The Proterozoic Baldwin gneiss in the central Transverse Ranges of southern California, a part of the Mojave crustal province, is composed of quartzofeldspathic gneiss and schist, augen and granitic gneiss, trondhjemite gneiss, and minor quartzite, amphibolite, metagabbro, and metapyroxenite. Sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) data indicate that augen and granitic gneisses comprise a magmatic arc intrusive suite emplaced between 1783 ± 12 and 1675 ± 19 Ma, adjacent to or through thinned Archean crust. High U/Th rims on zircons in most samples suggest an early metamorphic event at ∼1741 Ma, but peak amphibolite facies metamorphism and penetrative, west vergent deformation occurred after 1675 Ma. The Baldwin gneiss is part of a regional allochthon emplaced by west vergent deformation over a Proterozoic shelf-slope sequence (Joshua Tree terrane). We hypothesize that emplacement of this regional allochthon occurred during a late Early or Middle Proterozoic arc-continent collision along the western margin of Laurentia.