Santa Lucia Range
The Santa Lucia Mountains or Santa Lucia Range is a rugged mountain range in coastal central California, running from Monterey County southeast for 105 miles into central San Luis Obispo County. It includes Cone Peak, which at 5,158 feet tall, the range forms the eastern boundary of the Big Sur region, and was a barrier to exploring the coast of California for early Spanish explorers. The Santa Lucia Mountains are part of the Outer South California Coast Ranges and its northern section runs parallel to the southern section of the Diablo Range, part of the Inner South Coast Ranges, which lies to the east across the Salinas Valley. The ranges highest summit is Junipero Serra Peak,1,784 metres in Monterey County, Cone Peak features the steepest coastal elevation in the lower 48 United States, rising nearly a mile above sea level, only three miles from the Pacific Ocean. The first European to document the Santa Lucias was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542 while sailing northward along the coast on a Spanish naval expedition.
Cabrillo originally named the portion of the range the Sierras de San Martín, as he was passing the area on 11 November. He named the northern part Sierras Nevadas because there was snow on it, the present name for the range was documented in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno, who had been tasked by the Spanish to complete a detailed chart of the coast. Passing by the range on 14 December, he named the range Sierra de Santa Lucia in honor of Saint Lucy of Syracuse. The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition, prevented from continuing north along the coast by the rugged Big Sur cliffs, the party turned inland, finding a rugged pass northeastward through the mountains. The rough trail required much improvement by the scouts, and it was September 24 before the party emerged from the mountains at the San Antonio River near todays settlement of Jolon. Like all other Pacific Coast Ranges, these mountains are close enough to the Pacific Ocean and high enough to force incoming moisture upward, making the west side wet and this creates a rain shadow over Salinas Valley to the east, which is considerably drier.
The higher peaks receive some snowfall during the winter, the climate is classified as dry summer subtropical, or Mediterranean. Rainfall varies from 16 to 60 inches throughout the range, with the most on the mountains in the north. During the summer and low clouds are frequent along the coast up to an elevation of several thousand feet. Surface runoff from rainfall events is rapid, and many dry up entirely in the summer. The rock of the Santa Lucias is dominated by granitic basement of the Salinian Block, the core of the Salinian block formed as part of the same batholith which forms the core of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Peninsular Ranges of Baja California. It was separated from the North American Plate and transported north by the action of the San Andreas Fault from an original position and it is predominantly Mesozoic granitic and pre-Cretaceous metamorphic rocks. There is some Cretaceous sedimentary rock of the Great Valley Sequence, considerable Miocene marine sediments, units west of the Sur-Nacimiento Fault are dominated by rocks of the Franciscan Assemblage
San Jacinto Mountains
The San Jacinto Mountains are a mountain range, in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles southern California in the United States. The mountains are named for Saint Hyacinth, the range extends for approximately 30 mi from the San Bernardino Mountains southeast to the Santa Rosa Mountains. The San Jacinto Mountains are the northernmost of the Peninsular Ranges, the highest peak in the range is San Jacinto Peak NAVD88, and the range is a Great Basin Divide landform for the Salton Watershed to the east. The Coachella Valley stretches along the side of the range, including the cities of Palm Springs. San Gorgonio Pass separates the range from Mount San Gorgonio to the north, the western slope holds the community of Idyllwild. The range is the boundary of the San Jacinto Valley, location of Hemet, it marks the eastern edge of the fast-growing Inland Empire region. 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 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 surrounding the valley. The range is a block of granitic rocks squeezed between the San Jacinto fault on the west and the San Andreas fault system on the east. The fault scarp on the northern and eastern side is one of the most abrupt in North America, the height and steepness of the range points out that the San Jacinto fault and San Andreas fault are very active and very capable of producing major earthquakes. Rock slides from the range are possible during major earthquakes in the future and these slides may potentially impact the communities built directly adjacent to the steep escarpment on the desert side of the range. The San Jacinto Mountains, like the neighboring San Bernardino Mountains, are an island above the surrounding desert and semi-desert. Annual precipitation ranges from about 15 inches at the base to as much as 30 inches above 5,500 feet.
The coastal side of the range receives more precipitation than the eastern side, most of the precipitation falls between November and March, with a secondary maximum associated with thunderstorms during the summer monsoon season between July and September. The precipitation totals are highly variable from year to year, snow usually falls above 4,000 feet elevation in winter. Above 8,000 feet, snow sometimes persists until June, near the crest, there are often a few patches of snow that may persist all year in shady spots. The range can be thought of as a sky island, as it contains species of flora
Central Valley (California)
Californias Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the geographical center of the U. S. state of California. It is 40 to 60 miles wide and stretches approximately 450 miles from north-northwest to south-southeast, inland from and it covers approximately 18,000 square miles, about 11% of Californias total land area. More than 7 million acres of the valley are irrigated via a system of reservoirs. The valley has many cities, including the state capital Sacramento, as well as Redding, Modesto, Fresno. The Central Valley watershed comprises 60,000 square miles, or over a third of California, the delta empties into the San Francisco Bay, and ultimately flows into the Pacific. The Central Valley is commonly known to simply as the Valley. Older names include the Great Valley, a name often seen in scientific references, and Golden Empire. The Central Valley is outlined by the Cascade, Sierra Nevada, and Tehachapi mountain ranges on the east, the broad valley floor is carpeted by vast agricultural regions, and dotted with numerous population centers.
While there are many large and small between these cities, these four cities act as hubs for regional commerce and transportation. About 6.5 million people live in the Central Valley today, there are 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 1 Micropolitan Statistical Area in the Central Valley. Below, they are listed by MSA and μSA population, the largest city is Fresno, followed by the state capital, Sacramento. The valley is thought to have originated below sea level as an offshore area depressed by subduction of the Farallon Plate into a trench further offshore, the San Joaquin Fault is a notable seismic feature of the Central Valley. The valley was enclosed by the uplift of the Coast Ranges, faulting moved the Coast Ranges, and a new outlet developed near what is now San Francisco Bay. The one notable exception to the valley floor is Sutter Buttes. Another significant geologic feature of the Central Valley lies hidden beneath the delta, the Stockton Arch is an upwarping of the crust beneath the valley sediments which extends southwest to northeast across the valley.
However, much of the Central Valley environment has been removed or altered by human activity including the introduction of exotic plants, the oak woodlands and chaparral that fringe the valley have been categorized as the California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion. The wetlands have been the target of operations to restore areas nearly destroyed by agriculture. The dominant grass of the valley was Nassella pulchra mixed with other species, grassland flowers include California poppy and purple owls clover which can still be seen, especially in Antelope Valley in the Tehachapi hills
It is the northernmost extent of the vast trough which includes the Salton Sea, the Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California. The San Andreas Fault crosses the valley from the Chocolate Mountains in the southeast corner, the fault is easily visible along its northern length as a strip of greenery against an otherwise bare mountain. The Chocolate Mountains are home to a United States Navy live gunnery range and are mostly off-limits to the public, in comparison to the Inland Empire, some people refer to the IEs sub-region Coachella Valley as the Desert Empire to differentiate it from the neighboring Imperial Valley. Geographers and geologists sometimes call the area, along with the Imperial Valley to the south, the valley connects with the Greater Los Angeles area to the west via the San Gorgonio Pass, a major transportation corridor that includes I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad. The valley is part of the 13th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the famous desert resort cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert lie in the Coachella Valley.5 million annual conventioneers and tourists.
The local population rounds up to almost 500,000 in April, declines to 200,000 in July, there is some contention as to the origin of the name. Early maps show the area as Conchilla, the Spanish word for seashell, since the area was once a part of a vast inland sea, tiny fossilized mollusk shells can be found in just about every remote area. Local lore explains the change in the name from Conchilla to Coachella as a made by the map-makers contracted to transcribe the data supplied by the Southern Pacific Railroads survey party. Rather than redraw the expensive maps, the railroad chose to begin calling the area by the misspelled name Coachella rather than its traditional name Conchilla. Some believe that the name Coachella was simply made up, cindarella Courtney was the first non-Indian child born in Indio in 1898. The first boy, David Elgin, was born in 1899, the coming in 1926 of U. S. So too did the coming of State Highway 111 in the early 1930s, the standard was refined and adopted worldwide.
Doctor McCarroll is memorialized by a stretch of I-10 through Indio named in her honor, the Coachella Valley was popular among celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Dakota Fanning who came and continue to come to enjoy vacations and winter homes in the desert resort community. Also it became a real estate destination in the 1980s and 1990s no longer limited to senior citizens, winter residents. Families with young children and young adults interested in Palm Springs and surrounding communities for lower cost housing. In a 2003 Condé Nast publication review, Palm Springs was ranked one of the top 10 global vacation destinations, and the smallest one in population. The area is surrounded on the southwest by the Santa Rosa Mountains, by the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and these mountains peak at around 11,000 feet and tend to average between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. Elevations on the Valley floor range from 1600 ft above sea level at the end of the Valley to 250 ft below sea level around Mecca
Palm Desert, California
Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles east of Palm Springs and 122 miles east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a retreat for snowbirds from colder climates. The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, the first residential development occurred in 1943 in connection with an Army maintenance camp in the area. That site was developed into El Paseo, an upscale shopping district not unlike Rodeo Drive. In 1948, the Palm Desert Corporation began to develop real estate, many celebrities keep homes in Palm Desert, including Rita Rudner and more recently, the current home of professional golfer Michelle Wie and one of the homes of Bill Gates. Film producer Jerry Weintraub called Palm Desert his second home before he died, with only 1,500 permanent residents, the community was incorporated on November 26,1973.
At the time, Palm Desert was a planned community situated in the desert that used to stretch from Palm Springs to Indio. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 27.0 square miles. The elevation is 224 feet above sea level, elevations vary from the lower northern half once covered in sand dunes to the upper slope southern cove all the way to the ridgeline at 1,000 feet. Palm Desert is located in the Coachella Valley, the extension of the Sonoran Desert. Sun City Palm Desert, California lies on the side of Interstate 10 from Palm Desert itself. The climate of the Coachella Valley is influenced by the surrounding geography, High mountain ranges on three sides and a south-sloping valley floor all contribute to its unique and year-round warm climate, with the warmest winters in the western United States. Winters are warm with highs between 73–84 °F. Under 5 inches of precipitation are average, with over 348 days of sunshine per year. The mean annual temperature at 75.8 °F makes Palm Desert one of the warmest places in the United States, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Palm Desert was 125 °F on July 6,1905.
The surrounding mountains create a thermal belt in the foothills of Palm Desert. The University of California maintains weather stations located in this thermal belt as part of their project in the Philip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center
Fort Ord is a former United States Army post on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean coast in California, which closed in 1994. Most of the land now makes up the Fort Ord National Monument. Before construction and official designation as a fort in 1940, the land was used as a maneuver area, Fort Ord was considered one of the most attractive locations of any U. S. Army post, because of its proximity to the beach and California weather. The 7th Infantry Division was its main garrison for many years, when Fort Ord was converted to civilian use, space was set aside for the first nature reserve in the United States created for conservation of an insect, the endangered Smiths blue butterfly. Additional endangered species are found on Fort Ord including Contra Costa goldfields, while much of the old military buildings and infrastructure remain abandoned, many structures have been torn down for anticipated development. On April 20,2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating a 14, the area was known as the Gigling Reservation, U. S.
Field Artillery Area, Presidio of Monterey and Gigling Field Artillery Range. Although military development and construction was just beginning, the War only lasted for another year, despite a great demobilization of the U. S. Armed Forces during the years of the 1920s and 1930s, by 1933. Primarily, horse cavalry units trained on the camp until the military began to mechanize and train mobile combat units such as tanks, armored personnel carrier and movable artillery. By 1940, the 23-year-old Camp Ord was expanded to 2,000 acres, in August 1940, it was re-designated Fort Ord and the 7th Infantry Division was reactivated, becoming the first major unit to occupy the post. In 1941, Camp Ord became Fort Ord, in 1947, Fort Ord became the home of the 4th Replacement Training Center. During the 1950s and 1960s, Fort Ord was an area for units departing for war in the Korean War and peace-time/occupation/ duty in Japan, South Korea. Then, when Southeast Asia became a war zone with Vietnam, the 194th Armored Brigade was activated there under Combat Development Command in 1957, but departed for Fort Knox in Kentucky in 1960.
In 1988, the Base Realignment and Closure legislation considering the post-Cold War era was passed by the Congress, on July 14,1989, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed placement of Fort Ord on the National Priorities List. NPL status was finalized on February 21,1990, the final basic training classes were held in 1990. In 1991, the decision to close Fort Ord was made, in 1994, Fort Ord was officially closed. The Fort was the largest U. S. military base to be closed at the time, the BRAC Commission of 1991 recommended closing the post and moving the units stationed at Fort Ord to Fort Lewis, Washington. On May 2,1992, Army elements from Fort Ord along with Marines from Camp Pendleton participated in quelling the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, in 1994, Fort Ord was finally closed
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara is a public research university and one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a 1, 022-acre site near Goleta, tracing its roots back to 1891 as an independent teachers college, UCSB joined the University of California system in 1944 and is the third-oldest general-education campus in the system. UCSB is one of Americas Public Ivy universities, which recognizes top public universities in the United States. The university is a doctoral university and is organized into five colleges. UCSB was ranked 37th among National Universities, 8th among U. S. public universities, the university was ranked 48th worldwide for 2016-17 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 42nd worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2016. UC Santa Barbara is a high activity research university with twelve national research centers. UCSB was the No.3 host on the ARPAnet and was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1995, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos compete in the Big West Conference of the NCAA Division I.
The Gauchos have won NCAA national championships in soccer and mens water polo. UCSB traces its origins back to the Anna Blake School which was founded in 1891 and offered training in home economics and industrial arts. The Anna Blake School was taken over by the state in 1909 and became the Santa Barbara State Normal School, the State College system sued to stop the takeover, but the Governor did not support the suit. A state initiative was passed, however, in 1946 to stop subsequent conversions of State Colleges to University of California campuses, from 1944 to 1958 the school was known as Santa Barbara College of the University of California, before taking on its current name. When the vacated Marine Corps training station in Goleta was purchased for the growing college. Originally, the Regents envisioned a small, several thousand-student liberal arts college, chronologically, UCSB is the third general-education campus of the University of California, after Berkeley and UCLA. The original campus the Regents acquired in Santa Barbara was located on only 100 acres of largely unusable land on a seaside mesa, all of this change was done in accordance with the California Master Plan for Higher Education.
In 1959, UCSB professor Douwe Stuurman hosted the English writer Aldous Huxley as the universitys first visiting professor, Huxley delivered a lectures series called The Human Situation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s UCSB became nationally known as a hotbed of anti-Vietnam War activity, a bombing at the schools faculty club in 1969 killed the caretaker, Dover Sharp. UCSBs anti-Vietnam activity impelled Governor Ronald Reagan to impose a curfew, weapon-carrying guardsmen were a common sight on campus and in Isla Vista during this time. On May 23,2014, a killing spree occurred in Isla Vista, all six people killed during the rampage were students at UCSB
Eel River (California)
The Eel River is a major river, about 196 miles long, of northwestern California in the United States. The river and its tributaries form the third largest watershed entirely in California, the river flows generally northward through the Coast Ranges west of the Sacramento Valley, emptying into the Pacific Ocean about 10 miles downstream from Fortuna and just south of Humboldt Bay. The river provides groundwater recharge and industrial, agricultural and municipal water supply, the Eel River system is among the most dynamic in California because of the regions unstable geology and the influence of major Pacific storms. The discharge is highly variable, average flows in January and February are over 100 times greater than in August, the river carries the highest suspended sediment load of any river of its size in the United States, in part due to the frequent landslides in the region. The river basin was populated by Native Americans before. The region remained little traveled until 1850, when Josiah Gregg, the river was named after they traded a frying pan to a group of Wiyot fishermen in exchange for a large number of Pacific lampreys, which the explorers thought were eels.
Explorers reports of the fertile and heavily timbered region attracted settlers to Humboldt Bay, starting in the late 19th century the Eel River supported a large salmon canning industry which began to decline by the 1920s due to overfishing. The Eel River basin has been a significant source of timber since the days of early settlement, the river valley was a major rail transport corridor throughout the 20th century and forms part of the route of Redwood Highway. Since the early 20th century, the Eel River has been dammed in its headwaters to provide water, via transfer, to parts of Mendocino. During the 1950s and 1960s, there was great interest in building much larger dams in the Eel River system, the Eel was granted federal Wild and Scenic River status in 1981, formally making it off limits to new dams. Nevertheless, grazing, road-building and other human activities continue to affect the watersheds ecology. The Eel River originates on the flank of 6, 740-foot Bald Mountain, in the Upper Lake Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest in Mendocino County.
The river flows south through a canyon in Lake County before entering Lake Pillsbury. Below the dam the river flows west, re-entering Mendocino County, at the small Cape Horn Dam about 15 miles east of Willits, water is diverted from the Eel River basin through a 1-mile tunnel to the Russian River, in a scheme known as the Potter Valley Project. Below the dam the river turns north, flowing through an isolated valley, receiving Outlet Creek from the west. About 20 miles downstream, the North Fork Eel River – draining one of the most rugged, between the North and Middle Forks the Round Valley Indian Reservation lies east of the Eel River. After this confluence the Eel flows briefly through southwestern Trinity County, past Island Mountain, the river cuts from southeast to northwest across Humboldt County, past a number of small mountain communities including Fort Seward. The South Fork Eel River joins from the west, near Humboldt Redwoods State Park, below the South Fork the Eel flows through a wider agricultural valley, past Scotia and Rio Dell, before receiving the Van Duzen River from the east
Cambria /ˈkeɪmbriə/ is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1. The name Cambria, chosen in 1869, is the Latin name for Wales, Cambria is situated amidst Monterey pines in one of only three such native forests. Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, San Simeon, the corresponding census designated place had a population of 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people inhabited the area in the time before the Spanish arrived, experts believe these tribes to have been migratory and used Cambria as a seasonal settlement, other scientists are convinced that they lived there permanently. Most agree that they fed themselves with shellfish and seafood, as well as obtaining food from travels inland to hunt and these early inhabitants were skilled basket and net makers and fashioned jewelry from crab claws, abalone shells, and the teeth of sharks and whales.
The presence of soapstone provides evidence that they traded with the Catalina Island tribes, whereas the lack of metals, according to scientists there is ample evidence to conclude that Cambria tribes were gentle and peaceful people and that they lived simply. Their family bonds were strong, and they showed great love, the members of the Cambria tribes were noted for their extreme cleanliness in handling and preparing food and possessed a marked knowledge of medicinal herbs. For entertainment, they played music and had a passion for gambling, the first recorded visit by Europeans took place in 1769 when the Portola expedition, coming overland from the south, visited the area. The Spanish soldiers named the site El Osito, because the local Chumash people offered them a pet bear. Gifts of food were particularly welcome on their journey, because food supplies were running short. Cambria is located on the Rancho Santa Rosa Mexican land grant given in 1841 to Julian Estrada, settlers were drawn to the area because of the fertile lands and lumber.
Additionally, miners were attracted to the area by the 1862 discovery of cinnabar, for a while, Cambria was a boom town, with $280,000 worth of quicksilver shipped out of San Simeon between 1867 and 1870. During several years Cambria was a mine town, and prospectors flooded the area. More than 150 claims were filed in the early 1870s, the most successful of these claims, the Oceanic Quicksilver Mining Company, at one time employed 300 and was the largest mine in the area and the sixth largest in the world. Three furnaces were built, seven tunnels completed, and their stock price jumped to $30.00 a share, hopes were high, and Cambria residents dreamed of imminent wealth. Unfortunately, by 1878, mercury prices started to fall and Cambrias first economic boom ended, as mercury prices fluctuated, Cambrias mining thrived and dwindled. During the boom of 1876, $282,832 worth of quicksilver was produced, four years later, a devastating fire in 1889 virtually ended the mercury business and Cambria settled into a quiet dairy community.
Originally an American settlement called Slab Town, the known as Cambria was centered at the Leffingwell cove of todays northern Moonstone Beach
The Laguna Mountains are a mountain range of the Peninsular Ranges System in eastern San Diego County, southern California. The mountains run in a northwest/southeast alignment for approximately 35 miles, the mountains have long been inhabited by the indigenous Kumeyaay people. The Laguna Mountains are bordered by the Cuyamaca Mountains area on the west and the Colorado Desert on the east, to the north the Laguna Mountains are bounded by the Elsinore Fault Zone and to the south by Cameron Valley and Thing Valley. The highest point is Cuyapaipe Mountain at 6,378 feet, the mountains are largely contained within the Cleveland National Forest. Snow falls on the highest peaks several times a year, mount Laguna is a village in the Laguna Mountains with a population of about 80. The headwaters of three perennial streams begin in the Laguna Mountains, Noble Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Kitchen Creek, the Laguna Mountains extend northwest about 35 mi from the Mexican border at the Sierra de Juárez range.
The Sawtooth Range and In-Ko-Pah Mountains are adjacent to the east, the Santa Rosa Mountains lie further to the northeast. The Cuyamaca Mountains are adjacent along the west, the southern section is in the Mountain Empire region of San Diego County, and the northern section is in the East County region. The Laguna Mountains are a recreation area in the Cleveland National Forest. They comprise the southernmost crest along the Pacific Crest Trail and their relatively high altitude induces the highest snowfall in San Diego County making it one of the few local places to offer snow activities like sledding and snowshoeing. Mountain ranges of San Diego County, California Natural history of the Peninsular Ranges