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California Geography

California Geography

Basic Facts

  • Geographical Region: West
  • Size: 163707 sq.mi., 3rd rank overall.
  • Admitted to Statehood: September 9, 1850
  • Population: 36,961,664;1st rank overall.
  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Other Major City: Los Angeles
  • Abbreviation: CA

Fun Facts

Geographical Description

  • Extending for 1,200 miles along the pacific coastline is a series of low mountains called the Coastal Ranges separated by Napa Valley to the north and Salinas Valley to the south. The Coastal Ranges include many smaller mountain ranges including the Diablo and Santa Cruz Mountains. Particularly important is the San Andreas Fault which enters northern California from the Pacific Ocean and extends into southern California. Movements of the Earth's crust along this fault cause many earthquakes.
  • The Central Valley extends 500 miles across the central portion of the state. Much of the state's farmland is located here. The San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers run through this section.
  • Part of the Cascade Mountains running along the east border is the Sierra Nevada which contains the highest point in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney, with an elevation of 14,495 feet.
  • The Klamath Mountains are located in the northwestern area of the state. This range contains small, forested ridges that are separated by deep canyons and valleys.
  • The south portion of the state consists of the Mojave Desert. Death Valley lies near the California-Nevada border and features some of the most unwelcoming territory in the world.

Map: Relief Map of CA


Electronic components and equipment, aerospace, film production, food processing, petroleum, natural gas, lumber, computers and computer software, metal products, fishing, tourism


Cotton, flowers, vegetables, fruits,nuts, dairy products, cattle, nursery stock, grapes

Other Information

Fun Facts:

  • San Bernardino County is the largest county in the country with three million acres.
  • The largest living tree is 102 feet in circumference and is located in Sequoia National Park
  • 500,000 detectable seismic tremors are estimated to occur in California annually.
  • California is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product
  • The nation's first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.

More Fun Facts: http://www.50states.com/facts/calif.htm



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