Why the San Gabriel Mountains

San Gabriel Mountains
Less than an hour from downtown Los Angeles, The San Gabriel Mountains are the backyard of Southern California.

They provide water, clean air and recreation to millions. But visitor services are inadequate and more wildlands protection is needed.

Mountains for millions

Surrounded by 17 million Southern Californians, the San Gabriel Mountains are the recreation backyard for Los Angeles. These rugged mountains stretch through two national forests. The Angeles National Forest alone gets more than 3.5 million visitors a year.

A source of sustenance

Much of the San Gabriel Mountains are in the Angeles National Forest. Protecting these wildlands and rivers ensures that Los Angeles County enjoys its many benefits:

  • Clean air for a smoggy region
  • More than one-third of the city’s supply of drinking water
  • More than 70% of its open space
  • Critical habitat for rare and endangered species like the mountain yellow-legged frog, Nelson bighorn sheep and the California spotted owl

These benefits are why many Californians support protection of wilderness and wild rivers in the San Gabriel range. When we protect our public wildlands we are preserving our water, wildlife and recreation.

Improving forest recreation

The Wilderness Society is also working to improve recreation in the San Gabriel Mountains for its millions of annual visitors. This is an important need in Southern California because:

  • This area lacks green spaces and parks.
  • Many kids are disconnected from the natural world.   
  • Families suffer from high obesity and diabetes rates due to lack of activity.

However, visitor services in the Angeles forest are currently unable to meet these needs. Some of the inadequacies include:

  • Too few rangers
  • Lack of visitor information in other languages
  • Lack of cultural and historic programs and information
  • Not enough bathrooms and trash containers at facilities

See also:

Cornelia Funke mywilderness

Helpful links

  • San Gabriel Mountains Forever:


  • San Gabriel Mountains Forever Facebook Campaign:


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