Angeles National Forest is a beautiful area of Southern California covering over 700,000 acres. The outdoor wonderland covers part of the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains. It contains five national wilderness areas and almost 700 miles worth of hiking trails. There is plenty to see and do in this forest, depending on the area of the forest you visit and the time of year. There are areas for hiking, fishing, and other water sports, skiing, or even picnicking. The four visitor centers are there to guide you.
Angeles National Forest is a vast area with plenty to do. You can take your time exploring if you travel by RV because it allows you to stop and eat or sleep whenever it is convenient for you. If you do not own an RV, consider renting one using RVshare.
The Los Alamos Campground is located near Pyramid Lake and provides a gorgeous place to park for a day or two. Since it is right at the base of the mountains, there are plenty of nearby hiking opportunities, and you can also have a lot of fun at the lake with water sports like wakeboarding or water skiing. The park has individual and group campsites with grills and picnic tables. Enjoy volleyball courts, toilets that flush, and fresh drinking water. There is also a dump station and a general store on site. You will enjoy the natural beauty and will likely spot lots of birds and squirrels around camp. Fees start at $85 a night for fewer than 25 guests.
If you enjoy hiking, the Coldbrook Campground is the perfect choice since it has easy access to the Smith Mountain Trailhead. The camping is $12 a night with $5 if you bring an extra vehicle. The campsites are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a beautiful area near the San Gabriel Mountains, so if you are camping in the summer and enjoy fishing, you will appreciate the stock of rainbow trout.
The Manker Campground is an experience camping high in the clouds. It has 21 campsites and sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet. The sites are spacious enough for the whole family and have a fire ring, a picnic bench, and vault toilets. This is an excellent choice if you enjoy history since it is a short drive from the visitor center where you can learn about the area's Native American roots as well as the historic Mt. Baldy Schoolhouse. If you want to hike, this is close to the Mt. Baldy Bowl trailhead. The sites are $14 for camping with $5 for an extra vehicle.
The Bear Canyon Trail goes from the Mt. Lowe Truck Trail and to Gabrielino NRT below Switzer Falls. This is a beautiful place to see oaks and sycamore and watch for the gorgeous yellow hooded oriole. This trail leads you through cool stream crossings and magnificent views of the area.
Length: 5 miles
Get ready to enjoy a stunning three-tiered waterfall that drops 80 feet into a canyon. You will hike through the rock quarry to the Fish Canyon Falls Trail. You will experience an elevation change of 650 feet.
Length: 4.8 miles
The Mt. Baldy Trail is an intense hike but with the promise of a beautiful view of all of Southern California at the end. You gain over 3,900 feet in elevation, and the trail is often strenuous, but you do not need to do any rock climbing. There are many different routes to choose from, leading up different parts of the mountain.
Length: 11.3 miles
If you are looking for a shorter walk or are traveling with small children, the Table Mountain Nature Trail is only about a half-mile long. It starts at the Table Mountain Campground and ends in the camp.
Length: 0.5 miles
The Bear Creek Trail is in the San Gabriel Canyon. This is a fun trip with plenty of fishing, camping, and backpacking along the way. This trail is a perfect spot to enjoy the flora and fauna with flowers like California fuchsia, monkeyflower, and mule’s ears. Be sure to wear a hat since there is not much cover during the first part of the trip.
Length: 11 miles
Visiting the Angeles National Forest gives you over 700,000 acres to explore, so it is popular for geocaching. When it comes to flora, you will find much of the park covered in chaparral shrubs and oak woodlands. As you go up in elevation, you will see more pine and fir trees including acres of old-growth. You may also catch sight of gray foxes, bears, bobcats, cougar, deer, or bighorn sheep.
Since many areas of the forest include river and lake access, this is a good area for fishing. Be sure to check out Pyramid Lake, Castaic Lake, and Elizabeth Lake for fishing or other water sports. The trails and wilderness areas offer many opportunities for stunning photography with wide-open skies where you can enjoy stargazing at night.
Address: 12371 Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, Sylmar, CA 91342
Fee: Forest Adventure Pass (annual) $30
Fee: Forest Adventure Pass (per day) $5
The Angeles National Forest is a wonderful place to explore full of hiking trails, stunning views, and a wide variety of camping areas. You will find a vast collection of beautiful plants and maybe even see an animal or two. There are lakes in the area as well, so you can enjoy fishing or other water sports during your stay. Traveling in an RV will allow you to enjoy your visit to its fullest since you will always have a spot to take a break or spend the night.