Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Close to Los Angeles, and a terrific destination for everyone in Southern California, Angeles National Forest is filled with hiking, camping, picnicking, viewing, skiing, mountain biking, and other opportunities. Over 700,000 acres in size, this National Forest has elevations ranging from 1,200 to over 10,000 feet, and includes slopes of pines and firs, as well as dense chaparral. The views throughout are spectacular.

With approximately 550 miles of trails, over 35 campgrounds, 25 picnic areas, 5 ski areas, and more, there are tremendous opportunities to explore and enjoy this national forest. Watch for bighorn sheep, California condors, and 1,000 year old trees. Evidencing approximately 10,000 years of occupancy by Native American ancestors, there are also over 600 archeological sites and the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center.

Many wonderful memories and experiences are in store when visiting this special and diverse public land destination.



12371 N, Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, San Fernando, CA 91342

Managed By

US Forest Service

Distance from UCSB

Depends, but Chilao Visitor Center is 135 miles

How To Get There

Drive, Bike (long)

Things To Do

Backpacking, Biking (Mountain), Birdwatching, Camping, Hiking, Hisoric/Cultural Interest, Horseback Riding, Other Recreational Activities (skiing), Picknicking, Relaxing, Running (mountain), Swimming, Viewing, Walking, Watchable Wildlife

Fun Facts

Over 100 years old, Angeles National Forest represents the first national forest in California and the second in the nation. For added protection, President Obama established the San Gabriel Mountain National Monument within the National Forest in 2014. Not surprisingly, many TV and movies have utilized Angeles as a location, including “Star Trek: First Contact” and “Mission Impossible 2.”

Other Information

With so many trails, there are numerous on-line hiking guides and recommendations, including from the Forest Service and AllTrails. The website iNaturalist provides an excellent illustrated checklist of the animals and plants within Angeles National Forest.

There are five beautiful, designated Wilderness Areas in Angeles National Forest, including San Gabriel Wilderness, Magic Mountain Wilderness, and Sheep Mountain Wilderness, and three nationally significant trails: the Silver Moccasin National Recreation Trail, the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail, and part of the Pacific Crest Trail. The Forest Service offers various camping options.

This national forest provides about one-third of Los Angeles’ drinking water. The famous Mt. Wilson Observatory, which can be visited, is also located within the national forest.

Best Time To Visit

Spring, Fall, Winter

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