Location, size, and extent

Situated on the Pacific coast of the southwestern US, California is the nation's 3rd-largest state (after Alaska and Texas).

The total area of California is 158,706 sq mi (411,048 sq km), of which land takes up 156,299 sq mi (404,814 sq km) and inland water 2,407 sq mi (6,234 sq km). California extends about 350 mi (560 km) E-W; its maximum N-S extension is 780 mi (1,260 km).

California is bordered on the N by Oregon; on the E by Nevada; on the SE by Arizona (separated by the Colorado River); on the S by the Mexican state of Baja California Norte; and on the W by the Pacific Ocean.

The eight Santa Barbara islands lie from 20 to 60 mi (32–97 km) off California's southwestern coast; the small islands and islets of the Farallon group are about 30 mi (48 km) W of San Francisco Bay. The total boundary length of the state is 2,050 mi (3,299 km), including a general coastline of 840 mi (1,352 km); the tidal shoreline totals 3,427 mi (5,515 km). California's geographic center is in Madera County, 38 mi (61 km) E of the city of Madera.