What Are the Physical Features of California?

The physical features of the state of California include mountain ranges, lakes, deserts, valleys, volcanoes, coastal areas, faults and rivers. 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.

California is surrounded by mountain ranges such as the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, Coastal Ranges and the Central Valley. Its famous lakes are Lake Tahoe and Soda Lake. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to three national parks, including the Yosemite National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mojave Desert covers over 25,000 square miles, while the country’s lowest point, Death Valley, sits at 282 feet below sea level. The San Andreas Fault, San Gabriel Fault and Hayward Fault are also found in California.