Gabilan Range

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Gabilan Range
Gabilán Range
Gabilan Range.JPG
Gabilan Range panorama.
Highest point
PeakFremont Peak
Elevation1,053 m (3,455 ft)
Gabilan Range is located in California
Gabilan Range
Location of Gabilan Range in California[1]
CountryUnited States
DistrictSan Benito County & Monterey County
Range coordinates36°36′39.864″N 121°18′52.750″W / 36.61107333°N 121.31465278°W / 36.61107333; -121.31465278Coordinates: 36°36′39.864″N 121°18′52.750″W / 36.61107333°N 121.31465278°W / 36.61107333; -121.31465278
Topo mapUSGS Mount Johnson

The Gabilan Range or Gabilán Range (Spanish for "sparrow hawk")[2][3][4] are a mountain range in the inner California Coast Ranges System, located in Monterey County and San Benito County of central California. Pinnacles National Park is located in the southern section of the range.


Gabilan Mountains in Pinnacles National Park
Geologic map of the pre-Cenozoic basement rocks of the Gabilan Range in Monterey and San Benito Counties, California

The Gabilan Range trends in a northwest–southeast direction along the Monterey County and San Benito County line. It is bordered on the east by the Diablo Range, the San Andreas Fault, and State Route 25; and on the west by the Salinas Valley, Santa Lucia Range, and U.S. Route 101. The northern limit of the Gabilan Range lies just south of Pinecate Peak[5] and San Juan Bautista, California.[6]

Fremont Peak, at 3,455 feet (1,053 m) in elevation, is the range's highest point. There are several other peaks also over 3,000 feet (910 m) in the range.


In Spanish, gavilán (gabilan is an older alternate rendering) means "sparrow hawk".[7][8] Hawks, especially the red-tailed hawk, are common in the range.

The Gabilan Mountains and other nearby places are mentioned in several novels by John Steinbeck, such as Of Mice and Men and East of Eden. In The Red Pony notably, the main character (Jody Tiflin) names his pony "Gabilan" after the mountain range.

Fremont Peak was named for John C. Frémont, an American explorer and a Captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers who assessed the military value of the peak in 1846, posing a threat to the Mexican authorities. It is now a California State Park.[9]


One of the last relatively undeveloped corridors for wildlife passage between the southern Santa Cruz Mountains and the northern Gabilan Range runs from lands between Mount Pajaro[10] and Rancho Juristac, in southern Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties respectively, south across California State Route 129 and U.S. Highway 101 to lands between Pinecate Peak[11] and San Juan Bautista in San Benito County.[12] The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has protected the first block of land intended to protect the Santa Cruz Mountains-Gabilan Range Wildlife Corridor, the 2,640 acres (4.13 sq mi) Rocks Ranch in Aromas at the border of San Benito and Monterey counties.[13]

See also[edit]

View west from the Gabilan Mountains, Pinnacles National Park


  1. ^ "Gabilan Range". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  2. ^ Napa Valley Register - San Benito - California's Hidden Wine Region
  3. ^ Historic Spots in California (1966; Hero Eugene Rensch, Ethel Grace Rensch, Mildred Brooke Hoover)
  4. ^ Wines & Vines Analytics - Central Coast Vineyard Changes Hands
  5. ^ "Pinecate Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  6. ^ Ross, D.C. (1972). Geologic Map of the Pre-Cenozoic Basement Rocks, Gabilan Range, Monterey and San Benito Counties, California, USGS Miscellaneous Field Investigations Map MF-357 (Report). U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  7. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 133.
  8. ^ Gudde, Edwin G. (2004). California place names: The origin and etymology of current geographical names. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-520-24217-3.
  9. ^ {{cite web |title=Fremont Peak State Park |url= |accessdate=December 17, 2021
  10. ^ "Mount Pajaro". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  11. ^ "Pinecate Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  12. ^ Penrod, K., P. E. Garding, C. Paulman, P. Beier, S. Weiss, N. Schaefer, R. Branciforte and K. Gaffney (2013). Critical Linkages: Bay Area & Beyond (PDF) (Report). Fair Oaks, California: Science & Collaboration for Connected Wildlands. Retrieved December 17, 2021.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  13. ^ Juan Reyes (September 14, 2020). "Rocks Ranch property sold to Land Trust". The Pajaronian. Retrieved December 17, 2021.

External links[edit]