Forest Falls, California
Forest Falls is an unincorporated community
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 in San Bernardino County
San Bernardino County, California
San Bernardino County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,035,210, up from 1,709,434 as of the 2000 census...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, 75 miles (120.7 km) due east of Los Angeles. The community has a population of 943 and contains 712 houses. Forest Falls is best known for the waterfalls on Vivian and Falls Creeks and as a point of access for recreation in the San Bernardino National Forest
San Bernardino National Forest
San Bernardino National Forest is a federally-managed forest covering more than 800,000 acres . There are two main divisions which are the San Bernardino Mountains on the easternmost of the Transverse Range, and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains on the northernmost of the Peninsular...

, particularly the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, which lies directly north of the community.

Geography and geology

Forest Falls is situated in the San Bernardino Mountains
San Bernardino Mountains
The San Bernardino Mountains are a short transverse mountain range north and east of San Bernardino in Southern California in the United States. The mountains run for approximately 60 miles east-west on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert in southwestern San Bernardino County, north of the...

 of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, at elevations ranging from approximately 5000 feet (1,524 m) to 6000 feet (1,828.8 m) along the steep gradient of Mill Creek, a tributary of the Santa Ana River. It lies 75 miles (120.7 km) due east of the Los Angeles Civic Center, and 21 miles (33.8 km) from San Bernardino, the nearest large city and the county seat. The community stretches for approximately 5 miles (8 km) in a narrow band primarily along the south side of the linear canyon of Mill Creek, which trends slightly north of east. The highest portions of the San Bernardino Mountains, including southern California's highest point, San Gorgonio Mountain
San Gorgonio Mountain
San Gorgonio Mountain, also known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California at . It is in the San Bernardino Mountains, east of the city of San Bernardino and north-northeast of San Gorgonio Pass. It lies within the San Gorgonio Wilderness, part of...

 at 11503 feet (3,506.1 m), lie directly north of the Forest Falls in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. The falls for which the community is named descend from this high area over the northern edge of the canyon of Mill Creek.
The rocks immediately surrounding Forest Falls are basement rocks characteristic of the major part of the San Bernardino Mountains, that is, Paleoproterozoic
The Paleoproterozoic is the first of the three sub-divisions of the Proterozoic occurring between . This is when the continents first stabilized...

 gneiss, Neoproterozoic
The Neoproterozoic Era is the unit of geologic time from 1,000 to 542.0 ± 1.0 million years ago. The terminal Era of the formal Proterozoic Eon , it is further subdivided into the Tonian, Cryogenian, and Ediacaran Periods...

 to Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 and quartzite
Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink...

, and Late Cretaceous
Late Cretaceous
The Late Cretaceous is the younger of two epochs into which the Cretaceous period is divided in the geologic timescale. Rock strata from this epoch form the Upper Cretaceous series...

 granitic rocks. Marble and quartzite are present only in minor amounts in the immediately vicinity, although a small marble quarry up-canyon from the town was operated sporadically and uneconomically from 1908 into the 1940's. The extremely linear canyon in which Forest Falls is located follows the trace of the Mill Creek Fault, a now-inactive strand of the San Andreas Fault
San Andreas Fault
The San Andreas Fault is a continental strike-slip fault that runs a length of roughly through California in the United States. The fault's motion is right-lateral strike-slip...

 system along which approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) of right-lateral strike-slip displacement occurred during the period from 500,000 to 250,000 years ago. (Presently active strands of this fault system lie to the south.) The canyon itself is the result of erosion by Mill Creek of the highly fractured rock along this linear fault zone. Because the San Bernardino Mountains are a young, steep and rapidly rising mountain range, erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 rates are extremely high and have been estimated to average as great as 1560 millimetres (61.4 in) per 1,000 years in Mill Creek Canyon on hillside gradients as high as 36 degrees.


Forest Falls, in common with the rest of California, enjoys a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

, receiving the majority of its precipitation during the winter months, frequently in the form of snow. Temperatures are temperate, reaching average highs in the 80's during the summer, and lows in the 20's during the winter. Precipitation is higher than in the adjacent valleys and averages more than 40 inches (1,016 mm) per year. Summer thunder storms occasionally occur, particularly in the later part of the season. The amount of snow received during winter months largely depends on the area of Forest Falls under consideration, as the community extends over an elevation range of approximately 1000 feet (304.8 m). Upper Canyon, as it is locally known, that is, the eastern higher-elevation end of the community, receives on average twice the amount of snow fall as Lower Canyon. Snowfall varies, but on occasion as much as six to seven feet has been recorded, the most on average however is around one to two feet sporadically throughout the winter.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.