Fresno is a city in Central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of 2012, the city's population was 509,039 making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California and the 34th largest in the nation. Fresno is in the center of the San Joaquin Valley and is the largest city in the Central Valley, which contains the San Joaquin Valley. Approximately 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles, and 170 miles (270 km) south of the state capital, Sacramento. Metropolitan Fresno has a population of 1,107,416. The name Fresno is the Spanish language word for the ash tree, and an ash leaf is featured on the city's flag.
Because Fresno sits at the junction of Highways 41 and 99 (41 is Yosemite National Park's southern access road, and 99 branches east from Interstate 5 to serve the urban centers of the San Joaquin Valley), the city is a major gateway for Yosemite visitors coming from Los Angeles. The city also serves as an entrance into Sierra National Forest via highway 168, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks via Highway 180.