Name / Description

Gulf of California


Banks, Bays and Sounds



Length (miles)


Part of / Flows into



NWest Mexico

Additional Notes

arm of the Pacific Ocean, c.700 miles long and 50-130 miles wide, NW Mexico; separates Baja Calif. from the Mex. mainland. The gulf is part of a depression that extends inland to the Coachella Valley, S Calif. The Imperial Valley and the Salton Sea, once part of the gulf, have been cut off from it by the growth of the Colorado R. delta. The gulf deepens from N to S; its greatest depth is c.8,500 ft. The coastline is irregular, with numerous isls.; Tibur�n, inhabited by aboriginal tribes, is the largest. Storms and tidal currents hinder navigation in the gulf. Commercial and sport fishing thrive; pearl, sponge, and oyster beds are harvested. The region is a developing tourist center; La Paz, Guaymas, and Mazatl�n are major cities. The area was first explored in 1538 by the Spaniard Francisco de Ulloa. Also known as Sea of Cort�s.