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Cajon Pass

Cajon Pass as viewed looking south from the north ridge
Looking south down the Cajon Pass

The San Andreas fault, where the North American and Pacific continental plates meet and grind together, a mountain range was formed millions of years ago. The single range divided and was cut at a right angle by streams flowing toward the lower basin, the higher plate tore away from the ridges. To the east, the San Bernardino range, to the west, the San Gabriels. This breach in the mountains became the "Cajon Pass." In Spanish, "Cajon", translates to "Box", which they felt the pass was shaped like.

The Cajon Pass was lived in and around by the Serrano Indians, although the Indians of the desert would travel through on nearby trails to trade with the coastal indians.

Spanish soldier, Pedro Fages, first traveled through the pass in his search for deserters from the Spanish Army. Horse thieves such as Walkara, known as the "Greatest horsethief in history", used the pass to escape with his thousands of horses stolen in raids. Later, Mormon pioneers, and those eager to find gold in the rush up north.

Trails were worn and established, and several smaller passes were used to enter the valley. Eventually, a toll road was cut and graded. A railroad was built; the toll road was paved, realigned and became the Old National Trails highway. Later on, the highway was upgraded again and became Route 66.

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Views from the Cajon Summit
Stand on the summit and look around. (Scenic Views)

Cajon Summit Wildflowers
Wildflowers, weeds & blossoms around the Cajon Pass Summit. (Wildflowers)

Cajon Pass Wildflowers
Along the east ridge of the canyon near the San Bernardino National Forest. (Wildflowers)

Railroad through the Pass
Watch the trains to Mojave Narrows through the historic Cajon Pass

Aerial Photos
Take a ride on the aerial tour and hop on at the photo of the pass. (Aerial Photos)

Cajon Pass photo tours

Mormon Rocks

Rest stop for Mormon travelers on the Mormon Road on the way to San Bernardino. Unusual sandstone rock formation created by San Andreas fault.

Lost Lake

Sag pond fed by spring emerging from the San Andreas fault. Deep and cold.

Cajon Creek

Midway through the Cajon Pass, at the bottom of the canyon there is a perennial creek that flows out of a ...

Blue Cut

About 5 miles above Devore is a narrow gorge eroded by Cajon Creek known as Blue Cut, also called ...

Ecology

Southern California Mountains and Valleys: San Gorgonio Mountains
This subsection comprises the lower and warmer parts of the San Bernardino Mountains, which are between the southern branch of the San Andreas fault on the south-southwest and the Mojave Desert on the north. ...

Southern California Mountains and Valleys: San Gabriel Mountains
This subsection comprises the lower and warmer parts of the San Gabriel Mountains, which are between the San Andreas fault on the north-northeast and the Los Angeles and Fontana Plains on the south. ...

Mojave Desert: High Desert Plains and Hills
This subsection consists of the western Mojave Desert, which is mostly alluvial plain and pediment, with relatively small areas of hills and low mountains. ...

Cajon Pass History

Cajon Pass Terrain Map

Related Maps

recreation - ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - 360 photos - glossary - comments

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