The Three Saints are the three ultra-prominent peaks of Southern California. Each peak lies adjacent to the Los Angeles Basin and reside in close proximity to each other. They are popular destinations for hikers, skiers, and rock climbers.
An ultra-prominent peak, or Ultra for short, is a mountain summit with a topographic prominence of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) or more; it is also called a P1500. There are approximately 1,524 such peaks on Earth. Some peaks, such as the Matterhorn and Eiger, are not Ultras because they are connected to higher mountains by high cols and therefore do not achieve enough topographic prominence.
Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.
The Los Angeles Basin is a sedimentary basin located in southern California, in a region known as the Peninsular Ranges. The basin is also connected to an anomalous group of east-west trending chains of mountains collectively known as the California Transverse Ranges. The present basin is a coastal lowland area, whose floor is marked by elongate low ridges and groups of hills that is located on the edge of the Pacific plate. The Los Angeles Basin, along with the Santa Barbara Channel, the Ventura Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and the San Gabriel Basin, lies within the greater southern California region. On the north, northeast, and east, the lowland basin is bound by the Santa Monica Mountains and Puente, Elysian, Repetto hills. To the southeast, the basin is bordered by the Santa Ana mountains and the San Joaquin Hills. The western boundary of the basin is marked by the Continental Borderland and is part of the onshore portion. The California borderland is characterized by north-west trending offshore ridges and basins. The Los Angeles Basin is notable for its great structural relief and complexity in relation to its geologic youth and small size for its prolific oil production. Yerkes et al. identify 5 major stages of the basin's evolution that begins in the Upper Cretaceous and ends in the Pleistocene. This basin can be classified as an irregular pull-apart basin accompanied by rotational tectonics during the post-early Miocene.
The peaks are:
San Gorgonio Mountain, also known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California and the Transverse Ranges at 11,503 feet (3,506 m).
San Jacinto Peak is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and of Riverside County, California. It lies within Mount San Jacinto State Park. Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, "The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!"
Mount San Antonio, colloquially referred to as Mount Baldy, is the highest peak of the San Gabriel Mountains, and the highest point in Los Angeles County, California. The peak is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Angeles National Forest. It is the tallest mountain in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Mount San Antonio's sometimes snow-capped peaks are visible on clear days and dominate the view of the Los Angeles Basin skyline. The peak is pyramid shaped, with a steep south face and a shallower north face. The summit is accessible via a number of connecting ridges along hiking trails from the north, east, south and southwest.
The list is sometimes referred to as the Four Saints due to the inclusion of San Bernardino Peak (10,649 feet (3,246 m)), a historically important peak in the San Bernardino Mountains. San Bernardino Peak (prom. 209 ft) has insignificant topographical prominence compared to the other three mountains, overshadowed by nearby Anderson Peak.
Anderson Peak is a mountain on the Mount San Gorgonio crestline in Southern California's San Gorgonio Wilderness, which is part of the San Bernardino National Forest. It is 3.2 miles (5.1 km) from Jepson Peak. Although not above the tree line, snow tends to cover the crest from early winter until late spring.
California is a U.S. state on the western coast of North America. Covering an area of 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2), California is geographically diverse. The Sierra Nevada, the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, and the arid Mojave Desert of the south are some of the major geographic features of this U.S. state. It is home to some of the world's most exceptional trees: the tallest, most massive, and oldest. It is also home to both the highest and lowest points in the 48 contiguous states. The state is generally divided into Northern and Southern California, although the boundary between the two is not well defined. San Francisco is decidedly a Northern California city and Los Angeles likewise a Southern California one, but areas in between do not often share their confidence in geographic identity. The US Geological Survey defines the geographic center of the state at a point near North Fork, California.
The San Gabriel Mountains are a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, California, United States. The mountain range is part of the Transverse Ranges and lies between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert, with Interstate 5 to the west and Interstate 15 to the east. This range lies in, and is surrounded by, the Angeles National Forest, with the San Andreas Fault as the northern border of the range.
The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, in the Pacific Coast Ranges physiographic region in North America. The Transverse Ranges begin at the southern end of the California Coast Ranges and lie within Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Peninsular Ranges lie to the south. The name Transverse Ranges is due to their east–west orientation, making them transverse to the general northwest–southeast orientation of most of California's coastal mountains.
The Santa Ana Mountains are a short peninsular mountain range along the coast of Southern California in the United States. They extend for approximately 61 miles (98 km) southeast of the Los Angeles Basin largely along the border between Orange and Riverside counties.
The San Bernardino Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in Southern California in the United States. Situated north and northeast of San Bernardino and spanning two California counties, the range tops out at 11,489 feet (3,502 m) at San Gorgonio Mountain – the tallest peak in all of Southern California. The San Bernardinos form a significant region of wilderness and are popular for hiking and skiing.
The Angeles National Forest (ANF) of the U.S. Forest Service is located in the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains, primarily within Los Angeles County in southern California. The ANF manages a majority of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
White Mountain Peak, at 14,252-foot (4344.0 m), is the highest peak in the White Mountains of California, the highest peak in Mono County, and the third highest peak in the state after Mount Whitney and Mount Williamson.
The San Bernardino National Forest is a United States National Forest in Southern California encompassing 823,816 acres (3,333.87 km2) of which 677,982 acres (2,743.70 km2) are federal. The forest is made up of two main divisions, the eastern portion of the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Bernardino Mountains on the easternmost of the Transverse Ranges, and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains on the northernmost of the Peninsular Ranges. Elevations range from 2,000 to 11,499 feet. The forest includes seven wilderness areas: San Gorgonio, Cucamonga, San Jacinto, South Fork San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, Cahuilla Mountain and Bighorn Mountain. Forest headquarters are located in the city of San Bernardino. There are district offices in Lytle Creek, Idyllwild, and Fawnskin.
Cucamonga Peak, at 8,862 feet (2,701 m) is one of the highest peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains, and is located in San Bernardino County, California. It is within the Cucamonga Wilderness of the San Bernardino National Forest.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness is located in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County and into northern Riverside County, Southern California.
The Morongo Basin is an endorheic basin and valley region located in eastern San Bernardino County, in Southern California.
Silverwood Lake is a large reservoir in San Bernardino County, California, United States, located on the West Fork Mojave River, a tributary of the Mojave River in the San Bernardino Mountains. It was created in 1971 as part of the State Water Project by the construction of the Cedar Springs Dam as a forebay on the 444-mile (715 km) long California Aqueduct, and has a capacity of 73,000 acre feet (90,000,000 m3).
Santiago Peak is the southern mountain of Orange County's Saddleback formation. It is the highest and most prominent peak of both the Santa Ana Mountains and Orange County, and also marks a border point with Riverside County. The top of it is covered with many microwave and telecommunication antennas. It is named for Santiago Creek, which begins on its southwestern flank.
Double Peak is located south of San Marcos, California. The elevation at the summit is 1,646 ft (502 m), and approximately 1,000 feet above the north foot of the mountain. Most trails leading to the summit of Double Peak are classified as "moderately strenuous."
Mount Harwood is the first summit east of Mount San Antonio. The United States Geological Survey recognized the name to honor California educator and conservationist Aurelia Squire Harwood in 1965. Prior to this, the peak now known as Thunder Mountain was also referred to as Mount Harwood. Mount Harwood is located on the East side of the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest near the San Bernardino-Los Angeles county border. In this area of the San Gabriel Mountains the peaks are the highest. Because of the elevation Mount Harwood turns out to be ranked the 4th highest peak in the San Gabriel mountains after Dawson Peak, Mount San Antonio or "Old Baldy" being the highest at 10,064 feet. The only way for hikers or tourists to access Mount Harwood is to take Mt. Baldy Road off I-210. A National Forest Adventure pass/ National Park access pass must be displayed on a vehicle to access Mount Harwood.
The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, USA. It comprises 30,000 acres (12,141 ha) within the Sierra National Forest and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the California Wilderness Act of 1984.
The Cucamonga Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, in San Bernardino County, Southern California.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a large prominent peak in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. With a peak elevation of 9,952 feet (3,033 m), it is the highest peak in the San Bernardino Mountains outside the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Wilderness permits are not required to hike the peak, but a Forest Service pass is required to park on any fire road. Sugarloaf Mountain is clearly visible in most parts of Big Bear Valley. The peak is especially prominent when entering the Big Bear area from Highway 18 from the Lucerne Valley. Located in a unique transition zone in Southern California, the climate is influenced by the deserts, the inland valley, and alpine climates. The north face of the summit is usually covered with snow during the winter months.