The San Gabriel Mountains rise above Los Angeles, stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino counties and acting as the recreational backyard for more than 17 million Southern Californians. This majestic mountain range is the landmark feature of the Angeles National Forest and also extends into a portion of the San Bernardino National Forest.
The San Gabriel Mountains and rivers are essential to a sustainable and healthy Los Angeles. They serve the county’s 9.8 million people as the region’s greatest link to undisturbed wilderness, recreation opportunities, and wildlife habitat.
The Angeles National Forest is an irreplaceable natural resource that provides Los Angeles County with 70% of its open space more than one-third of its drinking water. The forest serves as critical habitat for many endangered and sensitive plants and animals including the Nelson’s Bighorn sheep, California condor, mountain lion, spotted owl and the mountain yellow-legged frog. The mountains also help clean the region’s polluted air and defend against climate change by retaining polluting carbon gases.
Each year, more than five million visitors come to enjoy the clear and cold rivers, pine forests, and chaparral hills. L.A. County’s 2016 needs assessment found that more than half of the population does not live within half a mile of a park. The San Gabriel Mountains represent an untapped resource for millions of underserved Angelenos to connect with nature, learn about cultural and natural history, and be physically active.
Exploring the San Gabriel Mountains: Wilderness Areas
In the San Gabriel Mountains, there are five designated wilderness areas: Cucamongo, Sheep Mountain, Pleasant View Ridge, San Gabriel, and Magic Mountain. These are wild lands preserved in their unspoiled state for picnicking, hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and many other activities.
- Sheep Mountain Wilderness Additions
- Cucamonga Wilderness Additions
- San Gabriel Wilderness Additions
- Condor Peak
Exploring the San Gabriel Mountains: Rivers and Creeks
The San Gabriels are also home to several important rivers and creeks in need of permanent protection to ensure that people can continue to enjoy their natural beauty.
Exploring the San Gabriel Mountains: Hiking and Biking Trails
From a paved bikeway with creekside views, to spectacular hiking locations, there are many ways to get outside and enjoy all the San Gabriels have to offer. Here are just a few of the many popular hiking and biking trails visitors can explore.
- West Fork National Bikeway
- East Fork Trail
- San Antonio Creek Falls Trail
- Middle Fork Lytle Creek Trail
Working to Protect the San Gabriel Mountains Forever
There’s so much to explore—and protect—in the San Gabriel Mountains, which is why we are working on efforts to make improvements and secure further protections.