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La Cañada Flintridge, California

Coordinates: 34°12′28″N 118°12′25″W / 34.207721°N 118.206979°W / 34.207721; -118.206979
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La Cañada Flintridge, California
La Cañada Flintridge, the Foothill Freeway, and, on the right, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2014)
La Cañada Flintridge, the Foothill Freeway, and, on the right, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2014)
Flag of La Cañada Flintridge, California
Official seal of La Cañada Flintridge, California
Location of La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County, California.
Location of La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County, California.
Coordinates: 34°12′28″N 118°12′25″W / 34.207721°N 118.206979°W / 34.207721; -118.206979
CountryUnited States
CountyLos Angeles
IncorporatedNovember 30, 1976[1]
Named forRancho La Cañada
Frank Putnam Flint
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorMichael T. Davitt
 • Mayor Pro TemKim Bowman Jr.
 • City CouncilKeith Eich
Jeanne Kim Hobson
Stephanie Fossan
 • City ManagerDaniel Jordan
 • Total8.64 sq mi (22.39 km2)
 • Land8.63 sq mi (22.35 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)  0.20%
Elevation1,188 ft (362 m)
 • Total20,573
 • Density2,384.17/sq mi (920.53/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
91011, 91012[5]
Area codes818[6]
FIPS code06-39003
GNIS feature IDs1660845, 2411565

La Cañada Flintridge, commonly known as just La Cañada (Spanish for 'The Canyon'), is a city in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains[7] in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Located in the Crescenta Valley, in the western edge of the San Gabriel Valley, it is the location of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Before the city's incorporation on November 30, 1976, it consisted of the two distinct communities of La Cañada and Flintridge.

The population was 20,573 at the 2020 census.[4]


The Flintridge Biltmore Hotel around 1927. Now the Administration Building at the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

The Shoshone were first to settle in the area.[8]

Reference to the entire city is often shortened to just "La Cañada" or seldom to just "Flintridge". The full city name specifically does not have a hyphen in it, to illustrate unity between the two communities that became one.[9]

La Cañada[edit]

During the Spanish and Mexican eras, the area was known as Rancho La Cañada. La Cañada comes from the Spanish word cañada (pronounced [kaˈɲaða]), meaning 'canyon', 'gorge', or 'ravine'.

In December 1933 and January 1934, the La Cañada Valley was severely flooded in the Crescenta Valley flood (1933 and 1934).[10]


Flintridge was named after its developer, United States Senator Frank P. Flint.

Flintridge comprises the southern part of the city, covering the northern flank of the San Rafael Hills, but more generally including most areas south of Foothill Blvd. The eastern part, even north of Foothill Blvd, was also originally considered Flintridge and is still home to the Flintridge Riding Club and Flintridge Preparatory School.


On November 30, 1976, the cities of Flintridge and La Cañada were merged into a single incorporated city named "La Cañada Flintridge".[11]

According to Forbes, La Cañada Flintridge ranked as the 98th most expensive zip code in 2023.[12]


The city is situated in the Crescenta Valley and far western end of the San Gabriel Valley, between the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest to the north, and the San Rafael Hills to the south. Most of the city drains southeastward toward the Arroyo Seco area in Pasadena, but the western part of the city (generally west of Alta Canyada Road) drains southward toward Glendale via Verdugo Canyon. Both drainages join the Los Angeles River north of downtown Los Angeles.

La Cañada Flintridge varies in elevation from about 970 feet (300 m) just below Devil's Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco to about 2,400 feet (730 m) at the highest neighborhood, along the mountain front east of Pickens Canyon, at the upper end of Ocean View Blvd. The city limits extend into the San Gabriel Mountains and reach 3,440 feet (1,050 m) along Mount Lukens Road, which follows the crest line well above the developed city.

In August 2009, the city came under threat by the Station Fire. The city is considered a "very high fire hazard severity zone" because of the local topography at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and abundance of California Live Oak, despite an aggressive fire safety program.[13]

Panoramic view of San Gabriel Mountains from La Cañada Flintridge, 2012


Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens

The climate of La Cañada Flintridge is typical of a Southern California inland valley, with mild winters and hot summers. Spring often has hazy days, in contrast to the more persistently clear weather of fall. On average, the warmest month is August with high temperatures in the low to mid 90s and lows in the low 70s. December and January are the coolest months with typical highs in the low to mid 60s and lows in the low 40s. Rainfall occurs mostly during winter, averaging about 21 inches annually. Rainfall is rare in summer. The moderating influence of the ocean (22 miles, 35 km, away) is limited due to the city's location inland from the intervening Santa Monica Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains, and the San Rafael Hills. Consequently, summers are generally hotter and winters often cooler than in coastal parts of metropolitan Los Angeles, if winds are calm or blowing gently offshore. Occasional strong offshore winds, known as the Santa Ana winds, can bring particularly hot air in summer and fall as air from the desert plateaus crosses the mountains and descends, thus warming further by adiabatic heating. Summer and early fall temperatures are substantially cooler if the prevailing wind is persistently onshore. Occasionally during a winter storm, the upper elevations of the city may see trace amounts of snow. Several ski resorts, Mountain High, Mount Baldy, and Mount Waterman, are located about 30 miles (48 km) to the northeast.

Climate data for La Cañada Flintridge (Glendale)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 93
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 63.8
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 42.3
Record low °F (°C) 23
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.48
Source: [14]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[15]


The 2010 United States Census[17] reported that La Cañada Flintridge had a population of 20,246. The population density was 2,341.8 inhabitants per square mile (904.2/km2). The racial makeup of La Cañada Flintridge was 13,959 (68.9%) White (64.7% Non-Hispanic White),[18] 109 (0.5%) African American, 24 (0.1%) Native American, 5,214 (25.8%) Asian, 5 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 245 (1.2%) from other races, and 690 (3.4%) from two or more races. There were 1,267 people of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (6.3%).

The Census reported that 20,219 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 21 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 6 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 6,849 households, out of which 2,873 (41.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,029 (73.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 525 (7.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 214 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 103 (1.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 36 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 924 households (13.5%) were made up of individuals, and 559 (8.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95. There were 5,768 families (84.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.24.

The age distribution of the population was spread out, with 5,315 people (26.3%) under the age of 18, 1,363 people (6.7%) aged 18 to 24, 3,157 people (15.6%) aged 25 to 44, 7,224 people (35.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,187 people (15.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

There were 7,089 housing units at an average density of 820.0 per square mile (316.6/km2), of which 6,120 (89.4%) were owner-occupied, and 729 (10.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 18,052 people (89.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,167 people (10.7%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, La Cañada Flintridge had a median household income of $136,818, with 3.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[18]


As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 20,318 people, 6,823 households, and 5,690 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,348.9 inhabitants per square mile (906.9/km2). There were 6,989 housing units at an average density of 808.0 per square mile (312.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 65.53% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 31.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. 4.80% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,823 households, out of which 44.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.7% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.6% were non-families. 14.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 20.9% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

According to a 2008 estimate,[20] the median income for a household in the city was $140,474, and the median income for a family was $157,511.[21] Males had a median income of $92,760 versus $57,321 for females. The per capita income for the city was $52,838. About 3.6% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the upper Arroyo Seco and San Gabriel foothills, 2006
  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is located on the eastern end of La Cañada Flintridge (the mailing address is Pasadena). It is the primary United States research and development center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System.
  • The first Frisbee golf course is located in the Hahamongna Watershed Park (formerly Oak Grove Park), outside of La Cañada Flintridge and across the street from La Cañada High School.
  • Descanso Gardens hosts the largest collection of camellia species in North America.[22]
  • La Cañada Town Center opened on August 21, 2008. The $60 million shopping center development at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway includes retailers and eateries.[23] The former Sports Chalet flagship store and corporate headquarters were the anchor tenants until their bankruptcy and subsequent closure in April 2016. The former corporate offices for Sports Chalet next door is now the new city hall, replacing the original built in 1975.[24]
  • Lanterman House, museum and local historical archives is one of the early (1915) homes of the area.[25]


Municipal government[edit]

La Cañada Flintridge is governed by its city council, which has five members, each elected to overlapping four-year terms. Each year, the council selects one of its members to serve as mayor and another to serve as mayor pro-tem for terms of one year. The elections were held on March of odd-numbered years until 2017. Beginning in 2020, the elections are held during the California Primary elections. The council is aided by five commissions and two committees, each with its own area of responsibility. In addition, the council appoints the city manager, city attorney, city treasurer, and all members of its advisory bodies. It also serves as the governing board for the public improvement corporation, the redevelopment agency, the LCF Local Financing Authority, and Sanitation Districts No. 28 and No. 34.

As of April 2024, the current members of the city council are:[26]

  • Mayor Michael T. Davitt
  • Mayor Pro Tem Kim Bowman Jr.
  • Council Member Jeanne Kim Hobson
  • Council Member Stephanie Fossan
  • Council Member Keith Eich

State and federal representation[edit]

In the state senate, La Cañada Flintridge is in the 25th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anthony Portantino.[27]

In the California State Assembly, La Cañada Flintridge is located in the 41st district, and is represented by Chris Holden.[year missing] In the United States House of Representatives, La Cañada Flintridge is in California's 28th congressional district, represented by Democrat Judy Chu.[28]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The La Cañada Unified School District (LCUSD) serves most of the city,[29] and is ranked as one of the top school districts in the state. On September 13, 2010, the California Department of Education announced that 2010 California Standards Tests (CSTs) results indicate that the La Cañada Unified School District earned the second highest Academic Performance Index (API) score in the state.[30] The API reflects a district's performance level, based on the results of statewide testing.[31] The district has three public elementary schools that serve grades K-6: La Cañada Elementary, Palm Crest Elementary, and Paradise Canyon Elementary School. The public high school, La Cañada High School, which also serves as a middle school (grades 7–8), is a 1993 and 2004 Blue Ribbon School.[32]

A small western portion of the city is served by the Glendale Unified School District,[29] with La Cañada Flintridge students attending Mountain Avenue Elementary School, Rosemont Middle School, Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School and Crescenta Valley High School.[citation needed]

Private schools[edit]

Several private schools that are not part of the LCUSD are located within La Cañada. The private high schools within the city limits are St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and Flintridge Preparatory School.

The private elementary schools within the city limits are Crestview Preparatory (K-6), The Learning Castle (K-3), La Canada Preparatory (grades 4–8), and St. Bede (K-8).

Delphi Academy of Los Angeles, a Delphi Academy school, opened in La Cañada Flintridge in 1984. The school left the city when its current campus in Lake View Terrace, Los Angeles opened in 2003.[33]


The city was originally serviced by two newspapers: the La Cañada Valley Sun, a community division of the Los Angeles Times, and the La Cañda Outlook. However, in April 2020, the Los Angeles Times announced it would be shutting down some of its local papers, including the La Cañada Valley Sun due to continuing financial issues that were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.[34] Shortly after, the La Cañada Outlook announced they were buying the Valley Sun and were rebranding their newspaper as the La Cañada Outlook Valley Sun.[35]


Emergency services[edit]

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) provides law enforcement services to La Cañada Flintridge under contract and operates the Crescenta Valley Station in La Crescenta.[36]

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) operates fire stations 19 and 82 in the city. Also an additional one at JPL NASA. Fire stations 11 and 12 in Altadena, and station 63 in La Crescenta-Montrose also serve the city regularly. Emergency transportation is done by Care Ambulance Service. Annual landscaping inspections and "stringent fire-safe building codes" were put in place to mitigate the risk of wildfires, like the 2009 Station Fire.[13][37]


La Cañada Flintridge is the southern terminus of the Angeles Crest Highway. It begins at the intersection with Foothill Boulevard and follows a two-mile, 5% grade before entering the San Gabriel Mountains.

On September 5, 2008, a big rig carrying 78,000 pounds of onions lost its brakes on the Angeles Crest Highway. To avoid a collision with the Hill Street Café at the intersection with Foothill Boulevard, the rig turned towards a small driveway, sideswiped the Café, crashed into a wall, a garbage bin, a tree and six vehicles before coming to rest in the parking lot. James Bines, 43, of Florida, and his passenger, Willy Robinson, had been hauling a full load of onions through the high desert area in the 18-wheeler. They traveled over the Angeles Crest Highway because, Bines said, he had received directions from his global positioning system that the highway, State Route 2, was the most direct route from there to Los Angeles.[38][39]

On April 1, 2009, a similar incident occurred at roughly the same location. A car carrier transporting six cars southbound on the Angeles Crest Highway lost its brakes and, despite three runaway vehicle escape medians in the center islands, caused multiple vehicle accidents that resulted in two fatalities and 12 injuries, three of them critical. Angel Jorge Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina, both of Palmdale, had just exited the eastbound Foothill Freeway at the Angeles Crest Highway in their red Ford Escort and were starting to turn north on the highway to return to Palmdale when the semi-truck struck their vehicle.[40]

A bill that bans heavy trucks with three or more axles from driving on the Angeles Crest Highway was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 6, 2009.[41]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


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External links[edit]