The San Gabriel River is a mostly urban waterway flowing 58 miles southward through Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California in the United States. It is the central of three major rivers draining the Greater Los Angeles Area, the others being the Los Angeles River and Santa Ana River. The river's watershed stretches from the rugged San Gabriel Mountains to the heavily developed San Gabriel Valley and a significant part of the Los Angeles coastal plain, emptying into the Pacific Ocean between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach.
The San Gabriel once ran across a vast alluvial flood plain, its channels shifting with winter floods and forming extensive wetlands along its perennial course, a relatively scarce source of fresh water in this arid region. The Tongva people and their ancestors have inhabited the San Gabriel River basin for thousands of years, relying on the abundant fish and game in riparian habitats. The river is named for the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, established in 1771 during the Spanish colonization of California. Its water was heavily used for irrigation and ranching by Spanish, Mexican and American settlers before urbanization began in the early 1900s, eventually transforming much of the watershed into industrial and suburban areas of greater Los Angeles.
Copyright: CC 3.0