La Cañada Flintridge, California

La Cañada Flintridge, California

La Cañada Flintridge, the Foothill Freeway, and, on the right, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2014

Location of La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°12′28″N 118°12′25″W / 34.207721°N 118.206979°W / 34.207721; -118.206979Coordinates: 34°12′28″N 118°12′25″W / 34.207721°N 118.206979°W / 34.207721; -118.206979
Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated November 30, 1976[1]
  Mayor Jonathan C. Curtis[2]
  Total 8.645 sq mi (22.391 km2)
  Land 8.628 sq mi (22.347 km2)
  Water 0.017 sq mi (0.044 km2)  0.20%
Elevation[4] 1,188 ft (362 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
  Total 20,246
  Density 2,300/sq mi (900/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
  Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91011, 91012[5]
Area code 818[6]
FIPS code 06-39003
GNIS feature IDs 1660845, 2411565

La Cañada Flintridge is a city in Los Angeles County, California, with a population of 20,246 in 2010. It is located in the Crescenta Valley and far western end of the San Gabriel Valley, to the northwest of Pasadena. It is the home of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.


The Flintridge Biltmore Hotel around 1927. Now the Administration Building at the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

During the Spanish and Mexican eras, the area was known as Rancho La Cañada. Before the city's incorporation in 1976, it consisted of two distinct communities, La Cañada and Flintridge. La Cañada comes from the Spanish word cañada (pronounced "canyada"), meaning canyon, gorge, or ravine; Flintridge was named after its developer, United States Senator Frank P. Flint).

Flintridge comprises the southern part of the city, covering the northern flank of the San Rafael Hills, but more generally including most areas south of Foothill Blvd. The eastern part, even north of Foothill Blvd., was also originally considered Flintridge and is still home to the Flintridge Riding Club and Flintridge Preparatory School.

Reference to the entire city is often shortened to just "La Cañada" or seldomly to just "Flintridge". The full city name specifically does not have a hyphen in it, to illustrate unity between the two communities that became one.

In a 2015 issue of Forbes, La Cañada Flintridge ranked as the 121st most expensive U.S. city.[7]


La Cañada Flintridge is located at 34°12′28″N 118°12′25″W / 34.207721°N 118.206979°W / 34.207721; -118.206979.[8]

The city is situated in the Crescenta Valley and far western end of the San Gabriel Valley. It is nestled between the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest on the north, and in the San Rafael Hills on the south. Most of the city drains southeastward toward Pasadena to Arroyo Seco, but the western part of the city (generally west of Alta Canyada Road) drains southward toward Glendale via Verdugo Canyon. Both drainages join the Los Angeles River north of downtown Los Angeles.

La Cañada Flintridge varies in elevation from about 970 feet (295 m) just below Devil's Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco to about 2400 feet (730 m) at the highest neighborhood, along the mountain front east of Pickens Canyon, at the upper end of Ocean View Blvd. The city limits extend into the San Gabriel Mountains and reach 3440 feet (1050 m) along Mount Lukens Road, which follows the crest line well above the developed city.

In August 2009, the city came under threat by the Station Fire.

The city is home to Descanso Gardens and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Panoramic view of San Gabriel Mountains from La Cañada Flintridge, 2012


Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens

The climate of La Cañada Flintridge is typical of a Southern California inland valley, with mild winters and hot summers. Spring often has hazy days, in contrast to the more persistently clear weather of fall. On average, the warmest month is August with high temperatures (F) in the low to mid 90s and lows in the low 70s. December and January are the coolest months with typical highs in the low 70s (F) and lows in the upper-40s. Rainfall occurs mostly during winter, averaging about 22 inches annually. Rainfall is rare in summer. The moderating influence of the ocean (22 miles, 35 km, away) is limited due to the city's location inland from the intervening Santa Monica Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains and the San Rafael Hills. Consequently, summers are generally hotter and winters often cooler than in coastal parts of metropolitan Los Angeles if winds are calm or blowing gently offshore. Occasional strong offshore winds, known as the Santa Ana winds, can bring particularly hot air in summer and fall as air from the desert plateaus crosses the mountains and descends, thus warming further by adiabatic heating. Summer and early fall temperatures are substantially cooler if the prevailing wind is persistently onshore. Occasionally during a winter storm, the upper elevations of the city may see trace amounts of snow. The small ski resorts Mountain High, Mount Baldy, and Mount Waterman are located about 30 miles (48 km) to the northeast.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201520,590[9]1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]


The 2010 United States Census[11] reported that La Cañada Flintridge had a population of 20,246. The population density was 2,341.8 people per square mile (904.2/km²). The racial makeup of La Cañada Flintridge was 13,959 (68.9%) White (64.7% Non-Hispanic White),[12] 109 (0.5%) African American, 24 (0.1%) Native American, 5,214 (25.8%) Asian, 5 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 245 (1.2%) from other races, and 690 (3.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,267 persons (6.3%).

The Census reported that 20,219 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 21 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 6 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 6,849 households, out of which 2,873 (41.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 5,029 (73.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 525 (7.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 214 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 103 (1.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 36 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 924 households (13.5%) were made up of individuals and 559 (8.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95. There were 5,768 families (84.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.24.

The population was spread out with 5,315 people (26.3%) under the age of 18, 1,363 people (6.7%) aged 18 to 24, 3,157 people (15.6%) aged 25 to 44, 7,224 people (35.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,187 people (15.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

There were 7,089 housing units at an average density of 820.0 per square mile (316.6/km²), of which 6,120 (89.4%) were owner-occupied, and 729 (10.6%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 18,052 people (89.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,167 people (10.7%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, La Cañada Flintridge had a median household income of $156,952, with 1.8% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[12]


As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 20,318 people, 6,823 households, and 5,690 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,348.9 inhabitants per square mile (906.9/km²). There were 6,989 housing units at an average density of 808.0 per square mile (312.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.53% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 31.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. 4.80% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,823 households out of which 44.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.7% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.6% were non-families. 14.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 20.9% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

According to a 2008 estimate,[14] the median income for a household in the city was $140,474, and the median income for a family was $157,511.[15] This makes La Cañada Flintridge the 17th most affluent city in the United States, according to CNN Money.[16] Males had a median income of $92,760 versus $57,321 for females. The per capita income for the city was $52,838. About 3.6% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Children operating a lemonade stand on Lyans Drive in La Canada, 1960

The La Cañada Unified School District serves most of the city and is ranked as one of the top school districts in the state. On September 13, 2010, the California Department of Education announced that 2010 California Standards Tests (CSTs) results indicate that the La Cañada Unified School District earned the second highest Academic Performance Index (API) score in the state.[17] The API reflects a district's performance level, based on the results of statewide testing.[18] The district has three public elementary schools that serve grades K-6: La Cañada Elementary, Palm Crest Elementary, and Paradise Canyon Elementary School. The public high school, La Cañada High School, which also serves as a middle school (grades 7–8), is a 1993 and 2004 Blue Ribbon School.[19]

A small western portion of the city is served by the Glendale Unified School District, with La Cañada Flintridge students attending Mountain Avenue Elementary School, Rosemont Middle School, Clark Magnet High School and Crescenta Valley High School.

Private schools

High schools are St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and Flintridge Preparatory School.

Elementary schools are Crestview Preparatory (K-6), The Learning Castle (Kindergarten-3rd Grade), La Canada Preparatory (4th–8th), and St. Bede (K-8).

Delphi Academy of Los Angeles, a Delphi Academy school, opened in La Cañada Flintridge in 1984. The school left the city when its current campus in Lake View Terrace, Los Angeles opened in 2003.[20]


La Cañada is served by two weekly newspapers: La Cañada Valley Sun, owned by Times Community News, a division of the Los Angeles Times; and La Cañada Outlook, owned by La Cañada News, Inc. Both newspapers publish on Thursdays.


Municipal government

La Cañada Flintridge is governed by its city council, which has five members, each elected to overlapping four-year terms. Each year, the council selects one of its members to serve as mayor and another to serve as mayor pro-tem for terms of one year. The council is aided by five commissions and two committees, each with its own area of responsibility. In addition, the council appoints the city manager, city attorney, city treasurer, and all members of its advisory bodies. It also serves as the governing board for the public improvement corporation, the redevelopment agency, the LCF Local Financing Authority, and Sanitation Districts No. 28 and No. 34.

The current members of the city council are:[2]

The City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of La Cañada Flintridge City Hall.

State and federal representation

In the state senate, La Cañada Flintridge is in the 25th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anthony Portantino.[21]

In the United States House of Representatives, La Cañada Flintridge is in California's 28th congressional district, represented by Democrat Adam Schiff.[22]

Law enforcement

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Crescenta Valley Station in La Crescenta.[23]

Fire and EMS Service

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) operates fire stations 19 and 82 in the city. Fire stations in Altadena and La Crescenta-Montrose also serve the city. Emergency transportation is done by Schaefer Ambulance Service.

Points of interest

Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the upper Arroyo Seco and San Gabriel foothills, 2006

Angeles Crest Highway

La Cañada Flintridge is the southern terminus of the Angeles Crest Highway. It begins at the intersection with Foothill Boulevard and follows a two-mile, 5% grade before entering the San Gabriel Mountains, and terminates.

On September 5, 2008, a big rig carrying 78,000 pounds of onions lost its brakes on the Angeles Crest Highway. To avoid a collision with the Hill Street Café at the intersection with Foothill Boulevard, the rig turned towards a small driveway, sideswiped the Café, crashed into a wall, a garbage bin, a tree and six vehicles before coming to rest in the parking lot. James Bines, 43, of Florida, and his passenger Willy Robinson had been hauling a full load of onions through the high desert area in the 18-wheeler. They traveled over the Angeles Crest Highway because, Bines said, he had received directions from his global positioning system that the highway, State Route 2, was the most direct route from there to Los Angeles.[27][28]

On April 1, 2009, a similar incident occurred at roughly the same location. A car carrier transporting six cars southbound on the Angeles Crest Highway lost its brakes and, despite three runaway vehicle escape medians in the center islands, caused multiple vehicle accidents that resulted in two fatalities and 12 injuries, three of them critical. Angel Jorge Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina, both of Palmdale, had just exited the eastbound Foothill Freeway at the Angeles Crest Highway in their red Ford Escort and were starting to turn north on the highway to return to Palmdale when the semi-truck struck their vehicle.[29]

A bill that bans heavy trucks with three or more axles from driving on the Angeles Crest Highway was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 6, 2009.[30]

Notable people

These people have lived in or gone to school in La Cañada Flintridge


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  13. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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  15. "La Canada Flintridge city, California – Fact Sheet". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  16. Chang, Althea (July 16, 2008). "25 top-earning towns". Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  17. Shortall, Andrew (September 15, 2010). "Local schools still in state's top 2". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  18. "San Marino State's Premier Unified School District for 7th Consecutive Year". September 13, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  19. "Gold Medal Schools – US News and World Report". November 29, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  20. "Campus." Delphi Academy of Los Angeles. Retrieved on December 27, 2010.
  21. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  22. "California's 28th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  23. "Crescenta Valley Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  24. "Descanso Gardens – Gardens". Retrieved November 21, 2013.
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  26. Walter Nelson. "Lanterman Historic House – La Canada Flintridge". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
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  28. "News". Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  29. "Collision leaves two dead in LCF". La Canada Valley Sun. April 1, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  30. "Big Rigs Banned from Angeles Crest Highway After Fatal Crash". KTLA. August 6, 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  32. - Adam Carolla Buys in La Canana
  36. - A Visit to Ollie's Railroad
  37. "David Lipsky, NuSports,com
  38. Beale, Lauren (2011-02-15). "Victor McLaglen's former home in La Canada Flintridge goes on the market". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  39. "'Sixth Sense' Star Charged With DUI". Tribune Media Services. 2006-08-18.
  40. - Vince Vaughn Buys House Your Parents Would Love
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