San Jacinto Mountains

The San Jacinto Mountains ('Avii Hanupach in Mojave) are a mountain range east of Los Angeles in southern California in the United States. The mountains are named for Saint Hyacinth (San Jacinto in Spanish). The Pacific Crest Trail runs along the spine of the range. There are other trails leading from the aerial tramway at palm springs with a climb of around 2400 ft.

The range extends for approximately 30 mi (48 km) from the San Bernardino Mountains southeast to the Santa Rosa Mountains. The San Jacinto Mountains are the northernmost of the Peninsular Ranges, which run 1,500 km (930 mi) from Southern California to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The highest peak in the range is San Jacinto Peak (3,302 m)(10,834 ft), and the range is also a Great Basin Divide landform for the Salton Watershed to the east.

The Coachella Valley stretches along the eastern side of the range, including the cities of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. Banning Pass and San Gorgonio Pass separate the range from Mount San Gorgonio to the north. The western slope holds the community of Idyllwild. Above Idyllwild is Lilly Rock, a famous rock climbing area. The range is the eastern boundary of the San Jacinto Valley, location of Hemet; it also marks the eastern edge of the fast-growing Inland Empire region and Greater Los Angeles as a whole.

The indigenous Cahuilla live in the deserts around the San Jacinto Mountains and used the range for hunting, foraging, and to escape the summer heat. The range can be thought of as a sky island, as it contains numerous species of flora and fauna that cannot tolerate the triple-digit-Fahrenheit heat of the surrounding valleys.

Much of the range is embraced by the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument created in 2000. Mount San Jacinto State Park is located along the flank of San Jacinto Peak. Part of the eastern flank of the range is located within the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. In 1990 the California Legislature created the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy to protect the mountains surrounding the valley.

Read more about San Jacinto Mountains:  Flora and Fauna, In Popular Culture

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