Bell Creek (Southern California)
Bell Creek is a 10-mile-long tributary of the Los Angeles River, in the Simi Hills of Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County and City, in Southern California. The initial headwater feeder-streams begin in the Simi Hills in Ventura County from 90% of the Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory property as its watershed, leaving the site with toxic substances and radionuclide contamination via culvert outfalls, aquifer seeps and springs, surface runoff, it flows as a creek southeast through Bell Canyon, Bell Canyon Park, El Escorpión Park in a natural stream bed. It is altered to flow in a concrete channel. Moore Creek joins in from the west, it flows east, channelized through West Hills, where it is joined by the South Fork and South Branches of the same name and by Dayton Creek. On through Canoga Park to join Arroyo Calabasas and becoming the Los Angeles River. Bell Creek begins as a free-flowing stream until passing Escorpión Peak in Bell Canyon Park. At Bell Canyon Road and Elmsbury Lane it becomes encased in a concrete flood control channel.
It passes under Valley Circle Boulevard, flowing just south of Highlander Road through former Rancho El Escorpión-current West Hills, further eastward parallel to Sherman Way in Canoga Park. There, it joins Arroyo Calabasas, directly east of Canoga Park High School beside Vanowen Avenue; the confluence marks the "headwaters" of the Los Angeles River, 34.1952°N 118.601838°W / 34.1952. From mouth to source: Source - a.k.a. watershed and headwaters Confluence - a.k.a. "headwaters" Drainage basin - a.k.a. "watershed" Urban runoff Bell Canyon photo gallery:'Nature' sections
Canoga Park, Los Angeles
Canoga Park is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, United States. Its 60,000+ residents are considered to be "highly diverse" ethnically. Before the Mexican–American War, the district was part of a rancho, after the American victory it was converted into wheat farms and subdivided, with part of it named Owensmouth as a town founded in 1912, it joined Los Angeles in 1917 and was renamed Canoga Park on March 1, 1931, thanks to the efforts of local civic leader Mary Logan Orcutt. The area of present-day Canoga Park was the homeland of Native Americans in the Tongva-Fernandeño and Chumash-Venturaño tribes, that lived in the Simi Hills and along to the tributaries of the Los Angeles River, they traded with the north Valley Tataviam-Fernandeño people. Native American civilizations inhabited the Valley for an estimated 8,000 years, their culture left the Burro Flats Painted Cave nearby. From 1797 to 1846 the area was part of Mission San Fernando Rey de España. After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain the'future Canoga Park' land became part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando.
In 1845, a land grant for the separate and rich Rancho El Escorpión was issued by Governor Pío Pico to three Chumash people, Odón Eusebia, his brother-in-law Urbano, Urbano's son Mañuel. It was located in the area west of Fallbrook Avenue and called Platt Ranch. In 1863 the syndicate San Fernando Homestead Association led by Isaac Lankershim and Isaac Van Nuys purchased the southern half of the historic San Fernando Valley, they established seven wheat ranch operations and were the first to ship wheat to Europe from California. In 1869 Alfred Workman acquired the westernmost ranch, a 13,000 acres wheat farm in future Canoga Park. Eucalyptus trees were introduced into the San Fernando Valley by Albert Workman, who imported seedlings from his native Australia and planted them on the Workman Ranch. In time, they spread though the Canoga Park area ranches and beyond, it has been said. In 1909 the Suburban Homes Company, a syndicate led by H. J. Whitley, general manager of the Board of Control, along with Harry Chandler, H. G. Otis, M. H. Sherman and O. F. Brandt purchased 48,000 acres of the Farming and Milling Company for $2,500,000.
Henry E. Huntington, extended his Pacific Electric Railway through the Valley to Owensmouth; the Suburban Home Company laid out plans for roads and the towns of Van Nuys and Canoga Park. The rural areas were annexed into the city of Los Angeles in 1915; the entire south San Fernando valley, from Roscoe Blvd south to the hills, with certain exceptions, were to be subdivided in anticipation of the Los Angeles aqueduct's completion in 1913. The purchasers of the land included Harry Chandler and Harrison Gray Otis of the Los Angeles Times, Moses Sherman, Hobart Johnstone Whitley, an all purpose real estate developer who, from a start in the Land Rush of 1889 in Oklahoma to platting out 140 towns, including Hollywood; the area was named Owensmouth by Los Angeles Suburban Home Company by general manager Hobart Johnstone Whitley as a sales tactic in that the town would be the new mouth of the Owens River, after the Los Angeles Aqueduct would be completed the next year. The town was founded on March 30, 1912, the Suburban Home Company contracted with the Janss Investment Company, to sell properties.
A pre-development scheme brought Pacific Electric streetcars and an all purpose highway out all the way from Hollywood through Cahuenga Pass, through the subdivided Van Nuys. Highlighting the "opening day barbecue" was the display of the "Owensmouth Baby", a racecar that could go up and down the paved Sherman Way at the incredible speed of 35 mph. Owensmouth, as the junior San Fernando Valley city to Van Nuys, promoted itself with the "baby" motif—using storks in their advertisement; the "baby city" of the Valley remained a small community. The lack of an independent water supply made annexation to the City of Los Angeles inevitable, on February 26, 1917, it joined with its larger neighbor; the name was changed to Canoga Park in 1931. The area's zoning was rural/agricultural and its industry was small farms involved in the production of fruits and melons, some livestock, horses, a movie/television studio, a stunt location; the Canoga Park Airstrip occupied the area now known as "Warner Center".
In 1955, Rocketdyne a division of North American Aviation, moved into the area. It became a major employer along with the Atomics International and Santa Susana Field Laboratory divisions. Other aerospace companies followed: including Atomics International, Thompson Ramo Wooldridge-TRW, Hughes Aircraft, Rockwell International and Teledyne. Small machine shops and other ancillary businesses sprang up to service the aerospace industry; the facility is operated by Aerojet Rocketdyne, is the only remaining aerospace industry. The Santa Susana Field Lab property has been closed and will be undergoing an extensive environmental cleanup, become an open-space park. In 1987 much of the western district of Canoga Park was renamed West Hills and a portion of the eastern district was renamed Winnetka. On June 25, 2005, Canoga Park was named an All-America City. Canoga Park is bordered by Woodland Hills on the south, West Hills on the west, Chatsworth on the north, Winnetka on the east. Bell and Dayton Creeks flowing from the Simi Hills, Arroyo Calabasas from the Santa Monica Mounta
Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve
The Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve is a large open space nature preserve owned and operated by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy spanning nearly 3,000 acres in the Simi Hills of western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County. Part of Ahmanson Ranch, this area was sold by Seattle-based Washington Mutual to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in late 2003 after lengthy issues concerning development in the chaparral shrub forest and oak savanna understory and overstory Plant communities, it was called Ahmanson Ranch Park. It sustained severe damage during the Woolsey Fire of 2018. For thousands of years the Chumash Native American tribe lived in the current Preserve's area; the Chumash had, prior to European involvement, at least one village on the land, Huwam, a multi-cultural village where Chumash and Tataviam peoples lived. On Bell Creek beside Escorpión Peak a large rocky mountain on the property of El Escorpion Park, is the reported site of this village; the peak is one of nine alignment points in Chumash territory and is essential to maintaining the balance of the natural world.
A cave known as The Cave of Munits exists just inside the property. This is the believed cave of a mythical Chumash shaman, killed after murdering the son of a Chumash chief; this cave appeared in the films The Canyon of Missing Men and Tarzan and the Golden Lion. The 1769 Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, the first European exploration by land of Las Californias, passed by the area; the U. S. National Park service's Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail goes through the Preserve, entering in Moore Canyon from El Escorpion Park and Vanowen Street; the Rancho El Escorpión was an 1845 Mexican land grant named after the Peak, was adjacent on the northeast side of the Preserve. From the 1920s to the 1950s many Westerns and other types of motion pictures were filmed here at the Laskey Mesa movie ranch area. In 1963, Home Savings of America obtained the property, called Ahmanson Ranch, it sat unused, with no plans for development, until 1989 when Home Savings of America announced their plans for the 5,400 acres property.
The plans included over 3,000 homes, two golf courses, 400,000 square feet of commercial and residential space. However, in 1998, Home Savings of America was bought by Washington Mutual for $6.4 billion. In 2003 the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy purchased the land from WAMU for an open space preserve and nature reserve Park. On September 28, 2005, the Topanga Canyon Fire broke out between the west-bound State Route 118 and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. By September 29, the fire had reached the Preserve, burned a large portion of the park near, including, El Escorpion Park. By October 3, 2005, the fire had been contained. A total of 24,175 acres were burned, it cost over $8 million to contain and extinguish the fire; the effects of the fire were visible in the park, as much of the chaparral and grasslands were burned away, Oak tree canopies burned off. Since the California native plants have evolved with wildfires, from their basel roots and branches they re-sprouted the following fall and winter exhibiting an amazing new growth by the next spring.
There are two preserve trailheads. Located at the western end of Victory Blvd. in West Hills, the Victory Trailhead is the main trailhead for the Preserve. It features a large gravel parking lot with a Portable Toilet, cleaned at least weekly; the parking lot has room for buses and equestrian trailers. Parking is $3 for the day. Parking passes are available through The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy website. Multi-park 5- and 7-day and single park 7-day passes are available. Parking is available outside the park gates on Victory Blvd. Gilmore St. and Country Oak Rd. A bulletin board featuring information on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and recent park and system information is located in the parking lot. There are two picnic tables just inside the park and a large informational display featuring the history and wildlife of the Preserve; this trailhead is located west of Calabasas and north of the Ventura Freeway on Las Virgenes Canyon Road, at the end of the road. Parking is provided, with a large informational display featuring the history and wildlife of the Preserve.
There are several primary trails through which people can access the park. 1. The Victory Trailhead has a junction with two main trails; the first goes due west through the Preserve directly to Upper Las Virgenes Canyon and the trails of Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The second goes south through the Preserve to the Laskey Mesa area, on to Upper Las Virgenes Canyon. 2. The Las Virgenes Road Trailhead's main trail heads into Upper Las Virgenes Canyon, with junctions for trails to Laskey Mesa and to Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Park, or continuing on north to the Bell Canyon area. 3. The El Escorpión Trail, runs from L. A. City's El Escorpión Park at the west end of Vanowen Street near Valley Circle Boulevard in West Hills through the preserve to the Victory Trailhead; the trail runs through Moore's Canyon past the Cave of Munits, has a gentle slope, can be taken in either direction. L. A. City's Bell Canyon Park is directly adjacent to the north of these two parks, with one trail along Bell Creek and others connecting southward.
These trails are available for walking, mountain biking, equestrian use during the hours of daylight, 7 days a week. Evening access is permitted for park scheduled event participants only. Unauthorized motor vehicles and motorbikes are not perm
Victory Boulevard (Los Angeles)
Victory Boulevard is a major east-west arterial road that runs 25 miles traversing the entire length of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, Southern California. Victory Boulevard is 25-miles long, is notable for several reasons. Victory Boulevard is the street where one will find the West Valley's major malls at Fallbrook Center and Westfield Topanga, through the Warner Center business district, along a section of the Metro Orange Line and by three of its stations, past Pierce College, through the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Center with Lake Balboa, Pedlow Skate Park and golf courses through the communities of Van Nuys, Valley Glen and North Hollywood in the center of the valley, crossing the Tujunga Wash, continuing past Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery with its Portal of the Folded Wing, through Burbank's entertainment district, passing the Nickelodeon studios at Olive Avenue veering southeast to its eastern terminus at Griffith Park near the Los Angeles Zoo and Travel Town Museum.
Victory Boulevard is one of three Los Angeles boulevards included in the lyrics of Randy Newman's song I Love LA: "...“Century Boulevard, Victory Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard..." When Van Nuys was plotted in 1911, Victory Boulevard was called 7th Avenue. Around 1916, the name was changed to Leesdale Avenue when the city of Los Angeles annexed the San Fernando Valley after the Los Angeles Aquaduct was completed. In the mid-1920s, the Leesdale Improvement Association unveiled plans to expand Leesdale Avenue as an 80-foot -wide "great east-and-west boulevard" through the Valley. At that time, the City changed the name to Victory Boulevard, in honor of soldiers returning from World War I, paved the boulevard as far west as Balboa Boulevard where it ended. Victory Boulevard did not extend to the West Valley until the 1950s; the Metro Local Lines 96 and 164 runs along Victory Boulevard. West Hills – west of Shoup Avenue to the Victory Trailhead entrance of Ahmanson Ranch Park in the Simi Hills, Victory Boulevard marks the southern border of West Hills and northern border of adjacent Woodland Hills.
Woodland Hills – between the western city limits, Corbin Avenue on the east, Victory Boulevard marks the northern border of Woodland Hills, with West Hills, Canoga Park, Winnetka to the north. Canoga Park – Victory Boulevard marks the southern border of Canoga Park between Shoup, DeSoto, with Woodland Hills to the south Winnetka – DeSoto Avenue is the western boundary, Corbin Avenue is the eastern boundary, with the Los Angeles River and Woodland Hills to the south. Reseda – Victory Boulevard marks the southern border of Reseda between Corbin Avenue and White Oak Avenue, with Tarzana to the south.. Tarzana – Victory Boulevard marks the northern border of Tarzana between Corbin Avenue and Lindley Avenue Lake Balboa – between White Oak and I-405 Encino – Victory Boulevard marks the northern border of Encino between Lindley Avenue and White Oak Van Nuys – between I-405 and Hazeltine Avenue Valley Glen – between Hazeltine Avenue and CA 170 North Hollywood – between CA 170 and Clybourn Avenue Burbank – between Clybourn Avenue and Allen Street Glendale – between Allen Street and Riverside Drive/Sonora Avenue Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve — a 3,000-acre public nature preserve park of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, located at the western terminus of Victory Blvd. in West Hills—Woodland Hills.
Fallbrook Center – 75-acre, 1,000,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center located at Victory Boulevard and Fallbrook Avenue in West Hills. Westfield Topanga – opened in 1964 as Topanga Plaza, California's first enclosed shopping mall, located on Topanga Canyon Boulevard at Victory Boulevard, Westfield Topanga has been extensively renovated from 2006–2008 and features 230 stores including Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Sears and Apple Store. Los Angeles Pierce College – opened in 1947 as an agricultural college and the San Fernando Valley's first institution of higher learning, Pierce College today is a two-year public college with 100 disciplines and 20,000 students, located on 426 acres in the Chalk Hills, with 2,200 trees, thousands of rose bushes, a nature preserve, botanical garden, a forest area boasting giant redwoods. Reseda High School – a public high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District established in 1955. Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies – located in Tarzana, SOCES is the largest magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, 1780 students in the grades 4–12.
Birmingham High School, Lake Balboa – built in 1953 on the site of a U. S. Army hospital. In May 1967, a rock concert at the football field at Birmingham High featured Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, The Merry-Go-Round, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Sunshine Co
Northridge, Los Angeles
Northridge is a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California in the San Fernando Valley. It is the home of California State University, Northridge, as well as eleven public and eight private schools. Named Zelzah, the community was renamed North Los Angeles in 1929 to emphasize its closeness to the booming city; this created confusion with North Hollywood. At the suggestion of a civic leader, the community was renamed Northridge in 1938. Northridge can trace its history back to Spanish explorers, its territory was sold by the Mexican governor to Eulogio de Celis, whose heirs divided it for sale. The area has been the home of notable people, it has notable attractions and points of interest. Residents have access to a public swimming pool; the 2000 U. S. census counted 57,561 residents in the 9.47-square-mile Northridge neighborhood—or 6,080 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 61,993. In 2000 the median age for residents was 32, about average for county neighborhoods.
The neighborhood was considered "highly diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of Asian people. The breakdown was whites, 49.5%. Mexico and the Philippines were the most common places of birth for the 31.8% of the residents who were born abroad—an average figure for Los Angeles. The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $67,906, considered high for the city. Renters occupied 46.4% of the housing stock, house- or apartment-owners held 53.6%. The average household size of 2.7 people was considered average for Los Angeles. In 2000 there were 3,803 military veterans, or 8.5% of the population, a high percentage compared to the rest of the city. Northridge touches Porter Ranch and Granada Hills on the north, North Hills on the east, Van Nuys on the southeast, Lake Balboa and Reseda on the south and Winnetka and Chatsworth on the west; the area now called Northridge was first inhabited about 2,000 years ago by the Native American Gabrielino people. Among their tribal villages Totonga was nearby Northridge.
The Gabrielino-Tongva people, who lived in dome-shaped houses, are sometimes referred to as the "people of the earth". They spoke a Takic Uto-Aztecan language, their pictographs are hard to find nowadays, those not public, nor protected, many destroyed by the development of Greater Los Angeles. A replica can be seen at The Southwest Museum and there are archeological exhibits at Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Rancho Los Alamitos, Louis Robidoux Nature Center and El Dorado Nature Center. In the late-1840s, Mexican Governor Pio Pico broke with the tradition of "granting" land and, sold it, without the usual area limitations to Eulogio de Celis, a native of Spain. By 1850, de Celis was listed in the Los Angeles Census as an agriculturist, 42 years old, the owner of a real estate worth $20,000. A few years the land was split up; the heirs of Eulogio de Celis sold the northernly half - 56,000 acres - to Senator George K. Porter, who had called it the "Valley of the Cumberland" and Senator Charles Maclay, who exclaimed: "This is the Garden of Eden."
Porter was interested in ranching. Francis Marion Wright, an Iowa farm boy who migrated to California as a young man, became a ranch hand for Senator Porter and co-developer of the 1,100-acre Hawk Ranch, now Northridge land. In 1951, a local reporter reported that Northridge's population had reached 5,500 residents, an increase of 1,000 people from 1950. In addition, it was around this time that Reseda Boulevard had been paved at its full width and become the main business street of boulevard proportions; the need arose for Northridge to accommodate the new population, so in 1954 the first middle school opened in the growing town. Northridge Junior High School known as Northridge Middle School, opened with 1,000 students, brought all the way from Fulton Middle School in Van Nuys. Thirty-four percent of Northridge residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, an average percentage for the city but high for the county; the percentages of the same-age residents with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree or higher were high for the county.
In 1962, Nobel Junior High School in Northridge became the first air-conditioned school in the Los Angeles school district. In 1982 the board considered closing Prairie Street Elementary School in Northridge, it was located on the California State University, Northridge campus, that university used Prairie as a laboratory school. In April 1983 an advisory committee of the LAUSD recommended closing eight LAUSD schools, including Prairie Street School. In August 1983 the board publicly considered closing Prairie. In 1984 the board voted to close the Prairie Street School. In 1985 some parents were trying to have Prairie Street School re-opened. Secondary and lower-grade schools within the Northridge boundaries are: Andasol Avenue Elementary School, 10126 Encino Avenue Alfred Bernhard Nobel Middle School, 9950 Tampa Avenue Topeka Drive Elementary School, 9815 Topeka Drive Balboa Gifted / High Ability Magnet Elementary School, alternative, 17020 Labrador Street Northridge Academy High School, 9601 Zelzah Avenue Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School, 9351 Paso Robles Avenue Dearborn Street Elementary School, 9240 Wish Avenue Calahan Str
Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U. S. state of California, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2017. As such, it is the largest non–state level government entity in the United States, its population is larger than that of 41 individual U. S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium and Taiwan, it has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles, it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U. S, its county seat, Los Angeles, is California's most populous city and the nation's second largest city with about 4 million people. Los Angeles County is one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850.
The county included parts of what are now Kern, San Bernardino, Inyo, Tulare and Orange counties. In 1851 and 1852, Los Angeles County stretched from the coast to the border of Nevada; as the population increased, sections were split off to organize San Bernardino County in 1853, Kern County in 1866, Orange County in 1889. Prior to the 1870s, Los Angeles County was divided into townships, many of which were amalgamations of one or more old ranchos, they were: Azusa El Monte Azusa and El Monte Townships were merged for the 1870 census. City of Los Angeles Los Angeles Township Los Nietos San Jose San Gabriel Santa Ana. For the 1870 census, Annaheim district was enumerated separately. San Juan. San Pedro. Tejon When Kern County was formed, the portion of the township remaining in Los Angeles County became Soledad Township According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 4,751 square miles, of which 4,058 square miles is land and 693 square miles is water. Los Angeles County borders 70 miles of coast on the Pacific Ocean and encompasses mountain ranges, forests, lakes and desert.
The Los Angeles River, Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel River and the Santa Clara River flow in Los Angeles County, while the primary mountain ranges are the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. The western extent of the Mojave Desert begins in the Antelope Valley, in the northeastern part of the county. Most of the population of Los Angeles County is located in the south and southwest, with major population centers in the Los Angeles Basin, San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley. Other population centers are found in the Santa Clarita Valley, Pomona Valley, Crescenta Valley and Antelope Valley; the county is divided west-to-east by the San Gabriel Mountains, which are part of the Transverse Ranges of southern California, are contained within the Angeles National Forest. Most of the county's highest peaks are in the San Gabriel Mountains, including Mount San Antonio 10,068 feet ) at the Los Angeles-San Bernardino county lines, Mount Baden-Powell 9,399 feet, Mount Burnham 8,997 feet and Mount Wilson 5,710 feet.
Several lower mountains are in the northern and southwestern parts of the county, including the San Emigdio Mountains, the southernmost part of Tehachapi Mountains and the Sierra Pelona Mountains. Los Angeles County includes San Clemente Island and Santa Catalina Island, which are part of the Channel Islands archipelago off the Pacific Coast. East: Eastside, San Gabriel Valley, portions of the Pomona Valley West: Westside, Beach Cities South: South Bay, South Los Angeles, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Gateway Cities, Los Angeles Harbor Region North: San Fernando Valley, Crescenta Valley, portions of the Conejo Valley, portions of the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley Central: Downtown Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire, Northeast Los Angeles Angeles National Forest Los Padres National Forest Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Los Angeles County had a population of 9,818,605 in the 2010 United States Census; the racial makeup of Los Angeles County was 4,936,599 White, 1,346,865 Asian, 856,874 African American, 72,828 Native A
Santa Monica Mountains
The Santa Monica Mountains is a coastal mountain range in Southern California, paralleling the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Transverse Ranges; because of its proximity to densely populated regions, it is one of the most visited natural areas in California. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is located in this mountain range; the range extends 40 miles east-west from the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County. The western mountains, separating the Conejo Valley from Malibu end at Mugu Peak as the rugged, nearly impassible shoreline gives way to tidal lagoons and coastal sand dunes of the alluvial Oxnard Plain; the mountain range contributed to the isolation of this vast coastal plain before regular transportation routes reached western Ventura County. The eastern mountains form a barrier between the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles Basin, separating "the Valley" on the north and west-central Los Angeles on the south; the Santa Monica Mountains are parallel to Santa Susana Mountains, which are located directly north of the mountains across the San Fernando Valley.
The range is of moderate height, with no craggy or prominent peaks outside the Sandstone Peak and Boney Mountains area. While rugged and wild, the range hosts a substantial amount of human activity and development. Houses, roads and recreational centers are dotted throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. A number of creeks in the Santa Monica Mountains are part of the Los Angeles River watershed. Beginning at the western end of the San Fernando Valley the river runs to the north of the mountains. After passing between the range and the Verdugo Mountains it flows south around Elysian Park defining the easternmost extent of the mountains; the Santa Monica Mountains have more than 1,000 archeology sites of significance from the Californian Native American cultures of the Tongva and Chumash people. The mountains were part of their regional homelands for over eight thousand years before the arrival of the Spanish; the Spanish mission system had a dramatic impact on their culture and by 1831, their population had dropped from over 22,000 to under 3,000.
Geologists consider the northern Channel Islands to be a westward extension of the Santa Monicas into the Pacific Ocean. The range was created by repeated episodes of uplifting and submergence by the Raymond Fault that created complex layers of sedimentary rock. Volcanic intrusions have been exposed, including the poorly named, andesitic, "Sandstone Peak" the highest in the range at 3,111 feet. Malibu Creek, which eroded its own channel while the mountains were uplifted, bisects the mountain range; the Santa Monica Mountains have dry summers with frequent coastal fog on the ocean side of the range and wet, cooler winters. In the summer, the climate is quite dry, which makes the range prone to wildfires during dry "Santa Ana" wind events. Snow is unusual in the Santa Monica Mountains, since they are not as high as the nearby San Gabriel Mountains; the highest slopes of the central and western Santa Monica Mountains average as much as 27 inches of rain per year, but 18-22 inches is more typical of the range.
The bulk of the rain falls between March. Rainfall is higher in the central and western parts of the range; this is reflected in the vegetation. The central and western portions of the range support more widespread woodlands than the eastern part of the range, where trees are restricted to the stream courses. On January 17, 2007, an unusually cold storm brought snow in the Santa Monica Mountains; the hills above Malibu picked up three inches of snow - the first measurable snow in five decades. Snow was reported on Boney Peak, in the winter of 2005. Snow fell on the peak of Boney Mountain in late December 2008; the latest recorded snowfall in the area was in February of 2019 where an unusual amount of snowfall accumulated in low passes in the mountains. The storm system brought rare snowfall to the Los Angeles area. Much of the mountains are located within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Preservation of lands within the region are managed by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the National Park Service, the California State Parks, County and Municipal agencies.
Today, the Santa Monica Mountains face pressure from local populations as a desirable residential area, in the parks as a recreational retreat and wild place that's rare in urban Los Angeles. In 2014 the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Program, a land-use plan that will distinguish between the private lands that need strict protection and property that could be developed in strict conformance with this detailed plan. Over twenty individual state and municipal parks are in the Santa Monica Mountains, including: Topanga State Park, Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Point Mugu State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, Point Dume State Beach, Griffith Park, Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, Charmlee Wilderness Park, Franklin Canyon Park, Runyon Canyon Park, King Gillette Ranch Park, Paramount Ranch Park. At the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains are Griffith Park and lastly Elysian Park.
Griffith Park is separated from the rest of the Santa Monica Mountains to the west by the Cahuenga Pass, over which the 101 Freeway passes from the San Fernando Valley into Hollywood. Elysian Park is in the easternmost part of the mountains and is bordered