SGM Current and Historical News pre-1999


The main Shoshone Indian trail across the San Gabriels:

The trail branched then, with one fork going to Buckhorn and then down the South Fork of Little Rock Creek. The other fork went through upper Alder Creek to Mt. Pacifico and then down Santiago Canyon to Little Rock Creek.

There were many other Indian footpaths as well.

Information from historian Will Thrall, conveyed by John Robinson in Trails of the Angeles, Sixth edition, p. 10.

Late 1700s

Spaniards called the San Gabriels "Sierra de San Gabriel", after the nearby mission. The name "Sierra Madre" also was used later along with "San Gabriel".


Benjamin Wilson reworks an old Indian path up Little Santa Anita Canyon to Mt. Wilson.


John Muir visits the San Gabriels and pronounces them as being "more rigidly inaccessible than any other I attempted to penetrate".


Recreational use of the San Gabriels began, along with exploitation of timber and other resources.


Forest Reserve Act of 1891 allows president "to set aside as public reservations public lands bearing forest wholly or in part covered with timber and undergrowth". President Benjamin Harrison established the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve on 20 December, 1892, the first forest reserve in California and the second in the U.S.


U.S. Board on Geographic Names ruled in favor of "San Gabriels" as the official name for the mountains.


North Baldy officially renamed as Mt. Baden-Powell by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, after Lord Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, a British Army Officer who founded the Boy Scout movement in 1907. This was in response to a request by C.J. Carlson, Western Regional Boy Scout Director, and the Forest Service.


March. A "great flood" wipes out the East Fork Road in San Gabriel Canyon, leaving the Bridge to Nowhere stranded. (Trails of the Angeles, 6th edition, #84, p. 189.)


May. 1st edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 3 years after the last edition.


May. 2nd edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 2 years after the last edition.


May. 3rd edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 3 years after the last edition.


March. 4th edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 3 years after the last edition.


Original planning regulations for Forests were issued.


May. 5th edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 5 years after the last edition.


January. 6th edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 5.5 years after the last edition.


May. Jerry Schad publishes 1st edition of Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles County.


~April. Portions of Little Rock Creek will be closed from Spring until the end of September to protect the habitat of the endangered Arroyo Southwestern Toad, beginning this year.

Summer. Seven sites were closed temporarily after ground squirrels in each area tested positive for sylvatic plague, carried by fleas.

October. An official ANF site is put online by the National USDA office.

A total of 21 USGS 7.5' topo maps were updated in 1995 and 1996, two-thirds of the 31 that cover the SGM.


May. Last significant rain of season on the 13th. Bulldozing of trails stirs up controversy, which apparently dies down after the trails were finished.

June. Enforcement of the new forest fees begins, generating a ton of continuing controversy.

18. The Center for Biological Diversity sues the four southern Southern California Forests, charging that they had systematically failed to protect 39 endangered species including the California condor, bald eagle, California red-legged frog, Steelhead trout, Arroyo toad, Southwestern willow flycatcher, California gnatcatcher, Least Bell's vireo, San Bernadino Mountains bladderpod, Laguna Mountains skipper, Smith's blue butterfly, Unarmored three-spined stickleback and the California jewel-flower. (Their pre-suit notification action had listed 51 species.) The problems were attributed to overgrazing, road construction, development, exotic species introduction, dams, and industrial-scale tourism. The suit was settled in March 2000.

September. Members of the Los Angeles Region Seismic Experiment II placed 84 seismometers about a kilometer apart along a line from Topanga Canyon to the Mojave Desert. The line goes through the ANF in a northerly trend starting just north along I-5 of the I-5 and SR14 intersection. 900 more seismographs will be placed in Fall 1999.

For a map showing the location of the sensors, see LAT 1/26/99, B2.

September. 7th edition of Trails of the Angeles published, 8.5 years after the last edition.

September. The contractor hired by Rubio Water begins cutting an 8'-wide "bench" into Rubio Canyon for Rubio Water's water collection pipe. Debris begins to cover Rubio Canyon waterfalls. See Rubio Canyon for the story.

November. Susie Wood of the local ANF office puts online a beautiful official site, rich with content and pictures.

First significant rain of season on the 8th, 179 days after the last previous significant rain.

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Copyright © 1998-2001 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 4 November 2001.