The New International Encyclopædia/California, Lower
CALIFORNIA, Lower, or Old (Sp. Baja or Vieja Califonia) . A peninsula in southwest North America, forming a Territory of Mexico (Map: Mexico, B 3). It extends from about latitude 22° 40′ to 32° 40′ N. It is bounded by California on the north, the Pacific on the west, and the Gulf of California and the Mexican State of Sonora on the east. Its total length is over 750 miles, while its width varies from about 30 to 140 miles. Area, 58,328 square miles. The surface is generally mountainous, the peninsula being practically an extension of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Range region. At the centre is a plateau region interrupted by mountain peaks and short ranges, Santa Catalina, in the northern central part, attaining an altitude of over 10,000 feet. An eastern coast range borders the Gulf of California, and in places attains elevations considerably exceeding 6000 feet. The western coast range, bordering the Pacific, is less elevated and seldom exceeds 3500 feet in altitude. At the extreme south the peninsula terminates in an immense mountain mass, rising in San Lázaro to 8000 feet altitude. The coasts are considerably indented, but there are not many really good harbors. The principal islands are Angel de la Guarda, off the central eastern coast, and Cedros (Cerros), off the opposite western coast. Numerous smaller islands are scattered along the southeastern coast, and a few long, narrow islands fringe the southwestern coast. The climate and vegetation of the western portion resemble those of southern California. The climate is dry and warm, the rainfall in most of the region ranging from under 10 to 25 inches, which, with a high temperature, is a small amount. Few streams occur of any importance except as irrigators. They are most numerous in the southwest. In the southern part are considerable areas of uninhabitable land. Population, in 1895, 42,245.