Sierra Madre Mountains (California)

Sierra Madre Mountains (California)

The Sierra Madre Mountains are a mountain range in northern Santa Barbara County, California, USA. They are a portion of the Transverse Ranges, which are themselves part of the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America. The range trends from northwest to southeast, and is approximately twenty-five miles (40 km) long. High peaks in the range include MacPherson Peak (Convert|5747|ft|m|0), and the highest point in the range, Peak Mountain (Convert|5843|ft|m|0). To the southeast, the range merges with the San Rafael Mountains in a complex topography of unnamed ranges, the highest point of which is Big Pine Mountain (Convert|6820|ft|m|0|abbr=on|abbr=on|abbr=on), the highest point in Santa Barbara County. Snow falls on the highest peaks during the winter months.

The Sierra Madre Mountains are almost entirely within the Los Padres National Forest, and mark the northern boundary of the San Rafael Wilderness. The southeastern extent of the range is about twenty-five miles north of the city of Santa Barbara, and the northwestern extent of the range is about fifty miles north by northwest of the city.The predominant vegetation type on the mountains is chaparral; however oak woodlands occur in some areas, and some of the higher slopes support small areas of coniferous forest. The mountains are one of the most important habitat areas of the endangered California Condor.

Geologically, the mountains are almost entirely composed of sedimentary rocks of Tertiary age. Most of the rocks are Eocene marine sandstones and other sediments, and one region in the eastern portion of the range is made up of middle and early Miocene sediments. The mountain range is delineated on the south by the Nacimiento Fault, and on the north, by the South Cuyama and Ozena Faults. The Sierra Madre Mountains rise abruptly just south of the Cuyama Valley, which defines the northern boundary of Santa Barbara County.

The mountain range is almost entirely uninhabited, except for portions of the lower slopes to the north, which is developed for oil and gas production at the South Cuyama Oil Field. One difficult, single-lane dirt road follows the mountain crest; it often is closed after storms, and is normally only passable by four-wheel-drive vehicles or motorcycles.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sierra Madre — (Spanish for the mother of all saws ) may refer to one of several mountain ranges:*In Mexico: **Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range in northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona **Sierra Madre Oriental, a mountain range in northeastern Mexico …   Wikipedia

  • Sierra Madre, California — Infobox Settlement official name = City of Sierra Madre other name = native name = nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = flag size = seal size = 100 image shield = shield size = image blank emblem = blank emblem size = imagesize = image… …   Wikipedia

  • Sierra Madre — /see er euh mah dray/; for 2 also Sp. /syerdd rddah mah dhrdde/ 1. a mountain range extending from S Wyoming into N Colorado. 2. two parallel mountain chains in Mexico, bordering the central plateau on the E and W, and extending SE into N… …   Universalium

  • Sierra mountains — A sierra is a word from the Spanish language meaning a mountain range (serra in Portuguese and Latin). It is used for various mountains and mountain ranges in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries.Sierra mountains or Sierra Mountain may refer …   Wikipedia

  • California State Route 166 — State Route 166 Maricopa Highway …   Wikipedia

  • Sierra — Mountains and mountain ranges *Sierra mountains *Sierra Juárez, mountain range in Baja California, Mexico *Sierra Madre, various mountain ranges Place names *Sierra (Ecuador) *Sierra (Peru) *Sierra County, California, in the north of the states… …   Wikipedia

  • California State Route 39 — State Route 39 Route information …   Wikipedia

  • Sierra de Santa Mónica — La Sierra de Santa Mónica está ubicada al sur del estado de California en los Estados Unidos de América. Contenido 1 Toponimia 2 Geografía 3 Geología 4 Clima …   Wikipedia Español

  • Santa Barbara County, California — County of Santa Barbara   County   Seal …   Wikipedia

  • Kinneloa Mesa, California — Kinneloa Mesa is an unincorporated area located in Los Angeles County, California. Unlike Altadena, a larger unincorporated area nearby, Kinneloa Mesa is not an officially designated census designated place. The area is misspelled as Kinneola… …   Wikipedia