Southwest of downtown Riverside, California, the community of La Sierra South was part of a Spanish land grant, Rancho La Sierra de Sepulveda. The city of Riverside annexed this area of small farms in 1964, and La Sierra South, mostly flat land that rises into hillsides at the southern end, now offers single-family homes, apartments and a few remaining farms with fragrant citrus groves.
The Riverside Freeway/Highway 91, is the northwest neighborhood boundary, with the La Sierra neighborhood beyond. On the northeast is the Arlington South neighborhood, and on the south are the nearly treeless mountains. The Home Gardens neighborhood is on the west, with the city of Corona beyond. The zip code for La Sierra South is 92505.
The land along the Riverside Freeway is a light industrial area. Shopping Malls near the freeway include the Galleria at Tyler and Corona Hills Mall. Apartment complexes have been developed to take advantage of easy freeway access, and of locations within walking distance of the Metrolink train station. The commuter trains run to Los Angeles, downtown Riverside, and to points in-between.
Farther from the freeway, single-family homes are often modest, with size increasing higher up in the hills. Area citrus groves are reminders that the first navel orange groves were established in Riverside. Some streets are lined with tall palm trees ornamenting houses with red tile roofs, and there are spice-scented eucalyptus groves, as well.
Orrenmaa is the local elementary school, walking distance from many homes. Arizona is the neighborhood middle school, and its students go on to La Sierra High, across the freeway. Alvord School District offers many Advanced Placement courses.
La Sierra South has many newer homes and apartments, yet maintains the feeling of an old California neighborhood. Commuting is straightforward on the Metrolink rail or the freeway, but La Sierra South still seems somehow set apart from the modern world.