California has a diverse history that began with Native Americans and ended up being under Spanish rule in the 1700's with the establishment of the California Missions, Mexican rule then took over for a brief amount of time before being admitted to the United States in 1850. One of the more colorful eras of California history began in 1848 with the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills. Gold prospectors from all over the world began arriving including the Chinese who quickly transitioned to supporting services which proved to be more lucrative. My ancestors arrived sometime after this era so I've always had a fascination with 19th century U.S. history.
With 39 million residents, California is currently the most populated state in the U.S. Fortunately, California is also the 3rd largest in size so it doesn't have the population density of the East Coast. In addition to the big population centers of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, California also has a sizable amount of protected wilderness and cultural areas including nine national parks (Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Redwood, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Pinnacles, Channel Islands, Lassen Volcanic), 16 national monuments (Cabrillo, Carrizo Plain, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Mojave Trails, César E. Chávez, Castle Mountains, Giant Sequoia, Muir Woods, California Coastal, Fort Ord, Devils Postpile, Berryessa Snow Mountain, Lava Beds, Sand to Snow, Tule Lake), one national seashore (Point Reyes) and 280 state parks.
I have been a lifelong resident of California and have spent many years exploring all that it has to offer. California is the largest gallery of artwork on my website and is one of the largest individual collections of California photography on the web.
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