Fremont Peak

State Park - California

Fremont Peak State Park is located in Monterey County and San Benito County, California. The park encompasses the summit of 3,169-foot (966 m) Fremont Peak in the Gabilan Range. The park features expansive views of Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean from its hiking trails. Other vistas include the San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains east of Big Sur.

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Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mother Lode - Boundary Map

Boundary Map of the Mother Lode BLM Field Office in California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=564 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_Peak_State_Park Fremont Peak State Park is located in Monterey County and San Benito County, California. The park encompasses the summit of 3,169-foot (966 m) Fremont Peak in the Gabilan Range. The park features expansive views of Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean from its hiking trails. Other vistas include the San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains east of Big Sur.
Our Mission Fremont Peak State Park The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. At the peak, visitors enjoy a 360-degree view during the day; the night sky provides a visual feast California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (831) 623-4526. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Fremont Peak State Park San Juan Canyon Road off Hwy. 156 San Juan Bautista, CA 95045 (831) 623-4526 • Observatory: 623-2465 Latitude 36.7602˚ Longitude -121.503˚ © 2002 California State Parks (Rev. 2017) for stargazers. Poison oak leaves turn red in fall. A t Fremont Peak State Park, spring and fall are the most colorful seasons. Magnificent vistas of Monterey Bay and the Salinas and San Benito valleys are incomparable from the 3,169-foot peak. Also visible are the Santa Cruz, Diablo, and Gavilan ranges, and the Santa Lucia Mountains. On a clear day, one may spot the Sierra Nevada Range. At night, constellations and galaxies not visible in light-polluted city skies dazzle the eye. The weather here is changeable. Summer temperatures can reach 90 degrees during the day, and at night they can drop to as low as 50 degrees, depending on the fog layer. Winter conditions may include dense fog, ice, and occasional snow. The 159-acre park is off State Highway 156, about 45 miles from San Jose or 11 miles south of San Juan Bautista. San Juan Canyon Road is paved, but it winds through canyons and over ridges; trailers or vehicles over 25 feet in length are not recommended. PARK HISTORY Native People For thousands of years, the Ohlone people (also known as “Costanoan”) lived in this area. Ethnographers vary on the number of native people but John C. Frémont estimate that there were at least 50 villages. Residents of these villages spoke different dialects of the Penutian language. In 1769 the native people’s lives were disrupted by the arrival of Spanish missionaries and soldiers who came to colonize the area and bring the native people into the mission system. The next several decades saw a drastic decline in the native population due to food shortages, crowded conditions, and epidemics of diseases to which the Ohlone had no immunity. By 1850, fewer than ten percent of the Ohlone people remained. Today there are more than 1,600 Ohlone people on tribal membership rolls. By studying records of their spoken dialects, several Ohlone groups are reviving their traditional languages. Why is it Called Fremont Peak? In 1846, while California was still part of Mexico, Army Captain John C. Frémont of the Topographic Engineers led a small exploratory force to California, arriving in the Salinas Valley in March. Suspicious of Frémont’s motives, Mexican Commandante General José Castro ordered him to leave the settled areas of California immediately. Frémont, believing that Castro had previously granted him verbal permission to remain, refused. Sensing an incident was coming, Frémont’s party headed up to a nearby peak, where they built a makeshift fort and raised a U.S. military flag. Castro, meanwhile, assembled a group of 200 soldiers in nearby San Juan Bautista. In Monterey, U.S. Consul Thomas O. Larkin attempted to intervene in order to avoid a conflict. After several days, Frémont decided to leave his encampment as he undoubtedly realized his precarious position. A powerful windstorm blew down the flagpole and may have provided Frémont further impetus to abandon the summit. During the Mexican-American war, Frémont led the California Battalion, but in 1847 U.S. General Stephen W. Kearny censured him for his “conduct in California.” Frémont was arrested, court-martialed, and found guilty of mutiny, disobedience, and “conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.” President James K. Polk later removed the charge of mutiny, and Frémont became a U.S. Senator representing California’s Mariposa area. In 1856, he ran unsuccessfully for president. As early as 1890, the raising of the flag by Frémont was celebrated on Fremont Peak. The Native Sons and Interior live oak leaves Daughters of the Golden West placed a commemorative plaque there in 1926. While some scholarship places the event on another summit, Fremont Peak has remained the place of commemoration. The area becamea state park in 1936. NATural history The northern slopes of Fremont Peak State Park are covered with Alligator lizard manzanita, scrub oak, toyon, and coyote brush. On southern exposures,

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