The dusky-footed woodrat, Neotoma fuscipes, is a medium-sized rodent that inhabits low elevation woodland habitats along the Pacific coast of North America from Oregon, throughout California and into Baja California. Analyses of mitochondrial sequence variation throughout the distribution reveal substantial phylogeographical structure within N. fuscipes. The major mitochondrial lineages are largely concordant with previously identified morphological subdivisions within the taxon. The geographical distribution of distinct clades suggests that a combination of topographic barriers and the expansion and contraction of suitable habitat during the past 2 million years, especially along particular mountain ranges, have played a major role in the diversification of N. fuscipes. Furthermore, relatively low levels of genetic variation across the northern half of the distribution suggest that dusky-footed woodrats may have only recently expanded into this region.