San Bernardino Valley
The San Bernardino Valley, more commonly known as the Greater San Bernardino Area is a valley and urban area in Southern California. It lies at the south base of the Transverse Ranges. It is bordered on the north by the eastern San Gabriel Mountains and San Bernardino Mountains, on the east by the San Jacinto Mountains, and on the south by the Temescal Mountains and Santa Ana Mountains and on the west by the Pomona Valley. Elevation varies from 180 metres (590 ft) on valley floors near Chino, where it gradually increases to about 420 metres (1,380 ft) near San Bernardino and Redlands. The valley floor houses roughly over 80% of the over 4 million total human population in the Inland Empire region, it is one of the most important industrial and residential areas of Southern California being the 3rd largest metropolitan area in California and the 12th largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Local attractions
- 5 Sports
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 See also
- 9 References
The San Bernardino Valley was cut from fast moving water flows from mountain ranges in the north, east and south that collectively drain into the Santa Ana River basin that goes to the sea through Riverside and Orange County. The valley connects several open natural areas and beautiful mountain and valley vistas. The San Bernardino Valley is surrounded by preserves, national forests and open recreational areas. For this reason many residents travel through the area for a variety of outdoor sports, including skiing, hiking, biking and ballooning in the mountain resorts of Crestline, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear City.
Once part of famed U.S. Route 66, it is now crossed by Interstate 15 on its way through the high desert. Interstate 10 enters the valley from Pomona and exits to the east over the San Gorgonio Pass, which enters into the low desert.
Joan Didion, in her essay "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream," describes the San Bernardino Valley as "...in certain ways an alien place: not the coastal California of the subtropical twilights and the soft westerlies of the Pacific but a harsher California, haunted by the Mojave just beyond the mountains, devastated by the hot dry Santa Ana wind that comes down through the passes at 100 miles an hour and works on the nerves."
The San Bernardino Valley encompasses one of two drainage basins of the Santa Ana River, the Inland Santa Ana Basin. Underneath the surface area of this drainage basin, which takes excess rain water out of the valley, are several large ground water sub-basins, under lain by the impermeable granitic rock of the Perris Block, which capture water in aquifers underground. Designated ground water sub-basins include: Chino, Rialto-Colton, Riverside-Arlington, San Bernardino (Bunker Hill), Yucaipa and San Timoteo. The San Bernardino or Bunker Hill basin is bounded on the northeast by the San Bernardino Mountains, northwest by the San Gabriel Mountains, southwest by the San Timoteo badlands, and southeast by the Crafton Hills. Also, the San Andreas and San Jacinto fault zones enter the valley along the San Bernardino Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains, respectively. The two fault lines converge to less than 10 km apart in the city of San Bernardino, and less than 3 km in the northwestern part of the basin near the Cajon Pass.
Cities and communities
Ontario and San Bernardino both serve as the economic engines of the Greater San Bernardino area with San Bernardino having the regions major downtown core. The county and region offices are located in San Bernardino.
The climate is Mediterranean with cool to cold, wet, in some cases snowy winters (extreme east and north valley areas) and dry, hot summers. Usually the areas north of interstate 210 and east of interstate 215 see colder weather in the winter with occasional snowfall. Sage scrub and the Yucca plant are the predominant natural vegetation along washes and uplands; it intergrades with chaparral at elevations of 600 to 700 m. Other vegetation consists of a patchwork of grasslands, riparian woodlands, and mixed hardwood forests, which border the valley in the mountains on the north and east. The Santa Ana winds blow into the valley from the Cajon Pass, which exits the valley's north end between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains. The seasonal Santa Ana winds are felt particularly strongly in the San Bernardino area as warm and dry air is channeled through nearby Cajon Pass at times during the autumn months. This phenomenon markedly increases the wildfire danger in the foothill, canyon, and mountain communities that the cycle of cold wet winters and dry summers helps create.
|Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures for San Bernardino|
|Avg high °F||62||66||68||71||77||91||102||103||89||80||71||64||75|
|Avg low °F||34||35||41||46||50||53||60||60||57||50||42||37||46|
The Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino attracts about half a million people annually from all over the world to watch California's largest classical car show. Although not in the valley, the San Bernardino Mountains attract much tourism to the valley as people drive up to the local resorts, especially in the winter months. A famous ski resort in the area is Big Bear. Other famous mountain communities with large tourism include Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear Lake, and Crestline.
The San Bernardino Valley is home to a number of different sports teams. Including the California State University, San Bernardino Coyotes compete at the NCAA Division II level in a variety of sports. In 2007, the Coyotes' men's basketball team competed in the Division II Final Four in Springfield, Massachusetts. However, only San Bernardino Valley College plays football at the collegiate level.
San Bernardino also hosts the BSR West Super Late Model Series at Orange Show Speedway. The series fields many drivers, including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Ron Hornaday, who drove the #33 in a race on July 12, 2008.
Inland Empire 66ers
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes is a minor league baseball team in Rancho Cucamonga. They are an "advanced-A" class team in the California League, and were affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 2001, but switched affiliations to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. They were affiliated with the San Diego Padres during the late 1990s. The RC Quakes play at the Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter.
Little League baseball
San Bernardino is also the home of Al Houghton Stadium and the Western Regional Little League headquarters of Little League Inc. Each year in the first two weeks of August, San Bernardino hosts eleven western states in the West and Northwest regional tournaments.
Auto Club Speedway
The Greater San Bernardino area is home to several cities. Some of which have their own school districts while others contract with neighboring cities to provide schooling. Notable ones would be the award winning Redlands Unified School District and largest school district in the area, the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The Valley is also home to one campus of the California State University system as well as three community colleges. In addition, some private institutions are located in the Valley as well as various trade and technical schools.
Although a significant number of the cities and towns are "bedroom communities" with residents commuting to nearby Los Angeles or Orange counties for work, the San Bernardino Valley is still an important transportation center to the state and country. Located approximately 70 miles to the east, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a high percentage of goods destined for the rest of the country as well as items on their way out to the world pass through the valley, most of it on trains or trucks. Both Union Pacific and BNSF have tracks that run through the valley. In addition, BNSF has an intermodal transfer facility in San Bernardino. The valley is also crossed by two major interstates and their auxiliaries. Additionally, the communities in the mountains north of the valley are served by several state highways. Mass transit trains and buses both serve the valley. Also, goods and people movement by air is available via two commercial international airports as well as several general aviation air fields. The Greater San Bernardino Area, along with the rest of the Inland Empire, is ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the American's unhealthiest commutes.
Although high percentage of valley residents drive their own cars, there are several available options for mass transit. The largest bus line in the Greater San Bernardino area is Omnitrans, which covers virtually the entire valley. The Omni lines also meet lines for Foothill Transit and Riverside Transit Agency buses, providing connectivity to Riverside County and Los Angeles County. The area is also served by Metrolink's San Bernardino Line and the IEOC Line. These lines lead to the Los Angeles Metropolitan and San Diego Metropolitan areas.
The two main railroads in the valley are Union Pacific (UP) and BNSF. Both have extensive yards in the valley and it is an important area for national movement of goods. UP tracks enter the valley from the south alongside the BNSF tracks in Colton/Grand Terrace. They then continue north until the Colton Crossing, where they then turn east. Union Pacific also has a second set of tracks that were the Southern Pacific tracks until they took over SP. These tracks enter the valley from the west through Ontario, passing alongside the 10 until Loma Linda, where they turn and exit the valley to the southeast. The BNSF track enters the valley from the south by Colton/Grand Terrace as well, but continues north at the Colton Crossing. It then enters the intermodal and car transfer yards, where it turns east for approximately a mile. It then turns north again, running alongside I-215 until it meets the 15 in Devore and exits the valley via the Cajon Pass. Union Pacific also has a line that exits the valley through the pass. The Colton Crossing, located in Colton, is the point where the tracks of the two companies cross.
The San Bernardino Valley is served by two major commercial airports, although it has many gerneral aviation airports.
|Airport||IATA code||ICAO code||County|
|Ontario International Airport||ONT||KONT||San Bernardino|
|San Bernardino International Airport||SBD||KSBD||San Bernardino|
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