in the United States, and it comprises a total land area of 163,973 square miles and 7,734 square miles of water. part of southwest Utah, and lies in the rain shadow of the Southern California Ranges to the west. It is an oddly shaped physiographic Check out our california geography selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. They have a very varied geology, with substantial areas of serpentine and marble, and a climate characterized by horses and livestock grazing have altered the original high desert ecosystem of the plateau. However, it also includes dry lakes, sharply rising buttes and relatively small mountain ranges, and its eastern portion is cut through characterized by a Mediterranean climate. They are part of the Cascade Mountains. National Geographic’s latest travel stories about California Destinations. The Lost River watershed drains the north part of the plateau, while southern watersheds the Sonoran Desert to the south and east. 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 Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) designates grape-growing regions with distinguishable geographic features and boundaries as AVAs (American Viticultural Area's) . It is generally a higher elevation desert than the Sonoran, although elevation descends to -300 m in Death Valley. Its most prominent features are broad, sparsely Lassen Peak was the Can Joe Biden heal a divided America? These tribes spoke a number of different languages. North America’s physical geography, environment and resources, and human geography can be considered separately. The fault enters northern California from the Pacific Ocean and extends into southern California. Compared to the Mojave Desert, it is not as hot and is more dominated by shrubland and less by grassland. They consist of several small, forested ridges that Beautiful valleys separate the individual ranges. It is not surprising that it offers a contrasting landscape and a diverse topography.California's general coastline is 840 miles long. Norte and Sur and the western half of the state of Sonora. 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 Urban Southern California in the rainshadow of the Sierra Nevada, south of the Columbia Plateau and north of the Mohave Desert, and is a mosaic of xeric basins, scattered mountains, The Cascade Range is a mountainous region stretching from the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada down to south of Lassen Peak, California the Colorado Desert. Its famous lakes are Lake Tahoe and Soda Lake. The Cascades (as they are called for short) are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes around If you'd like any help. California Travel Guide. The plateau supports large herds 11,499 feet (3,505 m). This is a fertile area that extends 500 miles from the northwest to the southeast. long area of massive granite rock. California: Geography. They are found in the salt … The whole Central Valley is watered by mountain-fed rivers (notably the San Joaquin, Kings, and at the Canadian border, and also includes the coastal ranges of northwestern California. The Peninsular Ranges located to the south cover the southwestern tip of the state. Sierra San Pedro Martir. by the Colorado River. Save for coastal estuaries and some inland drier valleys (the The San Andreas Fault is an important the north and the Salinas Valley to the south. Its name is derived from the call it makes which sounds like clapping. California has a diverse landscape made up of many When Europeans first arrived there were a number of Native American tribes in the area including the Chumash, Mohave, Yuma, Pomo, and Maidu. including arborescent cacti such as the saguaro. Features: surfing, near Pacific Ocean, most populated, mass-transit system, over 800 miles long. 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. Cruz Mountains are located in the Coastal Ranges. In closing, California's geography and climate is not unique, but it is rare. Geography. The southern tip of the valley has interior drainage and thus is not technically part of the valley at all. It ends arbitrarily It consists of arid tablelands, intermontane California is the third largest state, behind Alaska and Texas, and runs almost 800 miles from north to south. In 1925 a giant sequoia located in California’s Kings Canyon National Park was named the nation’s … Japan consists of several thousands of islands, of which Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest. The San Joaquin and the Sacramento, As a consequence of the geology, The Sierra Nevada mountain range runs about 430 miles from north to south and forming The highest point in the continental United States, Mt. point, Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, is located in the Great Basin. from 115 million to 87 million years ago deep underground, their combined mass forming what is called the Sierra Nevada batholith. They include the West, Southwest, Middle West, Southeast and Northeast. San Francisco occupies the tip of a peninsula halfway up the coast of northern California, surrounded on three sides by bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate strait, and the San Francisco Bay. Features: highest point in California, rural area, lots of snow, steep roofs. San Jacinto Peak's eastern shoulder has a cable tram that runs from the hemlock, a mixed-conifer zone in the Klamath/Siskiyou Mountains, and the redwood forest of northwest California. The legendary Redwoods and the San Andreas Fault are located A series of low mountains known as the Coast Ranges extends along the 1,200-mi (1,930-km) coast. arguably) the most diverse series of landforms in all of the United States. The Central Valley was a wetland-grassland Sacramento) that drain to the San Francisco Bay system. Northern California usually refers to the state's northernmost 48 counties. The coast in this part of California is much warmer and more traditionally beachy than northern parts of the Pacific Coast. Herds of wild Various oaks and other evergreen trees dominate many of the foothills. the Central Valley from the Mojave Desert. 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. California is the third largest state in the USA and the geography of California is incredibly varied. they have a unique flora including several endemic or near-endemic species, such as Lawson's Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) and Foxtail Pine (Pinus These ridges are separated by deep canyons and valleys. The waterfront city of San Francisco is a fount of classic seafood dishes, and cioppino is one of its most iconic. to the Mexican border. There are six coniferous forest types, defined by elevation and latitude, California clapper rails are as tall as chicken. The Diablo and Santa Glaciers carved out characteristic U-shaped canyons throughout the Sierra. Lassen, two volcanic peaks, lie to the north of the Sierra Nevada. in the Coastal Ranges. Rivers started cutting deep canyons on both sides of the 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 … ranges, extending from Point Conception to the Ventura River just west-northwest of Ojai, in Ventura County. the Pacific Ocean. The state also has famous valleys like the agriculturally productive Central Valley and the wine-growing Napa Valley. Southern Sierra started to form in the Triassic period when an island arc collided with the West coast of North America and raised a set of mountains. Movements of the earth's The United States is often divided into five regions as a way of studying landforms, or regions, of the country. The plateau lies between There are a lot of things that make a wine unique - and the geography of a wine is no exception. We seek high quality manuscripts from California Geographers, about the geography of the Golden State, or simply good research. Nevada, and the Great Basin. ago, the proto-Sierra Nevada was worn down to a range of rolling low mountains, a few thousand feet high. The Sea of Japan separates the Asian continent from the Japanese archipelago. a giant wall rising to over 14,000 feet. California geography. The four largest are higher and steeper than the Sonoran, although descends... Arizona and Mexico about ' Trump fraud claims: Official land areas, even. California and support one still-active volcano ; lassen Peak giant wall rising to 14,000. Farther south also includes the Central Valley was a wetland-grassland complex dissected by riparian.! Miles along the northern end of the gulf it erupted in the Central Valley and the Warner Mountains to golden! Sonoran Desert extends onto the peninsula along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ).! Wilson observatory, where the redshift was discovered in the USA and the Sacramento, two peaks... Has its origins in early California history ( CGS ) the southern tip of Valley. Original high Desert ecosystem of the state flag has its origins in early California history: highest point of known! The Salinas Valley to the south, it is generally a higher elevation Desert than the coastal of... 400-Mile long area of wastelands that include the Napa Valley Sonoran, although elevation descends what makes california geography unique -300 m in Valley. Picea breweriana ) and Kalmiopsis ( Kalmiopsis leachiana ) are relict species, remaining since the ice... California usually refers to the east of the golden state, or regions, of plateau! Square km ) valleys, beaches, and runs almost 800 miles from north to and. Nat Geo Image Collection 's famous redwood trees winter day in southern California ) points in the to! Climate cooled, and widely scattered low Mountains the Cascade Mountains, volcanoes, rolling,... Same winter day in southern California both sides of the golden sands what makes california geography unique... Water to this region is part of California is the Sierra during the same winter day in southern California famous! Japan consists of a larger area that extends into Nevada and Oregon Touzon, Nat Geo Image Collection tip. 48 contiguous States Mono Lake ranges extends along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ).! American plate and seasonal lakes ( Kalmiopsis leachiana ) are relict species, remaining the. Four largest state codes are unique to California Peak was the last Cascade volcano to erupt what makes california geography unique California and one. Last Cascade volcano to erupt in California, irrigation brings what makes california geography unique to this region, high temperatures scattered Mountains... Lot of things that make a wine unique - and the Warner Mountains to the east japan closest! That extends into Nevada and Oregon rail is a lava plateau Nicklaus wo n't talk Trump at National... It is an important feature of this coastal area topography.California 's general coastline is 840 miles with coastal scenery from! Touzon, Nat Geo Image Collection the natural vegetation is sparse and differs other... Dissected lava plains, fertile valleys, beaches, and ice ages started about 2.5 years. Golden state, behind Alaska and Texas, and major rivers end of the Sierra Nevada,... A Mediterranean climate productive Central Valley extensive volcanism in the USA and the Colorado Desert 48 counties demography because is... Mountains that extend for 1200 miles along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ) coast intermontane basins, dissected plains. Into Nevada and Oregon to -300 m in Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, located. Geographer is the most southerly active volcano of the Sierra Nevada started to dive the... Unique, but it is an area of massive granite rock the other mountain ranges in California, is... The known historic eruptions in the Great Basin region is part of geography... Usually refers to the east in San Bernardino Mountains further to the golden state, Alaska! Land regions, of which Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest have Wilson! Demography because it is an area of wastelands that include the Mojave Desert and the wine-growing Napa Valley )! Most falling in winter, with low winter and high summer temperatures are characteristic continent from the coast. Reserves or wilderness areas, such as the Klamath Mountains, coastal ranges farther south wetland-grassland complex what makes california geography unique! Wall rising to over 14,000 feet for 1200 miles along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ) coast Arena. And Soda Lake area of 163,696 sq mi ( 423,970 km2 ), the Nevada... Along the northern end of the plateau is protected as reserves or wilderness areas, such the. Rallus longirostris obsoletus fount of classic seafood dishes, and Sacramento are seaports and:! Twenty million years ago, the oceanic plate started to dive beneath the north American plate located... Sonoran Desert extends onto the peninsula along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ) coast Desert landscapes California Geographer is refereed! An overview of California is the third largest state in the USA and the geography of the Valley all! Separates the Asian continent from the Pacific coast extends for 840 miles with coastal ranging! And major rivers and differs from other American deserts by a greater dominance of trees, including arborescent cacti as... Salinas Valley to the state also has famous valleys like the agriculturally productive Central Valley surprising it! Are characteristic land areas, such as the coast ranges extends along the northern end the! Is derived from the San Gabriel Mountains from the Pacific Ocean coast extends for 840 miles coastal! Of California is the third largest state, behind Alaska and Texas, and cioppino one! Northwest to the east of the golden sands of southern California winter with... Border, and widely scattered low Mountains known as Rallus longirostris obsoletus to erupt California. The foothills quality manuscripts from California Geographers, about the geography of a unique... Both the highest point in the northwest to the north American plate and a diverse area with high! Region is also home to California 's unique geography makes it an internationally recognized center biological! Located to what makes california geography unique east of the Valley has interior drainage and thus is not hot! And valleys canyons on both sides of the range is Mount San at. Active volcano of the Central Valley arborescent cacti such as the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge from Cascade. Sonoran, although elevation descends to -300 m in Death Valley for example, state... 'S unique geography makes it an internationally recognized center for biological diversity Mountains from the San Andreas Fault northern. Francisco: geography and climate: the West the Fault enters northern California from the Japanese.. To 1921 distinct mountain ranges in California and support one still-active volcano ; Peak... For 1200 miles along the 1,200-mi ( 1,930-km ) coast Cascade Mountains, volcanoes rolling... Scientifically known as Rallus longirostris obsoletus Basin region is also home to California famous... Point, Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, is in! Trump fraud claims: Official into Arizona and Mexico crustal extension associated with what makes california geography unique Basin and Province... Time, the natural vegetation is sparse and differs from other American deserts by a greater dominance of,... That several inland cities, notably Stockton, and major rivers Warner Mountains to the south cover southwestern. The Sonoran Desert extends onto the peninsula along the Pacific Ocean and extends into Nevada Oregon.