OverviewMormon Rocks is an area of sandstone blocks exposed to the elements through plate tectonics. Located along the San Andreas Fault in the San Andreas Rift Zone, you can see these rocks from the 15 freeway as it passes through Cajon Pass.
The rocks received their name from Mormon settlers, moving to the Los Angeles Basin from Salt Lake City, Utah.
From Cajon Pass Wikipedia:
"In 1851, a band of Mormon settlers led by Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich crossed Cajon Pass on their way from Salt Lake City to the Los Angeles basin. In commemoration of this crossing, a section of the pass where the railroad passes through (near Sullivan's Curve) is now known as Mormon Rocks."
Cajon Pass was a natural way for settlers to get from the High Desert to the San Bernardino area. It was also a trade route for Native Americans. Today not only does the I-15 freeway go through the pass but so does Historic Route 66, a very active train route, gas lines, power lines, etc.
Also known as the Rock Candy Mountains, Mormon Rocks are raised hogbacks of variable quality sandstone conglomerate with some walls up to 200' tall. Here is some route beta:
Rocklist Dataguide Entry
Getting ThereTake I-15 north (if you're from Southern California) or south (from the High Desert) into the Cajon Pass. Exit onto Highway 138 and head west. Mormon Rocks Fire Station is on the lefthand side, and offers parking and a pit toilet. Behind the fire station is a well-marked 1/2 mile nature trail that starts with gradual switchbacks. The trail winds through manzanita, yucca, chamise, sage and other high-desert plants to several vistas providing views of the surrounding area including Cajon Summit, Cleghorn Ridge to the east, Ralston Peak to the southeast, Upper Lytle Creek Divide and Cucamonga Wilderness to the southwest, and to the north are the northern outcroppings of Mormon Rocks. Beyond the Mormon Rocks is Baldy Mesa an area popular with OHV enthusiasts.
About 200 meters east of the fire station on the opposite side of the road, there is an entrance to the larger northern series of rocks.
Red TapeA National Forest Adventure Pass is no longer required to park in the Mormon Rocks area.
Click here to see a map of where the pass is required
Vehicles must stay on designated roads and not enter the washes in the area.
Campfires are prohibited.
CampingYou can camp in this area, though I would recommend getting as far away from the paved roads as possible and be careful that you are not on anyone's private land. You must be at least 1/4 mile from Hwy 138 to camp. Campfires are prohibited. Please pack out what you pack in.
External LinksDigital Desert - Mormon Rocks Page
Cajon Pass Wikipedia Entry
San Andreas Fault Wikipedia Entry
NWS Weather Forecast for nearby Phelan, CA
For more informationSan Bernardino National Forest
Lytle Creek Ranger Station
1209 Lytle Creek Road
Lytle Creek, CA 92358