El Monte, California, a city in Los Angeles County. El Monte is about 15 miles (24 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. It is largely a residential community but also has some light industry. El Monte was settled in the early 1850's and was incorporated in 1912. During the 1960's it experienced tremendous growth, its population expanding from about 13,000 in 1960 to nearly 70,000 in 1970. El Monte has the council manager form of government.