Social History Natural History Recreation
Page Organization To find a book you want, first select a category from the choices above, next select a sub-category within those choices. Books are arranged within sub-category by title. The link points to an online review, if one exists. No endorsements are intended, nor has any effort been made to update prices and availability.
If you know of other books on the San Gabriel Mountains not listed here, please email us with the information.
Natural History Animals Geology Plants General
- Animal Tracks of Southern California
Chris Stall, 124 pages, 1997, Seattle: The Mountaineers, $5.95
The most obvious sign of animals, in lieu of the animals themselves which are generally elusive and crepuscular, are tracks. This identification guide is small enough to carry in your pack.
- Birder's Guide to Southern California: Lane/ABA Birdfinding Guide (4th ed.) (revised) Hotspots, Maps, and Itineraries
Brad Schram, 334 pages, 1998, Colorado Springs CO: American Birding Association, Inc., $23.95
"San Gabriel Mountains", by Thomas E. Wurster, pages 215 to 223, "the (birding) tour is loosely structured around major recreation sites in Angeles National Forest".
- Birds of Los Angeles Including Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange Counties, 125 Species Illustrated, Top Birding Spots
Chris C. Fisher and Herbert Clarke, 160 pages, 1997, Lone Pine, $9.95.
- Butterflies of Greater Los Angeles
Dr. Rudi Mattoni, 1990, Beverly Hills CA: The Center for the Conservation of Biodiversity/Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Inc.
"An illustrated guide to all 106 butterflies of the coastal plain and low mountains from Ventura to Orange counties. Included are the Santa Monica mountains and all of the Los Angeles basin to 2500'."
- Insects of the Los Angeles Basin
Charles L. Hogue, 446 pages, 1993, Los Angeles CA: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, $32.95
"This book is for the Angeleno. Its purpose is to give the resident of the Greater Los Angeles Basin a means of identifying and understanding the insects and the terrestrial arthropods that are most likely to be encountered here."
- Introduction to Southern California Birds
Herbert Clarke, 186 pages, 1989, Missoula MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, $9.95
"A non-technical introduction to 215 frequently encountered bird species from nine diverse bird habitats of southern California. Includes 252 striking color photographs by the author."
- Mammals of the San Gabriel Mountains
Terry A. Vaughn, pages 515-582, 1954, Lawrence: University of Kansas
Part of the University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History Publications, this volume is the result of field work trapping and examining the various species of mammals in the mountains and canyons especially near Mt. Baldy
Available at Pasadena Public Library, San Rafael Branch.
- Where Birders Go In Southern California
Henry Childs, Jr., 190 pages, 1993, West Hollywood CA: Los Angeles Audubon Society
A locality guide to finding birds, see "Birding in Los Angeles County. LA-6, San Gabriel Mountains Loop", pages 65 and 66, "LA-8, The Northside of the San Gabriel Mountains", pages 67 and 68, and "LA-9, Eastern Area" (the Mt. Baldy section), pages 69 and 70.
- The Control of Nature
John McPhee, 272 pages, 1989, New York NY: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Chapter 3, "Los Angeles Against the Mountains", pages 183 to 272
A lively account of the phenomenon of debris flow that occurs locally after just the right combination of fire and rain, as well as a description of the debris basin and check dam construction in many canyons to try to mitigate debris flow.
- Earthquake Country
Robert Iacopi, 160 pages, Third Edition, 1971, Menlo Park CA: Lane Books
The first part of the book explains why California has earthquakes, and the second part is a road guide along the San Andreas and other major faults. Pages 72-79 explore from Cajon Canyon to Tejon Pass, showing explicitly the stream and rock displacements, the scarps, sag areas and springs, and fault gouge. Pages 132-141 explore the "San Fernando Fault", aka Foothill Fault, and the damage caused by the 1971 earthquake there. Page 154 discusses the Garlock - Big Pine Fault which meets the San Andreas Fault at the northwestern point of the San Gabriels.
- Earthquake Country
Robert L. Iacopi, 146 pages, Fourth Edition, 1996, Tucson AZ: Fisher Books
This is a much-changed book, and the extensive road guide to the faults is gone, replaced by more information about earthquakes in general and specific earthquakes in particular.
- Geology and Mineral Wealth of the California Transverse Ranges
South Coast Geological Society, 699 pages, 1982.
Describes the minerals available in the ANF, along with many papers on the areal geology, regional tectonics and quaternary and engineering geology, including landslides and the St. Francis Dam 1928 failure.
- Geology Field Guide to Southern California
Robert P. Sharp, 208 pages, 1976, Dubuque IO: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company
Chapter 2, "Natural Provinces of California, Transverse Ranges", pages 1 to 16 and Chapter 3, "Trip Guides, La Canada Exit", pages 106 to 113.
- Geology of California
Robert M. Norris and Robert W. Webb, 541 pages, 1990, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Section on the San Gabriel Mountains, pages 320-323; also defines terms, discusses local geologic history and processes.
- Geology of Parts of the Azusa and Mount Wilson Quadrangles, San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County, California
Douglas M. Morton, 21 pages, 2 maps, 1973, Sacramento: California Division of Mines and Geology, Special Report 105
- Geology of the San Gabriel Mountains, and Its Relation to Water Distribution
Herbert C. Storey, 19 pages, 1948?, State of California, Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service
Available at Pasadena Public Library Centennial Room.
- Geology Underfoot in Southern California
Robert P. Sharp and Allen F. Glazner, 224 pages, 1994, Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, $14.00
Chapter 11, "The San Andreas Fault and Cajon Creek Cooperate, Cajon Pass", pages 89 to 99.
- Mines of the San Gabriels
John W. Robinson, 71 pages, 1973, Glendale CA: La Siesta Press.
The story of mining in the San Gabriels.
- Physical Geography of the San Gabriel Mountains, California
Harry P. Bailey, 256 pages, 1950, Los Angeles: University of California at Los Angeles
Available at Glendale Central Library Special Collections.
- California's Wild Gardens
Phyllis M. Faber, ed., 236 pages, 1997, Sacramento CA: published by The California Native Plant Society for The California Department of Fish and Game, in association with California Academy of Sciences.
The book is a "compendium of some of the floristically most important sites" in California, with separate short articles covering nearly every major region, lavishly illustrated. Two pages are devoted to the San Gabriel Mountains: "Over twenty rare plants are known from the San Gabriel Mountains, including Mount Gleason paintbrush, lemon lily, and the short-jointed beavertail cactus."
- Cobb Estate Nature Trail
Louis Cutter Wheeler, 33 pages, 1973, Altadena CA: The Altadenan Publishing Company
A guide to the plants at 80 numbered stations in 1973.
- Flowering Plants, the Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California
Nancy Dale, 239 pages, 1986, Santa Barbara CA: Capra Press
"This book is a popular introduction to the abundant flowering plants of the Santa Monica Mountains." Besides the more typical information, the book gives interesting information and the meaning of the scientific name for each flower. Useful, there is a great overlapping of plants between the two mountain ranges.
- Lower Eaton Canyon Flora
Bob Muns, 24 pages, 1984, Arcadia CA: self
Very useful for identifying plants, since it only lists plants found in this area.(See also our Bloom Identification Guide.)
- Common Plants of Eaton Canyon and the San Gabriel Foothills, a Field Guide on CD.
Gabi and Cliff McLean, 2003.
Over 700 photos of 124 species with descriptions.
Not a book, but a CD, which allows powerful searches to find such things as red flowers blooming in May, as well as easy access to a glossary. See Nature At Hand or send email to email@example.com for further information.
- Roadside Plants of Southern California
Thomas J. Belzer, 158 pages, 1984, Missoula MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, $15.00
"This book is written for the person who enjoys the outdoors and wishes to know more about the native plants of southern California but may not have much botanical training or experience."
- Wildflowers of the Mount Wilson Trails and San Gabriel Mountains
George Liskow, 92 pages, 1990, text and color by WCP Colorgraphics
Pictures and text for all the wildflowers you are likely to see on local trails, exotics as well as natives; also lists trails and roads and what you may see on them
Available at Pasadena Public Library, San Rafael Branch.
- Angeles National Forest
Roy Murphy, 80 pages, 1991, Arcadia CA: Big Santa Anita Historical Society
Beautiful photography by a master of the art, plus a chapter on the natural history by Elna Bakker and one on the social history by John W. Robinson.
- The California Chaparral, an Elfin Forest
W.S. Head, 96 pages, 1989, Happy Camp CA: Naturegraph Publishers
"This is not a guide!...the purpose of this book (is) to hook you! You may have to be a bit more observant; walk a little softer, and crouch a little lower; but what a wonderful, fascinating world you will discover!"
- The Californian Wildlife Region
Vinson Brown and George Lawrence, 128 pages, 1965, Healdsburg CA: Naturegraph Publishers
"This book provides a simple, easy introduction to the common wild animals and plants of the Californian Wildlife Region. Its main purpose is to show you how to learn about the animals and plants in relation to where they live."
- Enter the Forest - A Guidebook to the Angeles National Forest
Christopher Nyerges, 151 pages, 1998, Eagle Rock: Survival News Service, $8.50
A unique approach to the ANF with sections on survival, weather and plants.
- An Island Called California, An Ecological Introduction to Its Natural Communities
Elna Bakker, 484 pages, Second Edition, 1984, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, $16.95
Chapters 20 and 21, "Hollywood's Real Natives" and "Upward", which appear only in the 1984 edition, discuss the relationships between the living parts, plants and animals, and the non-living parts, the soils, climate and geography, of the unique southern California environment
- THE LOS ANGELES RIVER: Its Life, Death, And Possible Rebirth
Blake Gumprecht, 384 pages, 1999, John Hopkins University Press, $39.95
- The Mountains of California
John Muir, 292 pages, 1989, San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, $10.00
Chapter 16, "The Bee-Pastures", pages 282-286, describes his hike in Eaton Canyon.
- A Natural History of California
Allan A. Schoenherr, 772 pages, 1995, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press
"A natural history is an account of natural phenomena...A more modern term used to describe organisms and their relationships with the environment is 'ecology'." The San Gabriel Mountains are included in the Chapter 8, "Cismontane Southern California". A most excellent resource!
- Nature Guide to the Mountains of Southern California by Car and On Foot
Bill Havert and Gary Gray, 138 pages, 1996, Idyllwild CA: Earth Trails Publication, $14.95
An illustrated guide to the common trees, shrubs, wildflowers, birds, and mammals of the southern California mountains. Includes driving tours and descriptions of the biotic communities.
- Sierra Club Guide to the Natural Areas of California
by John and Jane Greverus Perry, 320 pages, 1983, San Francisco CA: Sierra Club Books.
Pages 227-231 give a brief overview of the geography, plants, birds and other animals, and major features.
- Steep Trails
by John Muir, ed. William Frederic Bade, 1918, Berkeley CA. Chapter 11: The San Gabriel Mountains contains that famous phrase "Not even in the Sierra have I ever made the acquaintance of mountains more rigidly inaccessible."
- Weather of Southern California
Harry P. Bailey, 1966, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, $9.95
A beautiful introduction anexplanation of Southern California weather in a delightful little book
Copyright © 1999-2003 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong | Tom Chester
Updated 12 November 2003.