The San Gabriel Mountains are located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, California, USA. The mountain range forms a barrier between the Greater Los Angeles Area and the Mojave Desert. This Transverse Range lies in and is surrounded by the Angeles National Forest with the San Andreas Fault as the northern border to the range. The highest peak in the range is Mount San Antonio, commonly referred to as Mt. Baldy. Mount Wilson is another famous peak, famed for the Mount Wilson Observatory. The observatory may be visited by the public.
The main road that runs through the San Gabriel Mountains is the Angeles Crest Highway
, State Route 2
. It starts in the southwest at the city of La Canada Flintridge
and ends at its junction with State Route 138
just past Wrightwood
near the Victor Valley
. Past its junction with Angeles Forest Highway traveling east, Angeles Crest Highway suffers from blind curves, and various bumps and potholes. This section of the "Crest" is closed during the winter due to rockfall and avalanche hazards. State Route 2 just past Mountain High
is called the Big Pines Highway all the way to the 138 junction.
Another key county route which connects Angelenos to and through the mountains is Angeles Forest Highway. Angeles Forest Highway begins 11 miles northeast of La Canada Flintridge at its Angeles Crest Highway junction. Ending near Acton, it allows easy access to the central Forest and the fast growing Antelope Valley. Because the "Forest" and the 11 mile "Crest" portion leading to La Canada Flintridge is well traveled by Antelope Valley commuters, its road maintenance is much better, and is open much of the winter.
In the winter snowboarding and snow skiing is quite popular in the San Gabriels at Mountain High
, and Mt. Baldy
. There are two other resorts (Mount Waterman
and Kratka Ridge
) but they are rarely open. In the summer, canyoneering
, hiking, backpacking, picnicking and camping are some of the activities of its visitors. From time to time, a hiker gets lost or stuck on a mountain ledge, or may fall downhill. Some of the more extreme cases of emergency search and rescue will often be given air time on Los Angeles television and radio newscasts.
The San Gabriel Mountains accommodate a few winter resorts which are:
Sorted by elevation from highest to lowest:
- Mount San Antonio aka Mt. Baldy 3,067 m (10,064 ft)
- Pine Mountain 2,940 m (9,648 ft)
- Dawson Peak 2,918 m (9,575 ft)
- Mount Harwood 2,911 m (9,552 ft)
- Mount Baden-Powell 2,865 m (9,399 ft)
- Mount Burnham 2,742 m (8,997 ft)
- Throop Peak 2,785m (9,138 ft)
- Telegraph Peak 2,739 m (8985 ft)
- Cucamonga Peak 2,721 m (8,599 ft)
- Mount Islip 2,515 m (8,250 ft)
- Iron Mountain 2,441m (8,007 ft)
- South Mount Hawkins 2,372 m (7,783')
- Vetter Mountain 1,800 m (5,908 ft)
- Mount Wilson 1,740 m (5,710 ft)
- Mount Disappointment
- Mount Lowe 1,707 m (5,603 ft)
- Echo Mountain 977 m (3,207 ft)
Nearby mountain ranges
Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association
has rebuilt and operates Vetter Mountain Lookout, and Slide Mountain Lookout. Organization is rebuilding South Mount Hawkins Lookout.