The California Geotour

​​​The traveler can experience a "...myriad of scenic wonders lying within California's boundaries, wherein is perhaps the most remarkable collection of natural masterpieces to be found in any state of the Union."
Norman E.A. Hinds
California Division of Mines Bulletin 158, 1952


The California Geotour is an index of geological field trip web sites and downloadables we've compiled for all who wonder about California's geologic features. We have listed web pages that contain geologic information, including photographs, maps, text and directions for local natural features throughout the state. The web pages have been developed by government agencies, geology organizations, professors, students, commercial enterprises, park districts, environmental groups, and those with a keen interest in the earth sciences.

Note: CGS is not responsible for the content of external web pages referenced from our web site.

We welcome your input and comments about the California Geotour. We may have inadvertently overlooked some interesting web pages. If you would like to recommend other California geology-related web sites for this index, please contact the CGS content manager.

The Geomorphic Provinces of California

The California Geotour index is organized by regions collectively named the Geomorphic Provinces of California. Geomorphic provinces are distinctive, generally easy to recognize natural regions in which the geologic record, types of landforms, pattern of landscape features, and climate in all parts are similar. For example, the alpine features of the Sierra Nevada greatly distinguish that geomorphic province from the subdued relief on the valley floor of the Great Valley Province. The geologic field trip guides are further grouped into general sub-areas within each province (example: Basin and Range Province - Death Valley Area). These sub-areas are listed in geographical order from north to south within each geomorphic province.

If you would like more information about the geomorphic provinces, please see CGS Note 36, "California Geomorphic Provinces", which provides a comprehensive description of each.

To get started, select a province name from the following list.

Basin and Range : Cascade Range : Coast Ranges : Colorado Desert
Great Valley : Klamath Mountains : Modoc Plateau : Mojave Desert
Peninsular Ranges : Sierra Nevada : Transverse Ranges

Map of the eleven Geomorphic Provinces of California. 

Basin and Range Geomorphic Province

Owens Valley, Eastern Sierra, Inyo/White Mountains

Coso Range

Death Valley Area

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Cascade Range Geomorphic Province

Mount Shasta

Medicine Lake

Lassen Park Area

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Coast Ranges Geomorphic Province

North Coast

Sonoma Coast

Santa Rosa Area

Clear Lake Area

Pt. Reyes

San Francisco Area

East Bay Area

South San Francisco Bay Area

Mt. Diablo

Santa Cruz Mountains

Monterey Bay Area

Big Sur

Soledad Area

San Benito County

San Luis Obispo Area

Taft Area

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Colorado Desert Geomorphic Province

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Great Valley Geomorphic Province

Sacramento Valley

San Joaquin Valley

Coalinga Area

Bakersfield Area

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Klamath Mountains Geomorphic Province

Trinity Mountains

Klamath Mountains

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Modoc Plateau Geomorphic Province

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Mojave Desert Geomorphic Province

Mojave Desert

Mojave National Preserve

Joshua Tree Area

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Peninsular Ranges Geomorphic Province

Channel Islands

Los Angeles

Orange County

Eastern Peninsular Ranges

Temecula Area

San Diego County

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Sierra Nevada Geomorphic Province

Northern Sierra Nevada

Mammoth Area


Southern Sierra Nevada

Eastern Sierra Nevada

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Transverse Ranges Geomorphic Province

Channel Islands

Ventura County

Northern Los Angeles County

San Gabriel Mountains

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This page was last updated August 26, 2019. If there are errors or new material to be added please contact the CGS content manager

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