Temescal Mountains

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Temescal Mountains
Gavilan Mountains, Gavilan Hills
Highest point
Peak Estelle Mountain
Elevation 2,762 ft (842 m) [1]
Coordinates 33°46′13″N 117°20′6″W / 33.77028°N 117.33500°W / 33.77028; -117.33500Coordinates: 33°46′13″N 117°20′6″W / 33.77028°N 117.33500°W / 33.77028; -117.33500
Length 25 mi (40 km) SE
Width 10 mi (16 km) E
Native name Sierra Temescal
Country United States
State California
Counties Riverside
Borders on
Type of rock Fault-block, igneous, batholith

Temescal Mountains, formerly the Sierra Temescal, are one of the northernmost mountain ranges of the Peninsular Ranges in western Riverside County, in Southern California in the United States. They extend for approximately 25 mi (40 km) southeast of the Santa Ana River east of the Elsinore Fault Zone to the Temecula Basin and form the western edge of the Perris Block.


As part of the Perris Block, the Temescal Mountains are part of its eroded mass of Cretaceous and older granitic rocks of the Southern California Batholith and metasedimentary basement rocks. Most of this basement rock that once overlay the granitic plutons that rose up into it, has been eroded away, the remainder being found between the similarly eroded plutons of granitic rock.


The Temescal Mountains were originally named by the Spanish, Sierra Temescal, (perhaps from the nearby Rancho Temescal), a name which appears on the Rail Road Route survey map made by the U. S. Army Pacific Railroad Surveys in 1854-55.[2] The Temescal Mountains are one of the northernmost of Peninsular Ranges of California, running from the south side of the Santa Anna River, southeast nearly parallel with the Santa Ana Mountains, from which it is separated by the Temescal Valley and Elsinore Valley sections of the Elsinore Trough. The Temescal Mountains were originally considered to be bounded on the south by the San Jacinto River, by J. D. Whitney in his 1865 Geological Survey of California.[3] A later study by Rene Engel, considers the Sedco Hills and the other mountains that extend to the southeast of the San Jacinto River east of Lake Elsinore and north of the Temecula Basin, in Murrieta to be part of the same range forming the natural continuation of the mountains.[4] The Murrieta Hogbacks are the southeastern-most heights of the range, overlooking the Warm Springs Creek Canyon.

Geographic features of the Temescal Mountains[edit]


  1. ^ "Estelle Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1981-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  2. ^ The name Sierra Temescal, (Temescal Mountains) appears on the mountains shown east of the Santa Ana Mountains and Temescal Creek and north of the Laguna (Lake Elsinore) and Rio San Jacinto (San Jacinto River) on the 1861 Rail Road Route survey map, "From San Francisco Bay to the Plains of Los Angeles", from Explorations and Surveys made under the direction of The Hon. Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War by Lieut. John G. Parke, Topl. Engrs. assisted by Albert H. Campbell, Civil Engineer and N.H. Hutton, H. Custer and G.G. Garner. 1854 & 55. Map No. 1. Constructed and drawn by H. Custer. Explorations and Surveys for a Rail Road Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. War Department. Coast Route, California.
  3. ^ "The expression "Temescal Range" was used in the Whitney report to define the hills lying on the northeast side of the Elsinore Valley. The range was described as follows: "The Temescal range of mountains commences on the south side of the Santa Ana River, and runs southeast in a direction nearly parallel with that chain of the same name [Santa Ana Mountains], from which it is separated by a narrow valley . . . The name Temescal seems to be limited in its application to the hills lying between the Santa Ana and the San Jacinto Creeks, and which cover an area of about 300 square miles." Rene Engel, GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF THE LAKE ELSINORE QUADRANGLE CALIFORNIA, CAIIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, BULLETIN 146, DIVISION OF MINES, SAN FRANCISCO, 1959, p. 11-12, citing Whitney. J. D., 1865, Santa Ana and Temescal Ranges: Geol. Survey of California, 1860-64, vol. 1— Geology. p. 175-181
  4. ^ "To the northeast [of the Santa Ana Mountains] the Temescal Mountains form the southwestern edge of a broad plateau area, modified by medium relief forms, which now is known as the "Perris Block." This name is derived from the town of Perris, near the center of the Elsinore quadrangle. The term "Temescal Range" was first applied by J. D. Whitney (1865, p. 178) to the mountains that extend from the Santa Ana River to San Jacinto Creek. Under this definition are included Arlington Mountain (elevation 1851 feet), Estelle Mountain (elevation 2826 feet), and the hills immediately east of Elsinore (maximum elevation 1945 feet). The writer here proposes to include in the Temescal Mountains the hills that extend to the southeast and form the natural continuation of the mountains as the western edge of the Perris Block. Engel, GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS OF THE LAKE ELSINORE QUADRANGLE, p. 14
  5. ^ USGS Map Name: Corona North, CA, Hole benchmark, 1261 feet, 33°55′51″N 117°30′20″W / 33.93083°N 117.50556°W / 33.93083; -117.50556
  6. ^ USGS Map Name: Corona North, CA, Linn benchmark, 1495 feet, 33°54′38″N 117°30′52″W / 33.91056°N 117.51444°W / 33.91056; -117.51444
  7. ^ Rattlesnake Norco California, United States, from peakbagger.com accessed November 21, 2013, Rattlesnake Peak, 1421 feet, 33°55′05″N 117°31′50″W / 33.91806°N 117.53056°W / 33.91806; -117.53056
  8. ^ USGS Map Name: Corona North, CA, La Sierra Summit 1505 feet, 33°56′37″N 117°30′40″W / 33.94361°N 117.51111°W / 33.94361; -117.51111
  9. ^ USGS Map Name: Corona North, CA, Grape benchmark, 1084 feet, 33°53′34″N 117°32′01″W / 33.89278°N 117.53361°W / 33.89278; -117.53361
  10. ^ USGS Map Name: Riverside West, CA, Lake Evans, 778 feet, 33°59′46″N 117°22′46″W / 33.99611°N 117.37944°W / 33.99611; -117.37944
  11. ^ USGS Map Name: Riverside East, CA, North Hill, 1084 feet, 33°59′34″N 117°22′21″W / 33.99278°N 117.37250°W / 33.99278; -117.37250
  12. ^ Walker Canyon
  13. ^ Gripp Hill, California; from peakbagger.com accessed November 18, 2013, 2279 feet, [//tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geohack.php?pagename=Temescal_Mountains&params=33_43_0_N_117_14_0_W_ 33°43′0″N 117°14′0″W / 33.71667°N 117.23333°W / 33.71667; -117.23333]
  14. ^ Wildomar Peak; from peakbagger.com accessed September 24, 2014, 2432 feet, 741 meters 33°38′18″N 117°15′2″W / 33.63833°N 117.25056°W / 33.63833; -117.25056
  15. ^ Adelaide Peak, California; from peakbagger.com accessed November 18, 2013, 2279 feet, 33°37′0″N 117°12′0″W / 33.61667°N 117.20000°W / 33.61667; -117.20000
  16. ^ Hogbacks, California; from peakbagger.com accessed September 11, 2014, Elevation: 1781 feet, 543 meters, 33°35′9″N 117°9′14″W / 33.58583°N 117.15389°W / 33.58583; -117.15389

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