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Maps of California

Physical Map of California. It shows the physical features of California including its mountain ranges, rivers and major lakes. san diego map and information los angeles hollywood map and information san francisco map and information california map and information

California is a U.S. state located on the west coast of North America, bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and Mexico to the south. It covers an area of 163,696 square miles, making it the third largest state in terms of size behind Alaska and Texas. Most of California's terrain is mountainous, much of which is part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The highest point in California is Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet above sea level, while the lowest point is Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level. The Basin, part of Death Valley, is remarkably the lowest point in North America as well.

California can be divided into nine geographical regions. These include:

  • Greater Los Angeles, which includes the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and other nearby cities such as Santa Barbara and Ventura.
  • The Central Valley, which is known for its extensive agricultural production.
  • Northern California, which includes the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Valley, and Sierra Nevada mountain range.
  • The Inland Empire, which is located east of Los Angeles and includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
  • The High Desert, which is home to desert landscapes such as Death Valley National Park.
  • The Pacific Coast Region, which encompasses the coastline from Mendocino County to San Diego County.
  • San Diego County/Imperial County in Southern California's border region with Mexico.
  • Shasta Cascade Region, located in northern California near the Oregon state line, has several national parks, such as Lassen Volcanic and Shasta Lake National Parks.
  • Gold Country, located north of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada foothills; it is known for its gold mining heritage and outdoor activities.


The climate in California ranges from Mediterranean along its coasts to alpine in its mountains and deserts in its eastern regions. Its weather patterns are mainly driven by two large ocean currents: El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The ENSO affects temperatures along California's coast, while PDO tends to influence precipitation amounts throughout much of Northern California and higher elevation areas.

California also has a diverse biodiversity with many different species found across its regions, such as wolves and grizzly bears in its forests; bobcats, coyotes, and foxes living near river systems; bald eagles along waterways; salmon inhabiting both fresh-water streams and Pacific coastal waters; and desert tortoises living amongst scrublands in southern parts of the state.

Regarding human geography, California's population reaches nearly 40 million people making it home to one out of every eight Americans. Since the 1950s, when manufacturing moved away from other states into California, it has become a major center for agricultural production, with most concentrated around Central Valley, where 80 percent of the produce consumed by Americans comes from that region alone. Additionally, several metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area, are among some of the largest cities in the United States. At the same time, Silicon Valley has been long-established as a tech hub in the U.S.

Counties Map

The State of California is divided into 58 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba.

With an area of 423,970 sq. km, California is the 3rd largest and the most populous state in the USA. Located in the north-central part of the state in the Sacramento Valley is Sacramento – the capital and the 6th largest city of California. It serves as the administrative, political, financial, educational, health-care, and tourism center of the state. It is also the cultural, and economic hub of the larger Sacramento Metropolitan Area. Situated in Southern California is Los Angeles – the largest and the most populous city in California. It is also the 2nd most populous city in the United States. The city of Los Angeles has been designated as a global city and is considered to be a leader in the technology, science, entertainment, and medicine industry. Los Angeles County is also the most populous county in the United States.

Where is California?

Map showing location of California in the world.

The State of California is located in the western (Pacific) region of the United States. California is bordered by the state of Oregon in the north, by Nevada and Arizona in the east, and by the Mexican state of Baja California in the south. It is also bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the west.

Regional Maps: Map of North America

Outline Map of California

The above blank map represents the State of California, located in the western (Pacific) region of the United States. The map can be downloaded, printed and used for geography education purposes like map-pointing and coloring activities. 

The above outline map represents the State of California, located in the western (Pacific) region of the United States.

Key Facts

Legal Name State of California
ISO 3166 Code US-CA
Capital City Sacramento
Major Cities
  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (12,534,357)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland (3,327,917)
  3. San Diego (3,319,204)
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino (2,595,143)
  5. Sacramento (2,215,395)
  6. San Jose (1,820,701)
  7. Temecula-Murrieta (965,132)
  8. Fresno (794,676)
  9. Bakersfield (730,268)
  10. Mission Viejo (647,735)
  11. Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley (592,606)
  12. Lancaster-Palmdale (527,936)
  13. Indio-Cathedral City-Palm Springs (496,229)
  14. Concord (453,900)
  15. Visalia (451,761)
  16. Stockton (451,158)
  17. Santa Clarita (425,281)
  18. Modesto (422,484)
  19. Oxnard (404,353)
  20. Antioch (370,464)
  21. Santa Rosa (336,380)

This page was last updated on February 20, 2023

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