San Gabriel Mountains National Monument


Throop Peak
A view of many of the peaks contained in San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
The former ranger station in the West Fork area

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is a 346,179-acre property in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. About 342,177 acres of the National Monument are in Angeles National Forest, the remaining 4,002 acres in San Bernardino National Forest. The National Monument was created by President Barack Obama using a Presidential Proclamation under the Antiquities Act to preserve land (and watersheds) in an area less than 90 minutes from more than 15 million people. The new declaration doesn't change any of the basic uses but does provide more legal protections to prevent anyone using the land for much other than hiking, fishing, horseback riding and camping. Included within the bounds of San Gabriel Mountains National Monument are Magic Mountain Wilderness, San Gabriel Wilderness, Sheep Mountain Wilderness and Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness.

The area sees upward of 4 million visits per year. That's a pretty heavy human impact on an area with 53 Forest Service sensitive plants and as many as 300 species of plants that only grow in the San Gabriel Mountains. Also found on the property are human debris estimated to have been placed more than 8,000 years ago. There are more than 600 archaeological sites, many prehistoric but many also from the early days of the Anglo pioneers. Also crossing the National Monument is the San Andreas Fault, making some very graphic evidence in favor of tectonic plate movement in the area. The Monument is also home to the Mount Wilson Observatory and the San Dimas Experimental Forest, a United Nations-designated Biosphere Reserve since 1976.

A view of Telegraph Peak
Telegraph Peak in San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
Map of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument area
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument map, Click to see a larger version