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California's San Andreas Fault

San Andreas Fault, Part 5: Wrightwood, Cajon Pass

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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GALLERY: All San Andreas Fault photos in gallery format

East of the Palmdale area, the fault trace leaves the Antelope Valley and begins crossing the San Gabriel Mountains.

Map of Wrightwood and Cajon Pass, California
Map of this segment of the tour

Big Rock Springs, California

After Valyermo, Big Pines Road runs more or less directly atop of the fault, crossing it numerous times during the climb toward the summit:

San Andreas Fault zone near Big Rock Springs, CA
click for larger version

San Andreas Fault zone near Jackson Lake, CA
San Andreas Fault zone near Jackson Lake, CA

At Big Pines, the fault zone runs under the five-way intersection at the Angeles Crest Highway:

San Andreas Fault zone at Big Pines, CA
San Andreas Fault zone at Big Pines, CA

Wrightwood, California

The fault parallels Lone Pine Canyon Road on the east side of Wrightwood, crossing the wash in Sheep Canyon just south of the road:

San Andreas Fault zone at Wrightwood, CA
San Andreas Fault zone at Wrightwood, CA

Lone Pine Canyon runs down the linear valley from Wrightwood to Cajon Pass, generally paralleling the fault and crossing it several times in an area burned in the Blue Cut wildfire in August 2016:

San Andreas Fault zone near Wrightwood, CA
San Andreas Fault zone near Wrightwood, CA

As we approach Cajon Pass on Swarthout Canyon Road, the linear valley associated with the fault is the prominent feature. As before, look for the differing colors in the rock and soil on either side. This view looks west:

San Andreas Fault zone at Swarthout Canyon, CA
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And looking east, with I-15 visible in the distance.

San Andreas Fault zone at Swarthout Canyon, CA
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Cajon Pass

At Cajon Pass, the fault crosses several major infrastructures - 9 lanes of Interstate 15, US Route 66, two major railroad mainlines (Union Pacific and BNSF) as well as power, gas and water lines.

San Andreas Fault crossing Interstate 15
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Looking west on the ridge above I-15, we have a great view of the fault zone and can look back west along its trace nearly to Wrightwood:

San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass, CA
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East of I-15, the fault enters rugged terrain before descending into the San Bernardino Valley:

San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass, CA
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At this point, we'll jump on I-15 here to re-join the fault zone down in the valley. Continue to Part 6 >

< Previous: Part 3 | NEXT: Part 6: San Bernardino >

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