Mount Signal, California

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Coordinates: 32°40′42″N 115°38′21″W / 32.67833°N 115.63917°W / 32.67833; -115.63917

Mount Signal
Mount Signal is located in California
Mount Signal
Mount Signal
Location in California
Mount Signal is located in the United States
Mount Signal
Mount Signal
Mount Signal (the United States)
Coordinates: 32°40′42″N 115°38′21″W / 32.67833°N 115.63917°W / 32.67833; -115.63917
CountryUnited States
CountyImperial County
Elevation−13 ft (−4 m)

Mount Signal is an unincorporated community located along State Route 98 about 7.5 miles (12.1 km) west of Calexico in the southern part of the Imperial Valley in Imperial County, California. The area is south of Interstate 8 and about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) north of the Mexico border. It lies at an elevation of 13 feet (4 m) below sea level.[1] This is an agricultural area. There are a few homes and businesses and many irrigation canals and green fields. The Centinela Solar Energy Project is located here. Other nearby communities include Heber, El Centro, and Seeley.

The ZIP Code for Mount Signal is 92231 and the area is in Calexico's telephone exchange area. Its area code is 760. While not a census-designated place, the name is official and it does have a National Geographic Names Database feature ID of 1661068. The official U.S. Geological Survey coordinates are 32°40′42″N 115°38′21″W / 32.67833°N 115.63917°W / 32.67833; -115.63917: this defines a spot near the intersection of State Route 98 (SR98) and Brockman Road.


The community is named for Mount Signal, a summit about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) southwest, inside Mexico. It is also known as El Cerro Centinela, by the Mexicans, and Wi'Shspa, by the Kwapa: Cocopah people.

Mount Signal was used by the early Pioneers and Native Americans as a landmark to help guide them through the desert. Most of the fields in the area are currently growing alfalfa or sugar beets.

Mount Signal Road takes you to the mountain and the International Border. Unfortunately, there is not a Port of Entry there. However, there is a limited access area for off-road vehicles.

Even though Mount Signal appears to be in the United States, it is actually located on the Mexican side of the border. If one would like to climb all 2,300 feet (700 m) to the top, one must do so from the Mexican side. Climbers need to take care, there are no maintained trails. During the 1870s U.S. engineers climbed the mountain to record the elevation, so there should be a monument marker at the top.

Former Mexican-born DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena, who was murdered in Mexico by Mexican drug cartel hitmen on February 9, 1985, was a former police officer in nearby Calexico, California and specifically requested that his ashes be scattered by plane over Mount Signal as it was evenly divided by the border, half in Mexico and half in the United States. [1]

Mount Signal, viewed from the Imperial Valley, California


A post office operated at Mount Signal from 1916 to 1934.[2]

Points of interest[edit]

Other geographic features supporting the name include Mount Signal School, feature ID of 246276. It is believed the school no longer exists; its location was one mile (1.6 km) north of these coordinates on Brockman Road.

At the intersection of SR98 and Brockman Road is the Mount Signal Café, currently closed. The business was shown on an episode of "California's Gold".


In the state legislature Mount Signal is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Republican Bonnie Garcia. Federally, Mount Signal is located in California's 51st congressional district, which is represented by Democrat Juan Vargas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mount Signal, California
  2. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1447. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.

External links[edit]

  • Over One Hundred and One Views of Mount Signal, maintained by American Artist Allan McCollum
  • Map: "Mount Signal, California," 7.5-minute quadrangle, U.S. Geological Survey, 1976.
  • California's Gold, Huell Howser Productions, (#204)
  • Map: "Imperial County," Automobile Club of Southern California, 1997.