Aerial drone shot of Angeles Crest Mountains

Exploring Angeles National Forest

Posted on 19 Sep, 2018

The Angeles National Forest spans over 700,000 acres and contains most of the San Gabriel mountain range. Retreating into the forest, you quickly forget how close you are to the second largest metropolis in the nation. Angeles National Forest covers seventy percent of the open space in LA County with spectacular scenery, camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, quiet wilderness areas and, of course, tons of opportunities to hike.

Take in the familiar scent of pine trees as you explore some of these scenic destinations near Aliento’s master-planned community in Santa Clarita.

Rowher Flats Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area
Climb aboard an ATV or another Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) and explore over 47 miles of open trails. Rohwer Flats has routes for all skill levels, from wide, flat paths for beginners to steep, rugged trails for more advanced riders. For incredible views of the Bouquet Reservoir, adventure up the steep hills in the north – you won’t regret it.

San Gabriel Peak
For a quick adventure, take the relatively short hike up to the San Gabriel Peak. On your way, pass by Mt. Disappointment – once thought to be the highest point in the mountain range, but eventually discovered to be shorter than the San Gabriel Peak. From the top, you can enjoy incredible views of Mt. Wilson and the LA Basin.

Bear Creek Trail
Looking for paths less traveled? Take Highway 39 until you reach the West Fork of the San Gabriel River. Pass the footbridge and walk just under a mile on a paved road until you cross the next bridge, where Lower Bear Creek Trail begins on the left side of the road. Wildflowers neatly line the beginning of the course during blooming season. However, expect a more rugged course if you choose to continue on. Wear wool hiking socks and fast drying shoes – you may be crossing low water frequently. Following the upper trail takes you to Smith Mountain where you can ascend up the summit for more captivating sights.

Big Pines Recreation Area
Just north of Sheep Mountain Wilderness, picnic or hike under the timber canopies of Big Pines Recreation Area. Stop by Big Pines during the summer to check out guided nature walks and children’s activities. Roughly 3 miles up in the mountainside are a handful of ski resorts open during the winter.

Note: Designated sites within Angeles National Forest require an Adventure Pass, which can be purchased at any of the locations listed here.

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