Altadena, California

About Altadena, California

Altadena is an unincorporated suburb of Los Angeles located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The name comes from “Alta,” meaning “upper,” and “Dena,” coming from Pasadena. Altadena is home to a diverse population and is known for its numerous outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.


Originally the area was part of Rancho San Pascual. 

The 14,000 square feet was a land grant from the Mexican government and later was divided into several smaller parcels of land. 

The area was first settled in the mid-1800s and was incorporated into Los Angeles County in 1887. In the early 20th century, Altadena experienced significant growth with the development of housing tracts and the construction of the Mount Lowe Railway, which provided transportation to nearby mountain resorts. 


source: US Census data


Notable People

The suburb of Los Angeles has produced several influential people. These notable people are proud to call Altadena their hometown. 


  • Claude Atkins- actor 
  • Maria Bamfird – stand-up comedian
  • Paul Little- actor & director 
  • George Reeves- actor 
  • Darryl Stephens- actor
  • Meshach Taylor- actor
  • James Westerfield- actor 



  • Fannie Charles Dillon- composer 
  • Marni Nixon- singer
  • Nathaniel Rosen- classical cellist 
  • Ethelynde Smith- concert singer



  • Ramses Barden- NFL player
  • Keith Hufnagle- pro skateboarder
  • Bob Lillie- MLB player & coach
  • Mo Martian- LPGA golfer
  • Jim Merritt- MLB pitcher
  • Rodger Nelson- MLB pitcher
  • Sharron Stouder- 3 Olympic Gold Medal winner 



  • Octavia E. Butler- author 
  • Andre Colman- reporter and author 
  • Johnathan Gold- Pulitzer Prize restaurant critic
  • Zane Gray- author
  • Steve Sailer- author/ movie critic 
  • Michael Shermer- founder of The Skeptic Society
  • Alice Walker- writer of “The Color Purple”



  • Mark Dean Veca- artist 
  • Charles White- printmaker
  • Jirayr Zorthian- artist



  • Al Boeke- Architect 
  • Richard Feynman- Nobel Prize physicist
  • Adam Steltzner- spacecraft engineer 
  • Jeffery C Stwart- Pulitzer Prize professor 
  • Harold Zirin- solar astronomer 



  • Aja Brown- Mayor
  • Civil Rights Activists 
  • Owen Brown- abolitionist 

Points of Interest

Christmas Tree Lane 

This holiday spectacle takes place in just under a mile of Santa Rosa Avenue from Woodbury Road to Altadena Drive and has been a holiday attraction for visitors since 1920. It is one of the world’s largest and longest-running outdoor Christmas lighting venues. Every December, Christmas Tree Lane Association members decorate the 110 giant deodars that line the street with thousands of Christmas lights. In 1990 Christmas Tree Lane was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mount Lowe Railway 

The Mount Lowe Railway is a scenic railway that used to take passengers to four hotels in the San Gabriel Mountains above Altadena and Pasadena. In 1993 the railway was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cobb Estate

Located in Altadena, CA 91001, it is said to be haunted by ghosts or the Marx Brothers. The brothers bought the estate in 1956, and that is when the stories of ghosts and eerie sightings began. After that, the home was torn down in 1959 and eventually purchased by the city. Now it is a popular hiking destination.

The Bunny Museum

Located at 2605 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001, this museum is dedicated to rabbits and has over 45,000 items related to rabbits.

Altadena Golf Course

Located at 1456 E Mendocino St, Altadena, CA 91001The Altadena Golf Course offers a nine-hole golf course and a driving range.

Fun Facts

  • Alta is Spanish for Upper, and Dena is related to Pasadena since Altadena is adjacent to Pasadena but at a higher elevation.
  • Altadena is surrounded on three sides by wilderness, the Arroyo Seco, Angeles National Forest, and Eaton Canyon.
  • Pasadena has tried to annex Altadena 46 times.
  • An Altadena resident donated 1 acre of her land to the Tongva people, making it the first time in almost two centuries that the Tongva have land in Los Angeles County.
  • Altadena has been a filming location for TV Shows and Movies.
    • Criminal Minds (2005)
    • Interstellar (2014)
    • Matilda (1996)
    • American Pie (1999)
    • Beverly Hills 90210 (1990 – 2000)


Is Altadena a rich area?

Altadena has a per capita income of $50,223 in 2018, which is high compared to California and the rest of the country. For a family of four, this translates to an annual income of $200,892.

Is Altadena a part of the San Gabriel Valley?

Yes, Altadena is included in the wonderful San Gabriel Valley region.

Is Altadena a good place to live?

One of the nicest places to live in California is Altadena, which is located in Los Angeles County. Residents in Altadena enjoy a sparse suburban vibe, and the majority own their homes.

What percentage of Altadena is black?

According to Altadena’s listed demographics, the largest racial/ethnic groups are white (49%), Hispanic (29%), and Black (20%).

What is Altadena famous for?

Altadena has a variety of attractions. One feature is the well-known Christmas Tree Lane, a seasonal draw since 1920. The world’s first large-scale outdoor Christmas illumination display is located in this region. Since 1990, Christmas Tree Lane has been listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.