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Facts About California's Natural Wonders

Interesting facts about the natural wonders of California, from the California Travel and Tourism Commission.
  • The Moreton Bay Fig Tree, located outside of Santa Barbara, is the nation's largest of it's kind. It has a span of over 160 feet and provides more than 21,000 square feet of shade.

  • Plumas County is home to the world's largest ponderosa pine tree. It is 334 feet tall, 24 feet around and 7.5 feet in diameter.

  • In Calaveras Big Trees State Park you can find the world's tallest trees-redwoods and giant sequoias.

  • Dorrington, in Calaveras County, is home of the second largest sugar pine in the world. The tree boasts a 32-foot circumference and is 220-feet tall.

  • The General Sherman Tree has the largest volume of any tree. It weighs approximately 2.7 million pounds, has a height of 274.9 feet, a circumference of 102.6 feet, and adds enough wood per year to make a 60-foot-tall tree.

  • The Sutter Buttes in northern California may be the smallest stand alone mountain range in the world, measuring a mere mile in length.

  • California has more active volcanoes than any other U.S. state: Mt. Lassen, Mt. Shasta and Mammoth Mountain.

  • The largest gold nugget in the western hemisphere was unearthed in 1854 at the gold mine in Carson Hill, Calaveras County.

  • The Joshua Tree Forest on Cima Dome is the largest, tallest and most dense in the United States.

  • Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, measuring 12 miles wide by 22 miles long, with a 72 mile long shoreline and a maximum depth of 1,645 feet.

  • Giant Rock, located north of the Joshua Tree National Park, is the world's largest solitary boulder at seven stories and weighing over 23,000 tons.

  • Lassen Volcanic Park is home to the world's largest plug dome volcano.

  • The Smith River is the only wild river (undammed) in the state.

  • Eureka Dunes in Death Valley are the tallest dunes (680 feet tall) in California.

  • Clear Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake within California and is the oldest lake in North America.

  • The area of Geysers near Clear Lake is the world's largest geothermal region.

  • California is home to the top two Largest National Champion Trees - in first place, a Giant Sequoia in Sequoia National Park and a Coast Redwood in Prairie Creek in second place.

  • The largest coast live oak tree has recently been identified. Reaching 58 feet tall, more than 28 feet in trunk circumference, and boasting a 75 foot wide crown, the coast live oak tree still continues its 250 year residency in Wynola today.

  • Medicine Lake Volcano is the largest volcano in the Cascade Range.

  • Lava Beds National Monument is the location of the highest concentration of lava tube caves in the world, the highest concentration of pictographs and petroglyphs in California, the longest lava tube cave in California (Mammoth Cave), the deepest lava tube cave in California (Crystal Cave), the largest obsidian flow in California and perhaps the world.

  • Moaning Cavern in Calaveras County is the largest cavern in California.

  • Yosemite National Park has the highest waterfall in the U.S., with 2,425 feet of water falling over Yosemite Falls.

  • The San Francisco Bay is the largest natural harbor and estuary on the West Coast.

  • The oldest living thing in the world, the Bristlecone Pine Tree, aged at nearly 5,000 years old, can be found in California.

  • Point Lobos State Reserve has more than 300 species of wildflowers.

  • Vichy Springs Resort & Inn, near Ukiah, is home to the only naturally-carbonated hot springs in North America.

  • At least three pygmy forests thrive along the Sonoma-Mendocino coast.

See also
Natural Attractions in California
Other Attractions in California
California Travel Guide

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