The San Gorgonio Pass Region

The San Gorgonio Pass is the narrow east-west strip of land between the San Bernardino Valley to the West and the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area to the East. The region is bounded by mountains on both the north and south. The region is in transition from primarily rural to urban land uses. It is among the fastest growing areas in Southern California due to its relatively inexpensive home prices. Many young families and retirees alike are moving to new homes and communities in Calimesa, Beaumont, and Banning. The community of Cherry Valley, primarily consisting of one-acre lots, includes a large concentration of horse owners.

Natural landmarks include Mount San Gorgonio, Mount San Jacinto, and the headwaters of the Whitewater River. Other landmarks include Casino Morongo, Desert Hills Premium Outlet Mall, the wind farm, and the Cabazon dinosaurs. The water in this area is so pure that Arrowhead Water opened a bottling plant in Cabazon in the 1990’s in order to bottle the pure water from the slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains.

The western half of the Pass is in the Santa Ana River watershed, while the eastern half drains to the Whitewater River. Major surface water streams include the Whitewater and San Gorgonio Rivers, San Timoteo Creek, Noble Creek, Marshall Creek, and Smith Creek. Much of the Pass is above elevation 2500 feet.