Landscapes are sometimes argued to be scale-invariant or random surfaces, yet qualitative observations suggest that they contain characteristic spatial scales. We quantitatively investigate the existence of characteristic landscape scales by analyzing two-dimensional Fourier power spectra derived from high-resolution topographic maps of two landscapes in California. In both cases, we find that spectral power declines sharply above a frequency that corresponds roughly to hillslope length, implying that the landscape is relatively smooth at finer scales. The spectra also show that both landscapes contain quasiperiodic ridge-and-valley structures, and we derive a robust measure of the ridge-valley wavelength. By comparing the spectra with the statistical properties of spectra derived from randomly generated topography, we show that such uniform valley spacing is unlikely to occur in a random surface. We describe several potential applications of spectral analysis in geomorphology beyond the identification of characteristic spatial scales, including a filtering technique that can be used to measure topographic attributes, such as local relief, at specific scales or in specific orientations.