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"Garden of Rocks"

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Irwindale, is a very small town on Route 66 in California that became prosperous thanks to its gravel, rock and sand pits, which produce materials used in road building.

Irwindale CA

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About Irwindale California

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 469 ft (143 m). Population 1,422 (2010).
Time zone: Pacific (MST): UTC minus 8 hours. Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7).

Irwindale is a very small city located Route 66 in Los Angeles County in southern California on the San Gabriel Mountains' foothills; it is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. (Map of Irwindale).

A view of Route 66 in Irwindale:

Route 66 in Irwindale looking northwest
Route 66 in Irwindale looking northwest. Google
Click image for Street View

The History of the city of Glendora, California

This part of California has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, read more about the early history of this area in History of Azusa.

The first settlers were the families of Fecundo Ayon and Gregorio Fraijo during the 1850s. The railway was built through this area in 1887 when a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad linked its main line in San Bernardino with Los Angeles.

The post office opened in 1899.

Irwindale, the name

The town which finally incorporated in 1957, and was chartered in 1986 was named after a local citrus Grower.

It was an open area, beyond the city limits of Azusa to the east and Duarte to the west, beyond the San Gabriel River. In fact, there is no reference about Irwindale in any of the early maps or accouns of the region:

The USGS survey along the Santa Fe railroad of 1915 says the following: "Two miles west of Azusa the train crosses San Gabriel Wash, the bed of San Gabriel River, the largest stream flowing from the San Gabriel Mountains. The canyon through which the San Gabriel emerges from the mountains is in sight about 3 miles northeast of the trestle over the wash. During the rainy season San Gabriel River is a stream of considerable size, furnishing water for irrigating many citrus groves and other orchards and fields on the slope south of the mountains. During the dry periods it dwindles to a mere brooklet, even within the canyon.".

National Old Trails Highway (N.O.T.) in Irwindale

By 1915, use of the automobile had grown considerably and the National Old Trails (N.O.T.) Association had been formed to promote a highway link between New York and Los Angeles. The road was build along the Santa Fe railway. In 1912 map by the Automobile Club of Southern California published a map which shows Azusa (26 mi. from LA), where the road crossed the S. Fe railroad and to the west was Duarte, no signs of Irwindale.

1926: Route 66 in Irwindale

Route 66 was created in 1926 and it used the alignment of the N.O.T. highway here, and has remained on this alignment until 1964 when it was bypassed by the freeways.

Two road maps of Los Angles (1935 and 1939), show Route 66 running between Azusa and the San Gabriel River along Center St. and no other town until Duarte. The same is shown in a 1940s map where San Gabriel Wash has no town next to it.

The "Guide to the Golden State" written by the WPA in 1939, described the Irwindale section of Route 66 as follows:

"... AZUSA, 27.6 m. (611 alt., 4,808 pop.), dating from the boom year of 1887, is vet another citrus-shipping center. The name is derived from Asuksag-na, name of an Indian village here.
The name of DUARTE, 31.9 m. (600 alt., 1,326 pop.), center of an old orange-growing district, commemorates Andreas Duarte....

Jack Rittenhouse about this segment west of San Bernardino to Pasadena mentions a list of towns: "... AZUSA, 343 mi., DUARTE, 347 mi.; MONROVIA, 350 mi., and ARCADIA, 352 mi....", so there is no refrence to Irwindale until the 1950s.

The town began to grow when the demand for road paving led to the development of the rocks in the area as a source of crushed rock and gravel as wel as sand. Hence the City of Irwindale's nickname as "Jardín de Rocas" which is Spanish for "City of Rocks".

Where to Stay in near Irwindale

Lodging near the City

>> Book your Hotel in neighboring towns of Azusa and Duarte

More Lodging close to Irwindale along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Irwindale, California

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>> Check out the RV campground near Irwindale, in Pomona

The Weather in Irwindale

Latest Irwindale, California weather
Route 66 and Irwindale, CA
Location of Irwindale on Route 66

Irwindale has a warm Summer Mediterranean climate. Semi-arid, with hot and dry summers and cool winters. The average monthly temperatures does not surpass 71.6 °F (22°C).

The town has an average of 290 sunny days yearly. During fall (autumn) the strong hot and dry Santa Ana winds blow in from the desert and increase the risk of wildfires.

The summer average high is 90°F (32°C) and the average low is 62°F (17°C).

The winter average high in January is 68°F (20°C) and the average low is 43°F (6°C). The peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains will be covered with snow but none falls in Irwindale.

Rainfall averages 18.2 in. per year (461 mm), with the period May to September being the driest one with less than 0.3 in. monthly (8.4 mm) and mostly 0.01 in (0.3 mm).

Tornado risk

Irwindale is located very close to the Pacific Ocean and well beyond the Rocky Montains (western limit for tornados) so there is no risk of tornados in town.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Getting to Irwindale

Drive up to Irwindale using old Route 66 or take the Interstate (215, 15, 10, 610) or using state higways 57 and 210. They are all freeways.


Map of Route 66 through Irwindale California

See the alignment of US 66 in Irwindale, on our California Route 66 Map, it has the complete alignment across the state with all the towns along it.

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Route 66's alignment in California: the Historic Route 66 into Irwindale

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across California

U.S. Route 66 does not have any Byway or Historic designation in California despite the survival of long sections of original roadbed between Needles and Santa Monica.

Click Here for an overview of Route 66 across the state of California.

Below you will find detailed information on Old Route 66 in Irwindale.

Sights in Irwindale

What to Do & See

Irwindale and its Route 66 attractions

Jardin de Rocas

City tour

Irwindale lies next to the great San Gabriel "Wash" a temporary river which over thousands of years, whose water during the rainy season has eroded the San Gabriel Mountains and deposited sand, gravel and rocks in the lowlands.

This barren land would be the source of the city's wealth as road building in California demanded rock and gravel. These rock quarries are a major source of income for the city and you can see them to the north of Route 66. There are 17 gravel and sand pits in town.

Route 66 runs through a narrow part of the city, and is only half a mile long here (800 m), there are no striking Route 66 classics in Irwindale, just a great view of San Gabriel mountains as you cross the Route 66 bridge into Duarte.

Tours & Itineraries

Old Route 66 in Irwindale California

From Azusa to Irwindale

route 66 shield California

The first highway through the area built specially for cars, was the National Old Trails highway projected in the early 1910s to link Los Angeles and New York.

Route 66 in Irwindale

There has only been one alignment through Irwindale since Route 66 was created in 1926 aligned on the N.O.T., it is only 0.6 mile long (965 m) and begins at Azusa in the east, at 16100 E Foothill Blvd, ending at the eastern tip of the bridge over San Gabriel River, where the road becomes Huntington Dr. and enters Duarte. Map of Route 66 in Irwindale.

> > See the previous segment Victorville to San Bernardino

> > See this segment San Bernardino to Pasadena (west)


A Guide to the Golden State, Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, Hastings House, New York, 1939.

Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.