San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley is the area of the Central Valley of the U. S. state of California that lies south of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and is drained by the San Joaquin River. It comprises seven counties of Northern and one of Southern California, including, in the north, all of San Joaquin and Kings counties, most of Stanislaus and Fresno counties, parts of Madera and Tulare counties, along with a majority of Kern County, in Southern California. Although a majority of the valley is rural, it does contain cities such as Fresno, Stockton, Turlock, Porterville, Visalia and Hanford. San Joaquin Valley was inhabited by the Yokuts and Miwok peoples; the first European to enter the valley was Pedro Fages in 1772. The San Joaquin Valley extends from the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains in the south, from the various California coastal ranges in the west to the Sierra Nevada in the east. Unlike the Sacramento Valley, the river system for which the San Joaquin Valley is named does not extend far along the valley.
Most of the valley south of Fresno, drains into Tulare Lake, which no longer exists continuously due to diversion of its sources. The valley's primary river is the San Joaquin, which drains north through about half of the valley into the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta; the Kings and Kern Rivers are in the southern endorheic basin of the valley, all of which have been diverted for agricultural uses and are dry in their lower reaches. The San Joaquin Valley began to form about 66 million years ago during the early Paleocene era. Broad fluctuations in the sea level caused various areas of the valley to be flooded with ocean water for the next 60 million years. About 5 million years ago, the marine outlets began to close due to uplift of the coastal ranges and the deposition of sediment in the valley. Starting 2 million years ago, a series of glacial episodes periodically caused much of the valley to become a fresh water lake. Lake Corcoran was the last widespread lake to fill the valley about 700,000 years ago.
At the beginning of the Holocene there were three major lakes remaining in the southern part of the Valley, Tulare Lake, Buena Vista Lake and Kern Lake. In the late 19th and in the 20th century, agricultural diversion of the Kern River dried out these lakes. Today, only a fragment of Buena Vista Lake remains as two small lakes Lake Webb and Lake Evans in a portion of the former Buena Vista Lakebed The San Joaquin Valley has hot, dry summers and has enjoyed cool rainy winters characterized by dense tule fog, its rainy season runs from November through April, but since 2011 when a drought became evident it received minimal to no rain at all. The drought was still extant by mid-August 2014 with scientists saying it would continue indefinitely, for anywhere from several years to several decades to come; as of February 2017 the majority of the Valley experienced a reprieve from the drought. However, as of February 2018, much of the Valley appears to be headed back into drought along with much of the rest of the State.
In August 2015, the Director of the California Department of Water Resources stated, "Because of increased pumping, groundwater levels are reaching record lows—up to 100 feet lower than previous records." Research from NASA shows that parts of the San Joaquin Valley sank as much as 8 inches in a four-month period, land near Corcoran sank 13 inches in 8 months. The sinking has destroyed thousands of groundwater well casings and has the potential to damage aqueducts, roads and flood-control structures. In the long term, the subsidence caused by extracting groundwater could irreversibly reduce the underground aquifer's water storage capacity, although immediate and short term needs are given higher priority and sense of urgency than long term sustainability; the National Weather Service Forecast Office for the San Joaquin Valley is located in Hanford and includes a Doppler weather radar. Weather forecasts and climatological information for the San Joaquin Valley are available from its official website.
The total population of the eight counties comprising the San Joaquin Valley at the time of the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates by United States Census Bureau reported a population of 4,080,509. The racial composition of San Joaquin Valley was 2,775,074 White, 193,694 Black or African American, 40,911 American Indian and Alaska Native, 310,557 Asian, 13,000 Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 2,048,280 Hispanic or Latino; the educational attainment of high school graduate or higher is 72.7%. By some estimates, federal restrictions on shallow well irrigation systems threaten the productivity of the San Joaquin Valley, which produces the majority of the 12.8% of the United States' agricultural production that comes from California. Grapes—table, to a lesser extent wine—are the valley's highest-profile product, but important are cotton, nuts and vegetables; the San Joaquin Valley has been called "The food basket of the world", for the diversity of its produce. Walnuts, peaches, tangerines, kiwis, hay and numerous other crops have been harvested with great success.
DeRuosi Nut, a large walnut processing plant in Escalon, has been in the valley since 1947. Certain places are identified quite with a given crop: Stockton produces the majority of the domestic asparagus consumed in the United States, Fresno is the largest produ
San Emigdio Mountains
The San Emigdio Mountains are a part of the Transverse Ranges in Southern California, extending from Interstate 5 at Lebec and Gorman on the east to Highway 33–166 on the west. They form the southern wall of the San Joaquin Valley; the range is named after an early Christian martyr. The range is within Kern County; the highest point is Frazier Mountain at 8,017 feet. As with most of the Transverse Ranges, the mountains lie in an east-west direction. Towns or settlements near the San Emigdio Mountains include Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods, Pine Mountain Club. San Emigdio Mountain 7,492 ft Tecuya Mountain 7,160+ ft Escapula Peak 7,080+ ft Brush Mountain 7,048 ft Antimony Peak 6,848 ft Eagle Rest Peak 6,005 ft Adjacent Transverse Ranges, with their wildlife corridors, include: Tehachapi Mountains — on the northeast Sierra Pelona Mountains — on the east Santa Susana Mountains - Topatopa Mountains — on the southwest San Rafael Mountains - Santa Ynez Mountains - and San Joaquin Valley — on the north Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass Pyramid Lake Index: Transverse Ranges The Wildlands Conservancy: Wind Wolves Preserve website
The Ridge Route the Castaic–Tejon Route, was a two-lane highway between Los Angeles County and Kern County, California. Opened in 1915 and paved with 20-foot-wide concrete between 1917 and 1921, the road was the first paved highway directly linking the Los Angeles Basin with the San Joaquin Valley over the Tejon Pass and the rugged Sierra Pelona Mountains ridge south of Gorman. Much of the old road runs through the Angeles National Forest, passes by many historical landmarks, including the National Forest Inn, Reservoir Summit, Kelly's Half Way Inn, Tumble Inn, Sandberg's Summit Hotel. North of the forest, the Ridge Route passed through Deadman's Curve before ending at Grapevine. Most of the road was bypassed in 1933–34 by the three-lane Ridge Route Alternate U. S. Route 99, to remove many curves; the four-lane US 99 was completed in 1953 and replaced by a freeway, Interstate 5 around 1968. The portion of the road within the Angeles National Forest was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, following the efforts of Harrison Scott.
Much of the road has been closed by the U. S. Forest Service; the Ridge Route was the Castaic–Tejon Route. The official limits of the Ridge Route, as built in the 1910s, were SR 126 at Castaic Junction and the bottom of the grade at Grapevine; until 1930–31 the road from San Fernando to Castaic Junction ran through the Newhall Tunnel at San Fernando Pass and along San Fernando Road, Magic Mountain Parkway and Feedmill Road to a former bridge over the Santa Clara River. A 1930 bypass of the tunnel and Newhall through Weldon Canyon is now part of The Old Road. From Castaic Junction north to Castaic the Ridge Route has been buried by the Ridge Route Alternate and Interstate 5. At Castaic the Ridge Route Alternate turned northwest from the old road at 34.4898°N 118.617°W / 34.4898. The first piece of Ridge Route Road out of Castaic has been realigned as as the late 1990s when the North Lake housing development was built; the road begins to climb after passing North Lake. In this area, known as the Five-Mile Grade, the four-lane Ridge Route Alternate became the northbound lanes of I-5, while the added four-lane alignment, built to the east, had lower grades and became the southbound lanes to cut down on runaway trucks.
Two bridges were built to allow traffic to cross to the left side. Near the north end of this area, the Ridge Route curves away from the newer bypass; the road enters the Angeles National Forest about one mile south of Templin Highway, with the Forest Service road designation 8N04. Establishments in the forest included the National Forest Inn, Kelly's Half Way Inn, Tumble Inn, Sandberg's Summit Hotel; the National Forest Inn was on the west side of the road. A popular place along the route, composed of white clapboard buildings, it was described in a 1932 highway beautification pamphlet as "the sort of filling station that gets into a national forest and is no addition thereto". On October 14, 1932, a fire began in the garage, took over a day to put out; when the Ridge Route Alternate bypassed the site to the west, the inn was not rebuilt, all that remains are concrete steps. About two miles north of the National Forest Inn is Serpentine Drive, where the road curves around the sides of hills as it climbs out of a low point in the route.
North of the curves, the road passes through Swede's Cut called Big Cut, Culebra Excavation, or Castaic Cut. The cut was the largest on the route, with a depth of 110 feet. Reservoir Summit called Reservoir Hill, is 3,883 feet above sea level; the Reservoir Summit Café was a popular high-class restaurant on the east side of the road, closed in the late 1920s. The summit was named after a now-dry reservoir, one of three built for the concrete used in paving the road. Kelly's Half Way Inn was halfway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. Located on a small knoll with a single tree on the east side of the road, all that remains is remnants of the foundation; the Tumble Inn Mountain View Lodge, was on the west side of the road, closed when the Ridge Route Alternate opened in 1933. Steps, including the top step with "TUMBLE INN" in the concrete, a retaining wall remain; the Sandberg's Summit Hotel Sandberg's Lodge, was located just north of Liebre Summit, the highest point on the road, at 4,170 feet above sea level.
The hotel was built in 1914, thus served travelers from the opening of the road in 1915. Built of logs, it was a high-class hotel; the place, which had become a ceramics factory, burned down on April 29, 1961, from a fire started by the new owner—who was converting it into a "camp-type operation" for underprivileged children—burning trash in the fireplace. The lease from the U. S. Forest Service was canceled in 1963, only portions of the foundation and a rock wall remain; the name "Sandberg" is still used by the National Weather Service for an automated weather station a short distance to the north at Pine Canyon Road. Pine Canyon Road marks the end of the forest and the beginning of county maintenance, CR N2 uses the old Ridge Route alignment to reach SR 138 near Quail Lake; the Ridge Route crosses the West Branch California Aqueduct with SR 138, splitting to the northwest on Gorman Post Road. It rejoins the path of I-5 at Gorman, from Gorman to the end at Grapevine, most of the old road has b
Santa Clara River (California)
The Santa Clara River is 83 miles long, is one of the most dynamic river systems in Southern California. The river drains parts of four ranges in the Transverse Ranges System north and northwest of Los Angeles flows west onto the Oxnard Plain and into the Santa Barbara Channel of the Pacific Ocean; the watershed has provided habitat for a wide array of native plants and animals and has supplied humans with water and fertile farmland. The northern portion of the watershed was home to the Tataviam people while the southern portion was occupied by the Chumash people. Much of the Santa Clara River Valley is used for agriculture which has limited the use of structural levees to separate the natural floodplain from the river. Although it is one of the least altered rivers in Southern California, some levees exist where the river flows through areas of significant urban development; the Santa Clara River was named the Rio de Santa Clara on August 9, 1769 by the Portolá expedition on the march north from San Diego to found a mission at Monterey, to honor Saint Clare of Assisi who died on August 11, 1253.
The Santa Clara River Valley was known as the Cañada de Santa Clara. The Santa Clara-Mojave River Ranger District of the Angeles National Forest is named after the Santa Clara River; the failure and near complete collapse of the St. Francis Dam took place in the middle of the night on March 12, 1928; the dam was holding a full reservoir of 12.4 billion gallons of water that surged down San Francisquito Canyon and emptied into the river. The Santa Clara River's headwaters take drainage from the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains near the Angeles Forest Highway, inside the western part of the Angeles National Forest, its largest fork, Aliso Canyon, forms the primary headstream. These branches combine into the broad wash of the main stem near the town of Acton which flows west through Soledad Canyon, crossing under California State Route 14 near the town of Canyon Country; the Sierra Pelona Mountains on the north provide additional seasonal tributaries. The river receives Bouquet Creek, Placerita Creek, San Francisquito Creek within the City of Santa Clarita.
The riverbed surface remains dry most of the year here, except on extreme occasions of heavier than average rainfall. The river crosses west under Interstate 5 and receives Castaic Creek from the right. After the Castaic Creek confluence, the river starts to flow southwest through the Santa Clarita Valley. Near the county line between Los Angeles County and Ventura County, the river enters the Santa Clara River Valley flowing past Buckhorn and Fillmore, incorporating additional flow from Piru Creek and Sespe Creek, both from the right, Santa Paula Creek at the town of Santa Paula, where it passes the large South Mountain Oil Field on the south bank; the Santa Clara River bends southwest, passing the Saticoy Oil Field on the north bank where South Mountain marks its entrance onto the broad Oxnard Plain. The river ends at the Pacific Ocean after flowing across the north side of this plain made fertile with the silt deposited by the river. A sand bar stands across the mouth at the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve that lies within McGrath State Beach in Oxnard and bounded on the north by the city of Ventura.
Although located just north of the populated Los Angeles Basin, the 1,600-square-mile Santa Clara River watershed remains one of the most natural on the South Coast. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the low Santa Susana Mountains, along the north side of which the Santa Clara River runs. On the east are the San Gabriel Mountains, on the north are the Santa Ynez Mountains, Sespe Mountains, San Cayetano Mountains, Tehachapi Mountains. Piru and Sespe Creeks, each over 50 miles long, are the primary tributaries of the Santa Clara River. While Piru and Castaic Creeks form reservoirs for the California State Water Project, Sespe Creek is designated a National Wild and Scenic River, unique among Southern California streams. There are 12 historical landmarks in the watershed; the Santa Clara River watershed borders on the Ventura River/Matilija Creek watershed on the west. On the northwest, lies the Santa Ynez River watershed. On the north is the interior drainage basin of Tulare Lake in the Central Valley.
To the east is the Mojave River and to the south is the Los Angeles River. The Santa Clara River is the second largest river in Southern California; the estuary has been modified by human activities at least since 1855. By the late 1920s roads and agricultural fields had become established. In the late 1950s the former delta area was occupied by the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility and agricultural fields with levees constraining the river from these areas and directing the flow to the Harbor Boulevard bridge. McGrath State Beach was established in 1948; the estuary has been designated a Natural Preserve within McGrath State Beach on the south bank of the river mouth. From the north bank of the river, the city of Ventura releases some 9,000,000 US gallons of treated effluent daily that flows into the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve from their water reclamation facility. A sand berm separates the river from the ocean most of the year. In years with adequate rainfall, the river breaks the berm, slowly rebuilt by ocean action through the rest of the year.
When the river watershed has an exceptionally dry year, the berm acts as a dam, allowing the water level to rise with the
Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest is a United States national forest in southern and central California. Administered by the United States Forest Service, Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,847 feet; the forest is 1,950,000 acres in area, of which 1,762,400 acres or about 88% are public lands. The forest is divided between two noncontiguous areas; the northern division is within Monterey County and includes the beautiful Big Sur Coast and scenic interior areas. This is a popular area for hiking, with 323 miles of hiking trails and 11 campgrounds; this division contains the Ventana Wilderness, home to the California condor. The "main division" of the forest includes lands within San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties, with a small extension into Los Angeles County in the Pyramid Lake area, between Castaic and Gorman. Mountain ranges within the Los Padres include the Santa Lucia Mountains, La Panza Range, Caliente Range, Sierra Madre Mountains, San Rafael Mountains, Santa Ynez Mountains, Topatopa Mountains.
The forest is adjacent to the Angeles National Forest, in Los Angeles County in Southern California and is nearby Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County. Forest headquarters are located in California. There are local ranger district offices in Frazier Park, King City, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria. Many rivers in Southern and Central California have their points of origin within the Los Padres National Forest, including the Carmel, Cuyama, Santa Ynez, Coyote Creek, Sespe and Piru. Several wilderness areas have been set aside within the Los Padres National Forest, including the San Rafael Wilderness, the first primitive area to be included in the U. S. wilderness system after the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Another large wilderness created in the 1970s was the Ventana Wilderness in the Santa Lucia Mountains. A total of 48% of the total area within the forest has a wilderness designation. San Rafael Wilderness Ventana Wilderness Garcia Wilderness Santa Lucia Wilderness Machesna Mountain Wilderness Silver Peak Wilderness Dick Smith Wilderness Chumash Wilderness Sespe Wilderness Matilija Wilderness Parts of the National Forest are designated as recreation areas.
There are three recreation areas, Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area Sage Hill Group Recreation Area Santa Ynez Recreation Area, in the Santa Barbara Ranger District. Many threatened and endangered species live within the forest. Most famous among them is the California condor, for whom the United States Forest Service established the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Present is the California mountain kingsnake, a California species of special concern; the American peregrine falcon is entirely dependent on the forest for its survival. The mountain lion and California mule deer may be the most common large mammals. Bighorn sheep inhabit the Sespe Creek region of the forest. American black bears browse on grasses and carrion. Coyotes thrive everywhere in this forest. Bobcats can be seen in the more remote mountainous areas of the forest. Other animals found in this forest are raccoons, barn owls, red-tailed hawks, cottontail rabbits, bald eagles, jack rabbits, California quail, California scrub jays, great horned owls.
Many vegetation types are represented in the Los Padres, including chaparral, the common ground cover of most coastal ranges in California below about 5,000 feet, coniferous forests, which can be found in abundance in the Ventana Wilderness as well as the region around Mount Pinos in northern Ventura County. Researchers estimate, it consists of Jeffrey pine forests, although old-growth coast redwood, coast Douglas-fir, white fir are found there. In 2008, scientist J. Michael Fay published a map of old growth redwoods in and around Big Sur as a result of his transect of the entire redwood range. Due to the dry summers, forest fires in Los Padres National Forest are always a risk. In 1965, a truck driven by country singer Johnny Cash caught fire, burned several hundred acres in Ventura county. In August 1977, the Marble Cone Fire burned 178,000 acres within the Ventana Wilderness and portions of the Los Padre Forest. In June and July, 2008, the Basin Complex Fire torched 162,818 acres in the same region.
Due to the fire risk, there are seasonal restrictions on building fires. Some portions of the forest are closed to public entry during the peak fire season, which extends from around June 1 to mid-November. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for pa
U.S. Route 99 in California
U. S. Route 99 was the main north–south United States Numbered Highway on the West Coast of the United States until 1964, running from Calexico, California, on the Mexican border to Blaine, Washington, on the Canadian border. Known as the "Golden State Highway" and "The Main Street of California", US 99 was an important route in California throughout much of the 1930s as a route for Dust Bowl immigrant farm workers to traverse the state, it was assigned in 1926 and existed until it was replaced for the most part by Interstate 5. A large section in the Central Valley is now State Route 99; the highway started at the border with Baja California in California. It continued north along the western shore of the Salton Sea; the stretch is now known as SR 86. US 99 continued along present-day SR 111 through Coachella to its intersection at Dillon Road with another major US route signed as both US 60 and US 70. Now signed as US 60/US 70/US 99, the highway continued north through Indio and turned west through the San Gorgonio Pass toward Los Angeles paralleling the route of modern I-10.
In Beaumont, US 60 split off on its own westward trek to Los Angeles. The highway through Banning and Beaumont was bypassed by the new superhighway version of US 60/US 70/US 99 that would become part of I-10; the edges of the old US 60 shield at the replacement interchange's overhead sign are visible today underneath the SR 60 shield that covers it up. US 70 ended in downtown LA while US 99 turned north once again more or less following the route of today's I-5, up and over the Tehachapi Mountains to the San Joaquin Valley. US 99's original alignment over the rugged Tehachapi Mountains was known in its earliest days as the Ridge Route, the first highway directly linking the Los Angeles Basin to the San Joaquin Valley. Built in 1915, the alignment between Castaic and SR 138 to Gorman is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the original Ridge Route at the south and the Grapevine at the north was an exceptionally twisty and narrow two-lane concrete road, slow to travel along the ridge precipices and was considered dangerous to drive in the days of the Model A Ford and overheating trucks.
It was bypassed in 1933 by the three-lane "Alternate Ridge Route", some of which now sits at the bottom of Pyramid Lake. Dropping down from the Tehachapis, US 99 entered the San Joaquin Valley at the bottom of the steep Grapevine grade and continued north; when it was first designated in late 1926, US 99 ran with US 66 from San Bernardino via Pasadena to Los Angeles, turning north there to San Fernando. The route was signed in 1928; this alignment remained through 1933, but by 1942 it had moved to its own alignment from San Bernardino to Los Angeles. This alignment used Garvey Avenue from Pomona, turning onto Ramona Boulevard in Alhambra to reach Macy Street near downtown Los Angeles, it turned north at Figueroa Street, running through the Figueroa Street Tunnels and turning off at Avenue 26 to reach San Fernando Road. When the San Bernardino Freeway, Santa Ana Freeway and Pasadena Freeway were completed, it was routed onto them, continuing to exit at Avenue 26. In 1962, with the completion of the Golden State Freeway northeast of downtown, US 99 was moved onto it, bypassing the Santa Ana Freeway, Four Level Interchange and Figueroa Street Tunnels.
From Los Angeles US 99 followed San Fernando Road through Burbank to Sylmar. From 1937 to 1964 it shared this routing with US 6; the Old Road starts in near the Newhall Pass Interchange, just south of Santa Clarita crossing under present-day I-5. As the road now winds north, passing by Pico Canyon Road, it reaches McBean Parkway near the California Institute of the Arts, College of the Canyons and Six Flags Magic Mountain. In Castaic the Old Road ends at Oak Hill Court, just outside Castaic. A substantial portion of the road is submerged beneath Pyramid Lake. US 99 headed over Tejon Pass to the San Joaquin Valley. Just north of the route's entry to the valley, I-5 splits off from US 99, US 99 continued on the current route of SR 99, to Bakersfield and Sacramento. Many older segments of the highway between the "Grapevine" and Sacramento still exist as local streets, many of them having "Golden State" in their names. North of Sacramento, the route divided into US 99W and US 99E. US 99W co-routed with US 40 west to Davis, in city as Olive Drive.
The route continued as Richards Boulevard, 1st Street, B Street, Russell Boulevard before turning north on what is now SR 113 into Woodland to meet and parallel I-5 near the town of Yolo. From there, the route parallels the current I-5, entering Corning from the South as Old Corning road, turning east onto Solano Street before turning north again on 3rd street continuing to Red Bluff, where it became Main Street. All of the old inter-town original roadway still exists, signed as 99W, CR 99 or CR 99W. From Sacramento US 99E followed I-80 to Roseville north along SR 65 to Olivehurst, from where it followed SR 70 to Marysville. From Marysville it followed SR 20 across the Feather River to Yuba City along the current SR 99 north to Red Bluff, where it rejoined 99W at Main Street and Antelope Boulevard. Fro
Castaic, California is an unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is 41.7 miles northwest of Los Angeles Union Station and due north of the city of Santa Clarita, California. Castaic is well known for its decades-long range war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that resulted in dozens of deaths before hostilities ceased in 1916. On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning "eyes" or "wet spot." Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake, intermittently wet and briny. Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction".
Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted Castaic. Following that newer spelling, some pronounce “Castaic” with three, instead of two, syllables. Between 1890 and 1916, the Castaic Range War was fought in Castaic country over ranch boundaries and grazing rights, it was the biggest range war in U. S. history. A feud started over Section 23. William Chormicle had bought the property, but William "Wirt" Jenkins was storing grain on it and said he had filed for ownership. During a heated dispute, Chormicle and a friend killed two of Jenkins's cowhands, they were acquitted in court. Jenkins, was the local Justice of the Peace with friends of his own, the feud grew into war. Former Los Angeles Rangers and other notables were drawn in; the war claimed dozens of lives and foiled a negotiator, a forest ranger whom President Theodore Roosevelt had sent in to quell it. The hamlet of Castaic began in 1915 with the opening of the original Ridge Route, which brought travelers looking for gasoline, water and lodging to the community.
Some of the earliest businesses started in Castaic are Castaic Brick and George Dunn's Wayside Dairy. Sam's Place on the Ridge Route is now a memory. Castaic is a major truck stop along the Interstate 5 freeway. Castaic has the last traditional cattle roundup—with horses and branding irons—in Los Angeles County, it has been held by the Cordova family since 1834. Members of the Cordova family were scouts for the U. S. Army during the Mexican War in 1846 and helped identify bodies during the St. Francis Dam disaster in San Francisquito Canyon in 1928. Operations scaled back in 1967 when the government seized around 1,000 acres, including the ancestral ranch-house, for the planned Castaic Lake and dam. Castaic includes the Val Verde and Chiquito Canyon areas. Castaic Lake is the southern terminus of the west branch of the California Water Project. A 1,175-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric plant at the north end of Castaic Lake captures the energy from the falling water descending toward the Los Angeles area.
Today travelers still enjoy stopping at Castaic for their needs but enjoy nearby amenities including Castaic Lake and Pyramid Lake, where boating and swimming are favorite pastimes. The area is seismically active. On January 3, 2015, a pair of earthquakes of magnitude 3.1 and 4.2 were reported about 14 kilometres north of Castaic. The epicenter was 16 miles from California; this region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. During the months of June though September, the average high temperature ranges from the 90s F to above 100 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Castaic has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps; the 2010 United States Census reported that Castaic had a population of 19,015. The population density was 2,612.5 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Castaic was 13,607 White, 630 African American, 119 Native American, 2,162 Asian, 26 Pacific Islander, 1,466 from other races, 1,005 from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,716 persons. The Census reported that 18,946 people lived in households, 69 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized; this statistic, does not include the population of the North County Correctional Facility, a Los Angeles County Jail with a population of 3,800 institutionalized inmates. According to the 2010 United States Census, Castaic had a median household income of $106,538, with 7.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line. The population was spread out with 5,761 people under the age of 18, 1,717 people aged 18 to 24, 5,144 people aged 25 to 44, 5,302 people aged 45 to 64, 1,091 people who were 65 years of age or older; the median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males