Best Hiking Trails in Angeles National Forest

Overview

Angeles National Forest is a national forest in Southern California that encompasses the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains. It was the first national forest designated in the state. Known for its recent wildfires, the dry but diverse landscape of shrubs and trees make the terrain a hiker's destination for a day trip away from the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Getting Started

Before you go, check out the current roads and trail information. Make the short drive from the city to the national forest and pick one of the popular hikes. Get familiar with the park by stopping at one of the visitor centers.

Mount San Antonio, or Mount Baldy, is Angeles's highest peak at 10,064 feet. Get rewarded with stunning views by taking the Devils Backbone Trail to the top. The peak's open year round—in the winter months, it turns into a ski area.

While this is a popular spot for LA dayhikers, there are opportunities for longer trips. About 176 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail wind through Southern California. Pick up a section of the trail in Angeles National Forest and go as far as you have time for.

Want something shorter? Try the popular Sturtevant Falls or Echo Mountain.

Extend your stay at one of the first-come, first-serve campgrounds.

When to Go

The forest is open for adventure all year-round, but the most popular times are during the summer months. Be sure to check out the wildfire alerts and notices before committing to a hike.

Permits

Use an Interagency Annual Pass within the forest and other national parks. If you don't frequent forests or parks regularly, a better option may be the regional recreation Adventure Pass. You'll need one of these passes to park and access various areas within the boundaries. Learn more here.

Dog Info

Like in most national forests, dogs are permitted as long as you keep them on a leash and pick up after them.

Seasonal Popularity