California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second- and sixth-largest census statistical areas (Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and San Francisco Bay Area), and eight of the nation's fifty most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.
California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east—from the Redwood–Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the third-longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida). Earthquakes are a common occurrence due to the state's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire: about 37,000 are recorded annually.
The name California once referred to a large area of North America claimed by Spain that included much of modern-day Southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula. Beginning in the late 18th century, the area known as Alta California, comprising the California territory north of the Baja Peninsula, was colonized by the Spanish Empire as part of New Spain. In 1821, Alta California became a part of Mexico following its successful war for independence. Shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a group of American settlers in Sonoma declared an independent California Republic in Alta California. Though its existence was short-lived, its flag became the precursor for California's current state flag. American victory in the war led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States. Western areas of Alta California became the state of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.
The California Gold Rush beginning in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic change, with large scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad and an accompanying economic boom. Key developments in the early 20th century included the emergence of Los Angeles as the center of the American entertainment industry, and the growth of a large, state-wide tourism sector. The late 20th century saw the development of the technology and information sectors, punctuated by the growth of Silicon Valley. In addition to California's prosperous agricultural industry, other important contributors to its economy include aerospace, education, and manufacturing. If California were a country, it would be the eighth-largest economy in the world and the 35th most populous nation. At least half of the fresh fruit produced in the United States are cultivated in California, and it also leads in the production of vegatables.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct ethnic groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups also were diverse in their political organization with bands, tribes, villages, and on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash, Pomo and Salinan. Trade, intermarriage and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups.
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has been a popular destination for many years, and Whiskeytown Lake’s 36 miles of shoreline boasts great opportunities for fishing, sailing, kayaking and waterskiing. Wikipedia
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (National Historic Landmark) is a large outdoor sports stadium in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, at Exposition Park, that is home to the Pacific-12 Conference's University of Southern California Trojans football team. It is the largest football stadium in the Pac-12. Wikipedia
The Rose Bowl (National Historic Landmark) is an outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California. The stadium is the home field of the UCLA Bruins football team and the site of the Rose Bowl Game, a college footbal bowl game traditionally held on New Year's Day. It hosted events during the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. Wikipedia
Lassen National Forest is located about 80 miles (130 km) east of Red Bluff, California. It is generally bounded by Sierra Nevada mountain range to the south, the Modoc Plateau to the east and California's Central Valley to the west. The forest is in parts of Lassen, Shasta, Tehama, Plumas, and Butte counties. Wikipedia
Klamath National Forest is a 1,737,774-acre national forest, in the Klamath Mountains, located in Siskiyou County in northern California. The forest contains continuous stands of ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine, Douglas fir, red fir, white fir and incense cedar. Wikipedia
The San Bernardino National Forest: The forest is made up of two main divisions, the San Bernardino Mountains on the easternmost of the Transverse Ranges, and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains on the northernmost of the Peninsular Ranges. Elevations range from 2,000 to 11,499 feet. The forest includes five wilderness areas: San Gorgonio, Cucamonga, San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and Bighorn Mountain. Wikipedia
Angeles National Forest is located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, southern California, United States. It was established on July 1, 1908, incorporating the first San Bernardino National Forest and parts of the former Santa Barbara and San Gabriel National Forests. Wikipedia
Fort Crook was established on July 1, 1857, to protect travelers on the Shasta - Yreka Road and the Lockhart Ferries. Built by Company A, 1st Dragoons under the command of Captain John W. T. Gardner, the fort consisted of 25 - 30 log buildings enclosed by a pine-pole stockade 12 feet high. Wikipedia