San Francisquito Canyon

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San Francisquito Canyon is a canyon created through erosion of the Sierra Pelona Mountains by San Francisquito Creek, in Los Angeles County, Southern California.[1]


The Sierra Pelona Mountains the canyon cuts through are part of the central Transverse Ranges system of California. At the San Francisquito Canyon head is the San Francisquito Pass, which the early routes between Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley crossed. The canyon ends in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Miners operating a hydraulic sluice at San Francisquito Canyon (c. 1890-1900).



San Francisquito Canyon was the site of placer mining for gold by Spanish missionaries from the San Fernando and San Buenaventura Missions, and later by Mexican Californios. Their activity stopped in 1848, when the gold discovery at Sutter's Mill started the California Gold Rush. Placer mining later occurred in the canyon into at least the latter 19th-century.


From 1820 San Francisquito Canyon and San Francisquito Pass was part of the route of the El Camino Viejo. From 1854, the wagon route of the Stockton - Los Angeles Road followed its course as did the Butterfield Overland Mail in California from 1858-1861. This Tejon Pass Route and the Tehachapi or Midway Route (first followed by the Southern Pacific Railroad), remained the major north south wagon and later automobile routes to the San Joaquin Valley until the construction of the more direct Ridge Route in 1915.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: San Francisquito Canyon
  2. ^ Scott, Harrison Irving, Ridge Route: The Road That United California. Torrance, California: Harrison Irving Scott. 2003, ISBN 0-615-12000-8. p.29

Coordinates: 34°25′37″N 118°34′31″W / 34.42694°N 118.57536°W / 34.42694; -118.57536