Marble Canyon is the section of the Colorado River canyon in northern Arizona from Lee's Ferry to the confluence with the Little Colorado River, which marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon. Lee's Ferry is a common launching point for river runners starting their journey through the Grand Canyon. Marble Canyon is well known for the Navajo Bridge, where US Highway 89A crosses the Colorado River. Marble Canyon marks the western boundary of the Navajo Nation. In 1975, the former Marble Canyon National Monument, which followed the Colorado River northeast from the Grand Canyon to Lee's Ferry, was made part of Grand Canyon National Park; the name Marble Canyon is a misnomer. Although John Wesley Powell knew this when he named the canyon, he thought the polished limestone looked like marble. In his words, "The limestone of the canyon is polished, makes a beautiful marble. Sometimes the rocks are of many colors - white, gray and purple, with saffron tints." Marble Canyon is the site of one of the last great proposed dam projects on the Colorado, the Marble Canyon Dam.
Proposed and investigated in the early 1950s by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, the proposal met substantial opposition, notably from the Sierra Club, when a revived proposal was considered by the state of Arizona as part of the Central Arizona Project from 1965 to 1968. The proposed dam was abandoned in 1968. Exploratory holes, which were drilled in the Redwall Limestone of the canyon walls in an early phase of the abortive project, can still be seen at Mile 39.2. Marble Canyon is the only home of the endangered cactus Pediocactus bradyi
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western and the Mountain states, it is the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah and New Mexico. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848; the southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce trees. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, national monuments.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations in the state from voting until the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American plaintiffs in Trujillo v. Garley; the state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like "Arissona"; the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the ranchería of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, c.
1737. There is a misconception. For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American tribes. Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived, attracting thousands of tourists each year; the first European contact by native peoples was with Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with native inhabitants the Sobaipuri; the expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions in the region, he converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta in the 1690s and early 18th century.
Spain founded presidios at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of Nueva California known as Alta California. Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War, the U. S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what became Arizona Territory in 1863 and the State of Arizona in 1912; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million dollars in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U. S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway.
What is now known as the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union to form the Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the Confederate States government on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President Jefferson Davis approved and signed An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona, marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona"; the Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men and equipment. Formed in 1862, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army duri
Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U. S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital, however, is Carson City. Nevada is known as the "Silver State" because of the importance of silver to its history and economy, it is known as the "Battle Born State", because it achieved statehood during the Civil War. Nevada is desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada lie on the western edge. About 86% of the state's land is managed by various jurisdictions of the U. S. federal government, both civilian and military.
Before European contact, Native Americans of the Paiute and Washoe tribes inhabited the land, now Nevada. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish, they called the region Nevada because of the snow. The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821; the United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that became an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, as the second of two states added to the Union during the Civil War. Nevada has a reputation for its libertarian laws. In 1940, with a population of just over 110,000 people, Nevada was by far the least-populated state, with less than half the population of the next least-populated state. However, legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce laws transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination in the 20th century.
Nevada is the only U. S. state where prostitution is legal, though it is illegal in Clark County, Washoe County and Carson City. The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer, with mining continuing as a substantial sector of the economy: Nevada is the fourth-largest producer of gold in the world; the name "Nevada" comes from meaning "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada. Most Nevadans pronounce the second syllable of their state name using the TRAP vowel. Many from outside the Western United States pronounce it with the PALM vowel. Although the latter pronunciation is closer to the Spanish pronunciation, it is not the pronunciation preferred by most Nevadans. State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson proposed a bill to recognize the alternate pronunciation of Nevada, though the bill was not supported by most legislators and never received a vote; the Nevadan pronunciation is the de facto official one, since it is the one used by the state legislature. At one time, the state's official tourism organization, TravelNevada, stylized the name of the state as "Nevăda", with a breve mark over the a indicating the locally preferred pronunciation, available as a license plate design.
Nevada is entirely within the Basin and Range Province, is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin. Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin, a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter. Moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; the state's highest recorded temperature was 125 °F in Laughlin on June 29, 1994. The coldest recorded temperature was −52 °F set in San Jacinto in 1972, in the northeastern portion of the state; the Humboldt River crosses the state from east to west across the northern part of the state, draining into the Humboldt Sink near Lovelock. Several rivers drain from the Sierra Nevada eastward, including the Walker and Carson rivers. All of these rivers are endorheic basins, ending in Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake, the Carson Sink, respectively. However, not all of Nevada is within the Great Basin.
Tributaries of the Snake River drain the far north, while the Colorado River, which forms much of the boundary with Arizona, drains much of southern Nevada. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet, harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species; the valleys are no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet, while some in central Nevada are above 6,000 feet. The southern third of the state, where the Las Vegas area is situated, is within the Mojave Desert; the area is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is lower below 4,000 feet, creating conditions for hot summer days and cool to chilly winter nights. Nevada and California have by far the longest diagonal line as a state boundary at just over 400 miles; this line begins in Lake Tahoe nearly
Lake Mead is a man made lake that lies on the Colorado River, about 24 mi from the Las Vegas Strip, southeast of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. It is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of water capacity. Formed by the Hoover Dam on September 30, 1935, the reservoir serves water to the states of Arizona and Nevada, as well as some of Mexico, providing sustenance to nearly 20 million people and large areas of farmland. At maximum capacity, Lake Mead is 112 miles long, 532 feet at its greatest depth, has a surface elevation of 1,221.4 feet above sea level and 247 square miles of surface area, contains 26.12 million acre feet of water. The lake has not reached full capacity, since 1983 due to a combination of drought and increased water demand; as of August 2017, Lake Mead was at 40% of full capacity with 10 million acre feet of held water. It has been smaller than Lake Powell since 2013; the lake was named after Elwood Mead, the commissioner of the U.
S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936, during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam and lake. Lake Mead was established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936 administrated by the National Park Service; the name was changed to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1964, Lake Mohave and the Shivwits Plateau were added to its jurisdiction. Both lakes and the surrounding area offer year-round recreation options; the accumulated water from Hoover Dam forced the evacuation of several communities, most notably St. Thomas, whose last resident left the town in 1938; the ruins of St. Thomas are sometimes visible. Lake Mead covered the sites of the Colorado River landings of Callville and Rioville and the river crossing of Bonelli's Ferry, between Arizona and Nevada. At lower water levels, a high-water mark or "bathtub ring" is visible in photos that show the shoreline of Lake Mead; the bathtub ring is white because of the leaching of minerals on submerged surfaces.
Nine main access points to the lake are available. On the west are three roads from the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Access from the northwest from Interstate 15 is through the Valley of Fire State Park and the Moapa River Indian Reservation to the Overton Arm of the lake; the lake is divided into several bodies. The large body closest to the Hoover Dam is Boulder Basin; the narrow channel, once known as Boulder Canyon and is now known as The Narrows, connects Boulder Basin to Virgin Basin to the east. The Virgin River and Muddy River empty into the Overton Arm, connected to the northern part of the Virgin Basin; the next basin to the east is Temple Basin, following, Gregg Basin, connected to the Temple Basin by the Virgin Canyon. When the lake levels are high enough, a section of the lake farther upstream from the Gregg Basin is flooded, which includes Grand Wash Bay, the Pearce Ferry Bay and launch ramp, about 55 miles of the Colorado River within the lower Grand Canyon, extending to the foot of 240 Mile Rapids.
In addition, two small basins, the Muddy River Inlet and the Virgin River Basin, are flooded when the lake is high enough where these two rivers flow into the lake. As of February 2015, these basins remain dry. Jagged mountain ranges surround the lake, offering a scenic backdrop at sunset. Two mountain ranges are within view of the Boulder Basin, the River Mountains, oriented northwest to southeast and the Muddy Mountains, oriented west to northeast. Bonelli Peak lies to the east of the Virgin Basin. Las Vegas Bay is the terminus for the Las Vegas Wash, the sole outflow from the Las Vegas Valley. Lake Mead receives the majority of its water from snow melt in the Colorado and Utah Rocky Mountains. Inflows to the lake are moderated by the upstream Glen Canyon Dam, required to release 8.23 million acre feet of water each year to Lake Mead. Hoover Dam is required to release 9 million acre feet of water each year, with the difference made up by tributaries that join the Colorado below Glen Canyon or flow into Lake Mead.
Outflow, which includes evaporation and delivery to Arizona, California and Mexico from Lake Mead are in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 million acre feet, resulting in a net annual deficit of about 1.2 million acre feet. Before the filling of Lake Powell behind Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River flowed unregulated into Lake Mead, making Mead more vulnerable to drought. From 1953 to 1956, the water level fell from 1,200 to 1,085 feet. During the filling of Lake Powell from 1963 to 1965, the water level fell from 1,205 to 1,090 feet. Multiple wet years from the 1970s to the 1990s filled both lakes to capacity, reaching a record high of 1,225 feet in the summer of 1983. In these decades prior to 2000, Glen Canyon Dam released more than the required 8.23 million acre feet to Lake Mead each year. This allowed Lake Mead to maintain a high water level despite releasing more water than it is contracted for. However, since 2000, the Colorado River has experienced persistent drought, with average or above-average conditions occurring in only five years in the first 16 years of the 21st century.
Although Glen Canyon was able to meet its required minimum release until 2014, the water level in Lake Mead has declined. The decreas
Sonora Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U. S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California. Sonora's natural geography is divided into three parts: the Sierra Madre Occidental in the east of the state, it is arid or semiarid deserts and grasslands, with only the highest elevations having sufficient rainfall to support other types of vegetation. Sonora is home to eight indigenous peoples, including the Mayo, the O’odham, the Yaqui, Seri, it has been economically important for its agriculture and mining since the colonial period, for its status as a border state since the Mexican–American War. With the Gadsden Purchase, Sonora lost more than a quarter of its territory.
From the 20th century to the present, industry and agribusiness have dominated the economy, attracting migration from other parts of Mexico. Several theories exist as to the origin of the name "Sonora". One theory states that the name was derived from Nuestra Señora, the name given to the territory when Diego de Guzmán crossed the Yaqui River on the day of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which falls on 7 October with the pronunciation changing because none of the indigenous languages of the area have the ñ sound. Another theory states that Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions, who had wrecked off the Florida coast and made their way across the continent, were forced to cross the arid state from north to south, carrying an image of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias on a cloth, they encountered the Opata, who could not pronounce Señora, instead saying Sonora. A third theory, written by Father Cristóbal de Cañas in 1730, states that the name comes from the word for a natural water well, which the Spaniards modified to "Sonora".
The first record of the name Sonora comes from explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who passed through the state in 1540 and called part of the area the Valle de la Sonora. Francisco de Ibarra traveled through the area in 1567 and referred to the Valles de Señora; the literal meaning of "sonora" in Spanish is "sonorous" or "loud." Evidence of human existence in the state dates back over 10,000 years, with some of the best-known remains at the San Dieguito Complex in the El Pinacate Desert. The first humans were nomadic hunter gatherers who used tools made from stones and wood. During much of the prehistoric period, the environmental conditions were less severe than they are today, with similar but more dense vegetation spread over a wider area; the oldest Clovis culture site in North America is believed to be El Fin del Mundo in northwestern Sonora. It was discovered during a 2007 survey, it features occupation dating around 13,390 calibrated years BP. In 2011, remains of Gomphothere were found.
Agriculture first appeared around 400 200 CE in the river valleys. Remains of ceramics have been found dating from 750 CE with diversification from 800 and 1300 CE Between 1100 and 1350, the region had complex small villages with well-developed trade networks; the lowland central coast, seems never to have adopted agriculture. Because Sonora and much of the northwest does not share many of the cultural traits of that area, it is not considered part of Mesoamerica. Though evidence exists of trade between the peoples of Sonora and Mesoamerica, Guasave in Sinaloa is the most north-westerly point considered Mesoamerican. Three archaeological cultures developed in the low, flat areas of the state near the coast: the Trincheras tradition, the Huatabampo tradition, the Central Coast tradition; the Trincheras tradition is dated to between 750 and 1450 CE and known from sites in the Altar and Concepción valleys, but its range extended from the Gulf of California into northern Sonora. The tradition is named after trenches found in a number of sites, the best known of, the Cerro de Trincheras.
The Huatabampo tradition is centered south of the Trincheras along the coast, with sites along extinct lagoons and river valleys. This tradition has a distinctive ceramic complex. Huatabampo culture shows similarities with the Chametla to the Hohokam to the north; this ended around 1000 CE. Unlike the other two traditions, the Central Coast remained a hunter-gatherer culture, as the area lacks the resources for agriculture; the higher elevations of the state were dominated by the Casas Grandes and Río Sonora tradition. The Río Sonora culture is located in central Sonora from the border area to modern Sinaloa. A beginning date for this culture has not been determined but it disappeared by the early 14th century; the Casas Grandes tradition in Sonora was an extension of the Río Sonora tradition based in the modern state of Chihuahua, which exterted its influence down to parts of the Sonoran coast. Climatic changes in the middle of the 15th century resulted in the increased desertification of northwest Mexico in general.
This is the probable cause for the drastic decrease in the number and size of settlements starting around this time. The peoples that remained in the area reverted to a less complex social organiz
Course of the Colorado River
The Colorado River is a major river of the western United States and northwest Mexico in North America. Its headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains. Located in north central Colorado it flows southwest through the Colorado Plateau country of western Colorado, southeastern Utah and northwestern Arizona where it flows through the Grand Canyon, it turns south near Las Vegas, forming the Arizona–Nevada border in Lake Mead and the Arizona–California border a few miles below Davis Dam between Laughlin and Needles, California California before entering Mexico in the Colorado Desert. Most of its waters are diverted into the Imperial Valley of Southern California. In Mexico its course forms the boundary between Sonora and Baja California before entering the Gulf of California; this article describes most of the major features along the river. The Colorado River rises on the Continental Divide at La Poudre Pass, in Rocky Mountain National Park, about 40 km north of Lake Granby, as a tiny stream draining a wet meadow.
At the river's headwater, the Continental Divide forms the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean watersheds of North America, between Colorado's Grand and Larimer counties, the northern boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. The river's first diversion is here at its headwater; the Grand Ditch redirects water from the Never Summer Mountains, which would have flowed into the Colorado River, to instead flow across the divide through La Poudre Pass to irrigate farmland to the east. About a mile downstream from its source, the Colorado River has carved its first canyon, the narrow, deep Little Yellowstone Canyon, it flows through the broad Kawuneeche Valley, where it is joined by U. S. Highway 34, which will parallel it to the town of Granby, it exits Rocky Mountain National Park, flowing into Shadow Mountain Lake and into Lake Granby, which are portions of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, a large trans-basin water storage and delivery project that diverts water from the Colorado River under the Front Range mountains to provide an agricultural and municipal water supply for the northern Front Range and plains of Colorado.
Starting in Granby, the river is paralleled by U. S. Highway 40 to the town of Kremmling, by the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad until about the Utah border, carrying the Amtrak California Zephyr passenger train; the canyons and valleys of the Upper Colorado River are among the scenic attractions for passengers on this rail route. Just downstream from Granby, the Colorado is joined by the Fraser River and flows through Windy Gap Reservoir, where more water is diverted to the Front Range via the Windy Gap Project. At Hot Sulphur Springs the river flows through Byers Canyon and is joined by the Williams Fork from the left and Muddy Creek from the right shortly thereafter. Just below Kremmling it is joined by the Blue River from the left before flowing through Gore Canyon, famous for its challenging rapids for the sport of whitewater rafting, where it drops until State Highway 131 crosses at the village of State Bridge, where the Piney River joins from the left; the Eagle River joins from the left in the town of Dotsero, from where Interstate 70 will parallel the Colorado until it enters Utah.
Below Dotsero the Colorado flows through Glenwood Canyon, emerging at the city of Glenwood Springs where the swift flowing Roaring Fork River, its second largest tributary in Colorado joins from the left. West of Glenwood Springs, the Colorado runs through a wider valley along the northern foothills of the Grand Mesa, passing the towns of New Castle, Rifle and De Beque, it flows through De Beque Canyon, where it is joined by Plateau Creek. The Colorado enters the Grand Valley, where its waters are used to irrigate over 40,000 acres of agricultural land. Here it passes Grand Junction, the largest town on the upper Colorado, where it is joined by the Gunnison River, its largest tributary within Colorado and second largest overall; the Gunnison drains from the northern San Juan Mountains, Elk Mountains and Sawatch Range – which includes Colorado's highest peak, 14,440-foot Mount Elbert – and carves the Black Canyon of the Gunnison before joining the Colorado. In the Grand Valley the Colorado becomes a meandering river in contrast to the steep mountain canyons above Grand Junction.
It ranges from 6 to 30 ft in depth with occasional deeper areas. From there the Colorado turns northwest, past Fruita and entering Ruby Canyon as it approaches the Colorado Plateau, it turns southwest once again just before entering Utah. In Utah the Colorado enters the high desert canyon country of the Colorado Plateau, flowing swiftly southwest through Westwater Canyon. Near Dewey it picks up the Dolores River, which together with its tributary the San Miguel drains the western slope of the San Juan Mountains, it passes the Fisher Towers and forms part of the southern border of Arches National Park before entering the Moab Valley at Moab. Just below Moab it carves through a 1,000-foot deep mountain pass known as "The Portal"; the Colorado passes by Dead Horse Point State Park before entering the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park where it is joined from the north by the Green River, its biggest tributary. The Green, flowing from the Wind River Range of western Wyoming, drains 48,000 square miles in southwest Wyoming, northeast Utah and northwest Colorado.
It is much longer than the Colorado above their confluence and carries a larger load of silt, though the Colorado has a greater flow. Before an act of Congress changed the name in 1921 this confluence marked the official beginning of the Colorado River prop
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. 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 groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a