California is located in the Western region of the United States. This region includes the neighboring states of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado. The state lies below Oregon and Washington along the U.S. Pacific coast.
California is the third largest state and is home to the highest population. The state's large size and coastal location make it one of the most geographically diverse states. In the southern part of the state, all locations are within 250 miles of beaches, alpine mountains, chaparral hills, fertile valleys and barren deserts. The northern part of the state is divided into three distinct geographic regions: coast, fertile valley and mountains, which are present from west to east.