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The San Gabriel Mountains

As Southern California's most scenic and valuable natural resource, the San Gabriel Mountains provide:

  • 70 percent of the open space in Los Angeles County
  • 33 percent of its water
  • A 650,000-acre natural playground for 3.5 million visitors a year, many of them from the local Latino community
Group begins wilderness adventure as they enter Cucamonga Wilderness on the Ice House Canyon Trail.
Pedro Menlo, a Sierra Club volunteer and member of Holy Family Church in South Pasadena, hiking up the Ice House Canyon Trail.
Forests Campaign staffers John Monsen and Juana Torres prepare to discuss the new "San Gabriel Mountains Wilderness" Campaign with volunteers.
Juana Torres tells the group about the various ways they can help.
Volunteers Laura Teifenbruck and Jui Ing Chien look at a map that includes the trail up to Timber Mountain.
A magnificent view of the proposed Cucamonga Wilderness Additions in the distance to the left.
Hike Leader Erik Counseller prepares to lead the group up Timber Mountain.
Volunteer Silvia Darie almost to the top of Timber Mountain.
The group stops for a picture on their way down from Timber Mountain.
Sierra Club volunteers enjoy the Cucamonga Wilderness.

What the San Gabriels Lack

In spite of all that they provide, the San Gabriels lack the strongest federal protections for public lands--Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River Designations. They also suffer from inadequate maintenance and service: restrooms and picnic tables remain scarce, few Forest Service employees speak Spanish, and there exists no real visitor center or significant investment in stewardship or educational services.


The Sierra Club is a founding member of San Gabriel Mountains Forever, a partnership of local residents, faith and community groups, social justice and environmental organizations, and business owners working to protect the San Gabriels. For the San Gabriel Mountains Forever campaign, the Sierra Club recently hired a Spanish-speaking organizer who is working full-time in communities of color that are more than 50 percent Latino and one-quarter immigrant.

Providing Permanent Protection
Five wilderness areas currently enjoy protection--not even 20 percent of the mountains' wild space. The Sierra Club aims to

  • Secure an additional 36,000 acres as wilderness; and
  • Designate both five waterways as National Wild & Scenic Rivers and the San Gabriel Mountains, in their entirety, as a National Recreational Area.

The National Recreational Area designation will forever preserve this magnificent mountain range's wild lands and waters, improve visitor facilities and educational services, and encourage healthy recreational opportunities for local communities where obesity, diabetes, and asthma remain tremendous concerns.

Your generosity helps us support local communities and create a legacy of environmental stewardship in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Find out more at the San Gabriel Mountains Forever website.

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2015 Sierra Club.
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