The Angeles National Forest (ANF) is located in the
San Gabriel Mountains in
Southern California. While the vast majority of the ANF is in
Los Angeles County
north of the San Gabriel
Valley, a small area is in southwestern San Bernardino County and another small area is in northeastern
Ventura County in the
Lake Piru area. The elevation of the Angeles National Forest ranges from 1,200 feet to 10,064 feet. The ANF has 4 visitor centers, 36 picnic areas, 2 ski areas, 66 campgrounds, 10 lakes and reservoirs, 240 miles of rivers and streams, 53 trailheads, 697 miles of trails, 5 wilderness areas, and 655,387 acres of land.
It is the watershed for the
San Gabriel River.
Lake Hughes, established in 1873, is a small unincorporated community in the northern section of the National Angeles Forest and is located in the foothills of the Sierra Pelona Mountains. The population is under 1,000. Lake Hughes is north of the Santa Clarita Valley, west of Lancaster, and is adjacent to Elizabeth Lake. Hughes Lake, previously known as West Elizabeth Lake, is located at the community of Lake Hughes in northern Los Angeles County. The lake is quite beautiful.
Munz Lakes is a fishing lake located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains within the Angeles National Forest and Los Angeles County. It is between Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake. Quartz Hills and Palmdale are to the southeast. Lancaster is to the east.
Indian Springs is a small unincorporated community in Los Angeles County located about seven miles east and northeast of San Fernando in the western part of the Angeles National Forest.
Waterman Mountain, commonly referred to as Mt. Waterman, is an 8,030 foot mountain and popular Southern California ski area in the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County. Mount Waterman is located north of Pasadena, northeast of La Caņada-Flintridge, and directly east of La Crescenta. A private ski resort has leased most of the mountain and provides services.
Mount Wilson is a well-known mountain peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest in north Los Angeles County. Mount Wilson is the site of the Mount Wilson Observatory which is an astronomical center with a 100 inch telescope. On a clear day, the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island are visible from the peak.
Mount Baden – Powell
Mount Baden – Powell is a 9,407 foot peak in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. It was named after Robert Baden-Powell who was the founder of the Scouting Movement which includes Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Rover Scouts. The mountain was originally named East Twin Mountain.
Mount Burnham is a 9,001 foot peak in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness area of the Angeles National Forest which is within the San Gabriel Mountains. It was named after Frederick R. Burnham who was one of the founders of the Boy Scouts. The mountain was originally named North Baldy Mountain.
San Gabriel Peak
San Gabriel Peak is a 6,164 foot mountain peak in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains located in northern Los Angeles County. San Gabriel Peak is northwest of La Caņada – Flintridge and north of Pasadena.
Mount Lukins is the highest mountain in the City of Los Angeles standing at 5,074 feet. It is located at the west end of the San Gabriel Mountains providing spectacular views of La Crescenta – Montrose, most of the Crescenta Valley, the Verdugo Mountains, most of the San Fernando Valley, and a large part of the Los Angeles Basin. On a clear day, the Santa Monica Bay can be seen. Mount Lukins is located within the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County. The best access from the south is from the Deukmejian Wilderness Park which is at the far north end of Glendale. The mountain can be climbed any time of the year, but camping is not permitted.
Mountain High Ski Resorts
Mountain High Ski Resorts is a popular winter resort in the Angeles National Forest area of the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County. Mountain High rises to 8,200 feet and is the most visited ski resort in Southern California. The Mountain High West Ski Resort was once known as Blue Ridge while the Mountain High East Ski Resort was once known as Holiday Hill. Mountain High is located in the unincorporated community of Big Pines and is adjacent to the unincorporated town of Wrightwood.
Big Pines is a small, beautiful unincorporated community in the Angeles National Forest area of the San Gabriel Mountains and is the location of the Mountain High Ski Resorts. The town is adjacent to Wrightwood.
Echo Mountain is a 3,210 foot peak in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. It can be reached by trail from the north end of Lake Avenue in Altadena. The name is derived from the fact that a person’s voice echoes from certain locations on the mountain.
Mount Islip is an 8,250 foot summit in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. There are two trails leading to the top. Views include the Los Angeles Basin, Santa Catalina Island, and San Clemente Island.
Kagel Canyon is a small unincorporated community in the southwest part of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County.
Eaton Canyon is a major canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains within the Angeles National Forest. It drains into the Rio Hondo River and downstream into the Los Angeles River.
Eaton Canyon Park and Nature Center
The Eaton Canyon Park and Nature Center is a 190 acre nature preserve located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Pasadena and Altadena. The zoological, botanical, and geological nature preserve features hiking trails, equestrian trails with a staging area, picnic areas, and seasonal streams.
Santa Anita Creek
Santa Anita Canyon, also known as Big Santa Anita Canyon, is a scenic canyon in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. The canyon is located north of Sierra Madre and Arcadia in the San Gabriel Valley section of Los Angeles County where easy access is available. The creek within the canyon is known as Santa Anita Creek, and is part of the watershed of the Rio Hondo which flows from the San Gabriel Mountains through the Whittier Narrows to the Los Angeles River. The canyon is a popular place for hiking and viewing its streams, waterfalls, and other beautiful scenery. There are more than 40 miles of trails within Santa Anita Canyon.
Chantry Flat is a major recreational area in the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, located approximately three miles into the Santa Anita Canyon, north of Arcadia and Sierra Madre. Chantry Flat offers a large number of picnic tables, restrooms, and barbeques, and is the trailhead for several historic trails including the 28.5 mile Gabrielo Trail. The Gabrielo Trail also has a trailhead to the west in Altadena.
San Gabriel Wilderness
The San Gabriel Wilderness is a wilderness area established by the U.S. Forest Service in 1968. The 36,118 acre area is located within the Angeles National Forest on the southern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains and north of the San Gabriel Valley. The closest city is Pasadena which is to the south. Bear Creek Trail, Mt. Waterman Trail, and Devil’s Canyon Trail all provide access.
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument consists of 346,177 acres that include parts of the Angeles National Forest and the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument includes the San Gabriel Wilderness, the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness, Mount Baden-Powell, Mount San Antonio, and Throop Peak.
Magic Mountain Wilderness
The Magic Mountain Wilderness is a 12,282 acre preserve located in the Angeles National Forest not far from Santa Clarita, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Stevenson Ranch, and Sylmar. The preserve is located south of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway to the northwest of Sylmar, and both south and west of Santa Clarita. The highest point in the preserve is 4,705 feet. The preserve is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is a critically important habitat for the California condor which is an endangered species. There are no officially designated trails within the Magic Mountain Wilderness.
Placerita Canyon State Park
Placerita Canyon State Park, in Los Angeles County, was created to preserve and protect the site of the first discovery of gold in California in 1842. Its location links the Angeles National Forest, the Santa Susana Mountains, the Simi Hills, and the Santa Monica Mountains. The 342 acre state park features a nature center with gardens, extensive hiking trails, picnic areas, a waterfall, and various educational programs. The park contains the “Oak of the Golden Dream” site of the first discovery of gold in California and the historic Walker Cabin built in 1920. The Placerita Canyon Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall. Placerita Canyon was home to the Tataviam People, also known as the Tataviam Indians for thousands of years before the area was claimed by Spain and later by Mexico. Wildlife includes coyotes, bobcats, black bears, mountain lions, deer, rabbits, fox, badgers, and skunks.
Pyramid Lake - Pyramid Dam
Pyramid Lake is a large reservoir located near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County. Pyramid Lake was formed by the construction of the 386 foot high Pyramid Dam in 1970 on Piru Creek. Pyramid Lake is part of the California State Water Project and California Aqueduct and is the deepest lake in the system. The reservoir is located on the border between the Angeles National Forest and the Los Padres National Forest. The lake offers fishing, boating, jet skiing, and beautiful picnic areas.
Elizabeth Lake is a beautiful lake located in the Angeles National Forest in northwest Los Angeles County at the far west end of the Antelope Valley and to the northwest of the Santa Clarita Valley. The lake is surrounded by the Sierra Pelona Mountains which lie northwest of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Crystal Lake Recreation Area is in the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains, 26 miles directly north of the San Gabriel Valley in the city of Azusa. Crystal Lake is a natural lake fed by snow, rain, and natural springs. The recreation area consists of the lake, numerous campgrounds, and plenty of hiking trails. There is also an amphitheater that is used by the U.S. Forest Service to give occasional lectures. The area is beautiful and worth visiting.
Morris Dam and Reservoir
The Morris Dam is a concrete gravity dam, 245 feet high and 750 feet long, completed in 1934 in the Angeles National Forest, north east of Azusa, California in northern Los Angeles County. The dam, built on the San Gabriel River, impounds the Morris Reservoir which has a surface area of 417 acres and is approximately three miles long. During World War II, and until the early 1990s, the reservoir was used to test navel weapons. The military facilities have been removed except for several large concrete foundations which are visible from State Route 39.
San Gabriel Dam
The San Gabriel Dam, completed in 1939, is a rock-fill dam on the San Gabriel River within the Angeles National Forest in northeastern Los Angeles County approximately 4.9 miles north of Glendora. The 315 foot high, 1,520 foot long dam created the 525-acre San Gabriel Reservoir. The dam provides hydroelectricity for the San Gabriel valley section of eastern Los Angeles County and flood control. It is stocked with rainbow trout, bluegill, carp, catfish, smallmouth bass, brown trout, and bream. Fishing is permitted with a license.
Bouquet Reservoir is an artificial lake in the Angeles National Forest and Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is located in Los Angeles County approximately 15 miles west of Palmdale and northwest of the Santa Clarita Valley at an elevation of 2,993 feet. The reservoir was formed by Bouquet Canyon Dam on Bouquet Creek which is a tributary of the Santa Clara River. The dam and reservoir were built by the City of Los Angeles in 1934. Bouquet Reservoir covers about 628 acres.
Switzer Falls is a popular and absolutely beautiful series of waterfalls located deep in the Arroyo Seco Canyon in the Angeles National Forest located in the San Gabriel Mountains. The falls are north of Los Angeles, near Mt. Wilson.
Fish Canyon Falls
The Fish Canyon Falls is a beautiful, three tiered waterfall in Los Angeles County, located within the Angeles National Forest section of the San Gabriel Mountains, about two miles north of Azusa on the Fish Canyon Creek. The water drops eighty feet in three tiers. The falls can be reached via the Fish Canyon Falls Trail.
Devil’s Punchbowl Nature Center
The Devil’s Punchbowl is a beautiful 4,750 foot tilted sandstone formation and county park within the Angeles National Forest on the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County. The Devil’s Punchbowl Nature Center is operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. It focuses on the flora, fauna, and amazing geological features of the area, and offers guided tours, school programs, and a great telescope program featuring an 11-inch telescope.
Angeles National Forest Vistor Centers
The Angeles National Forest has three visitor centers and two information centers in different areas of the forest. These centers provide services and information for visitors including environmental education activities, general forest information, and forest related materials.
Wildlife Waystation – Angeles National Forest
The Wildlife Waystation is a private, non-profit animal sanctuary in the Angeles National Forest, north of the San Fernando Valley, dedicated to holding and rehabilitating native, wild, and exotic animals. The Wildlife Waystation is home to lions, tigers, bobcats, leopards, mountain lions, chimpanzees, bears, opossums, foxes, llamas, wolves, and many types of birds and reptiles. The organization is supported solely through donations, bequests, fundraising events, memberships, and animal sponsorship programs.
Whitney Canyon Park
Whitney Canyon Park is a beautiful 442 acre park and wildlife corridor in the Santa Clarita Valley. Whitney Canyon Park is an entry point into the Angeles National Forest and serves as a critical wildlife corridor between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Santa Susana Mountains. The park has several year-round springs and creeks, and offers many trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. The views from Whitney Canyon Park are stunning. The entry to the park is at 20303 Newhall Avenue in Santa Clarita.
Big Tujunga Dam and Reservoir
The Big Tujunga Dam, constructed in 1931, spans the Big Tujunga Creek, just northeast of Sunland, forming the Big Tujunga Reservoir. The Big Tujunga Creek is a major stream in Los Angeles County with its headwaters deep in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. The stream flows for nearly 29 miles joining Little Tujunga Creek to form the Tujunga Wash near Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley.
San Antonio Creek
San Antonio Creek is a significant creek in both Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County that has its headwaters near Mount San Antonio Creek, which is approximately 20.7 miles long, drains southward into Chino Creek which is in a major tributary of the Santa Ana River.
San Antonio Dam and Resovoir
The San Antonio Dam is a dam, completed in 1956, on the San Antonio Creek in San Bernardino County approximately five miles north of Ontario. The 160 foot high dam provides flood protection as part of the Santa Ana River System.
Strawberry Peak and the Strawberry Peak Trail leading to it are in the Angeles National Forest 14 miles northeast of La Caņada-Flintridge in the San Gabriel Mountains. On a clear day, Strawberry Peak is visible from the Los Angeles Basin, appearing as a round bump behind San Gabriel Peak and Mt. Wilson. The elevation of Strawberry Peak is 6,164 feet.
Silver Moccasin Trail
Silver Moccasin Trail is a 53 mile trail that starts at Chantry Flat Recreation Area north of Arcadia in the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains. The trail connects Mount Baden-Powell, Mount Burnham, Throop Peak, and Mount Hawkins. The trail Reaches to 9,399 feet on Mount Baden-Powell, just below the peak which is at 9,407 feet. The trail ends at Vincent Gap which is on the Angeles Crest Highway near Wrightwood.
Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail is a long distance hiking and equestrian trail that starts in San Diego County, California at the Mexican Border, and ends in Washington State at the United States – Canada border. The trail runs through the northern part of the San Bernardino National Forest, south of Hesperia, through the northern part of the Angeles National Forest, south of Palmdale and Lancaster, and through the eastern end of the Los Padres National Forest before it heads north into Central California.
Mt. Lawlor shares a saddle with Strawberry Peak and rises to 5,957 feet. Both are located in the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains.
San Francisquito Canyon
The San Francisquito Canyon is a canyon, in northern Los Angeles County, created by the erosion of the Sierra Pelona Mountains by San Francisquito Creek. The canyon starts in the north, deep in the Angeles National Forest with its southern end in the Santa Clara Valley. Until 1848 the Francisquito Creek was the site of extensive gold mining. The former St. Francis Dam was located within the canyon.