Nestled at the base of the Angeles National Forest, Altadena was founded in the 1880’s when a group of investors wanted to develop and subdivide the area now known as Altadena, as an upscale rival to Pasadena, hence the name Alta—upper, above—PasaDENA. These speculators eventually went bust; which may explain Altadena’s eclectic mix of mansions, tiny bungalows, hill side homes and equestrian zoned regions.
The foothills and mountains bordering on the north are habitat for mountain lion, bear, deer, big horn sheep and other wildlife. Altadena is governed by the County of Los Angeles, since it is unincorporated county territory. Civic groups such as the Altadena Foothills Conservancy seek to protect and preserve this unique foothills community.
In addition to being the gateway to the Angeles National Forest, Altadena is home to Eaton Canyon Nature Center and several golf courses. Altadena is also famous for its Christmas Tree Lane – where visitors can view giant Deodar trees decorated in holiday lights.
According to the 2000 census, Altadena boasts a population of 38,306.