How Safe Is El Monte for Travel?

El Monte, United States
Safety Index:
76

El Monte, California, refers to itself as a friendly city and comes with a dense suburban feel.

Just 16 miles to Los Angeles and 13 miles to Angeles National Forest, El Monte sits at a great crossroads of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

It’s an ethnically diverse city with Caucasians just making up 4% of the population.

66% of the population is Hispanic and 29% are Asian.

84% of people who live here speak a language other than English at home.

This is a working-class community with basic suburban amenities, but not a lot of tourist draws.

There also aren’t a lot of hotel options in El Monte.

I counted six hotels and they aren’t going to be any fancier than a safe place to rest your head and maybe a free breakfast.

The city claims to be the end of the Santa Fe Trail, but it’s an ongoing controversy since the real Santa Fe trail ends in New Mexico.

The story goes, the Sante Fe Trail had a Spanish Trail expansion that ended at the banks of the San Gabriel River.

Whatever version of history you believe, you can still visit the historic park where a settlement turned El Monte into the community it would become today.

Warnings & Dangers in El Monte

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

There's a low risk in El Monte, with some concerns we'll need to talk about. The overall crime statistics are average or below average, but of the 9 homicides in 2020, three of them were juvenile gang homicides. So, there's a mixed bag of crimes here.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

El Monte has a shuttle service to get people to the MetroLink, a business park, the civic center, and a bus station. If you want to get to some of the shopping destinations, you'll want to take the El Monte Trolley. For 50 cents a ride, you can get to some of the top destinations in town. Rideshares and taxis are available. All options are low-risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

The theft rate has been going down since 2017 when the number peaked at 1431. In 2020, there were 980 thefts and four of those were pickpockets. Even in 2017 when numbers were high, there was only one purse snatching, so we can call it a low risk.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

You have to worry about earthquakes, wildfires, winds, and flooding in El Monte, so there's medium risk. The city has a detailed emergency management plan for all scenarios, so you can feel safe knowing they plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

There's a medium risk of a robbery here. The numbers are slightly above the national average. However, there's a greater chance of your car getting stolen than your wallet.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Since it's in the huge Los Angeles metropolitan area with lots of attractions, business headquarters, and military posts, it's well known that the region is a hard target for terrorists. The city also has a plan for that and Homeland Security is always working behind the scenes to keep people safe.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

There are several scams in El Monte involving gift cards, but those are more targeted at locals. The scammers convince the person they are in financial trouble with the government, but buying Target gift cards can fix it. Sadly, too many people fell for this scam and two people were arrested on felony money laundering charges. There's a low risk for a tourist, but never buy a gift card for someone else, no matter what their reason is.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Women might want to take some extra caution here when it comes to walking around at night. There's an overall low risk, but you've got to be very vigilant here.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

There's a low risk here and, as the city of El Monte stated in the annual water report, ".. drinking water provided by the city of El Monte met or surpassed all Federal and State drinking water standards."

Safest Places to Visit in El Monte

The Santa Fe Historical Trail is a great place to start, as it’s the birthplace of El Monte.

There’s a plaque and some artifacts there, surrounded by a small park.

There’s also a plaque detailing what used to be the best attraction in El Monte — Gay Lion’s Park.

It’s no longer open, but the plaque stands as a reminder that the city was once filled with the roar of lions.

The La Historia museum preserves hundreds of photographs of El Monte residents through the decades.

It celebrates the influence of Mexican Americans on the community.

Longo Toyota is one of the top-selling car dealerships in the country.

It has repeatedly broken national sales records.

Along Main Street north of I-10 (aka The Ten), you’ll find a variety of stores and restaurants.

Some are name brands and some are locally owned and operated.

Peck Road Water Conservation Park is another great outdoor option in El Monte with hiking, biking, horseshoe, and barbecue pits.

Placess to Avoid in El Monte

Looking at crime maps, south of Garvey Avenue is where the crime rates are the highest.

It’s probably best to avoid that area.

As you can tell from the list of things to do, there isn’t much to do in El Monte for a tourist.

It wasn’t designed to bring tourists in. It was designed to bring ethnic families to a safe community.

It’s important to note that South El Monte is a separate city from El Monte and North El Monte is what’s called a “census-designated area.”

The crime statistics I’m providing are just for the city of El Monte.

You should avoid driving around randomly at night.

There are gangs in this city, as shown by the homicide rates, and you don’t want to stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time.

Safety Tips for Traveling to El Monte

  1. Be sure to look at go511.org before you leave to see where there are accidents, construction, and delays. You’re so close to major freeways here, like The 10 and San Gabriel Parkway, but navigating Los Angeles freeways is hard. If you are heading to the beach, go before 7 am to avoid the worst of traffic.
  2. You can sign up for e-notifications from the police department through its website. Then you’ll know about the weather, civil, or criminal emergencies and they also tell you about road closures.
  3. El Monte is a city proud of its heritage and people will want to talk to you about it. Be respectful and listen to the stories of their forefathers who helped build the town, or how they built a business from the ground up. This friendly town takes so much pride in how far it has come.
  4. If you see a crime happen and report it, you must do so in person. Unlike most other cities in the Los Angeles area, the El Monte Police Department has no way to report a crime online.
  5. The El Monte Police Department does not provide protection in South El Monte. That city has its police force. South El Monte has a much higher violent crime rate than El Monte.
  6. You should keep up with information from Inciweb while you are there. That’s the organization that oversees wildfires throughout the region. If a wildfire is burning nearby, it can quickly impact air quality or shut down interstates.
  7. If you are overwhelmed with where to go and what to do, 211la.org is a great resource. It’s a guide from a non-profit that can find safe and highly-rated places to eat, visit, shop, or play.
  8. If you are dining in El Monte, you won’t get water unless you request it. This is part of a much larger water conservation effort as California is in a drought crisis. Keep your showers to 5-10 minutes, as quickly as you can, to save water.
  9. There is a 24-hour graffiti hotline where you can report new graffiti displays. That number is (626) 454-4091. The city makes every effort to clean it up as soon as possible. Graffiti can be the markings of a gang and it’s best to get rid of it as soon as possible to curb gang activity.
  10. If you’re going to be staying in El Monte, it’s going to help you to at least know some basic conversational Spanish. Learn how to say “Do you speak English?” and “I don’t speak Spanish well” to clear up lines of communication.

So... How Safe Is El Monte Really?

El Monte is about average safety.

It’s a blue-collar town with hard-working people trying to keep up with the expensive cost of living in California.

The risk of being a crime victim breaks down like this:

  • Violent crime: 1 in 314
  • Robbery: 1 in 897
  • Theft: 1 in 111

El Monte isn’t a bad place to stay, but there are just not a lot of hotel options or things to do.

You will have to leave El Monte for some of the biggest California fun stuff, like the beach or the mountains.

You might have to drive or commute through some dangerous cities to get there, so check out the reviews of all the cities on your travel route.

How Does El Monte Compare?

CitySafety Index
El Monte76
Orlando64
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67
Brussels (Belgium)60

Useful Information

  • Visas - There is no additional processing once you've completed your Visa approval at the airport or port of entry. You will need an ID to check into hotels, rent a car, or drink alcohol. Also, if you plan to fish while you're here, you'll need to show proof of a license from California. You can get that through the California Department of Wildlife website.
  • Currency - Only USD is accepted here. You don't need to carry around a large amount of cash, as most places take credit cards. It would be good to get some change for the bus, but other than that, just use one credit card for purchases.
  • Weather - You're a little bit more inland here so you're going to get a little more heat. The winters are warm during the day, in the 70s, and cooler at night, in the 40s. Temperatures gradually warm up until the heat of summer, when you'll get highs near 90°(F) and lows in the 50s or 60s. You'll want to bring a jacket and some clothing layers for your trip to El Monte.
  • Airports - LAX is more than an hour away in traffic, but it's just 33 miles of driving distance. The Hollywood Burbank Airport is also 33 miles away, a little farther north than LAX. Ontario International is 26 miles east. It's going to take about 30 minutes to get there.
  • Travel Insurance - You want travel insurance for a trip to El Monte as unpredictable weather and wildfires can delay or cancel flights at all the major airports.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

El Monte Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 15° C
Mar 16° C
Apr 17° C
May 20° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 24° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 17° C
Dec 14° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
212223242629313231282421
Low
°C
6791013151717161396
High
°F
707273757984889088827570
Low
°F
434548505559636361554843

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