Hiking Areas Close To The Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests
This page gives a list of hiking areas close to the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests, with special emphasis on those areas that contain hills or mountains. This list is of special interest during the closure of those Forests in 2002 due to the extreme drought and the consequent extreme fire danger. It is possible that any or all of these areas might close as well. Hence we strongly recommend that you call ahead to see if a given area is still open.
We would appreciate feedback on which, if any, of the places on this list are closed as well, so we can note their closure on this list.
Warning: you may wish to avoid any areas where hunting is allowed, until the end of hunting season!
All the closed forest areas are also closed to hunters, which concentrates the hunters in the same areas where hikers and bikers are now concentrated. It was reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune that even hunters are complaining about how unsafe it is for other hunters in these areas. And the hunters are wearing day-glo orange vests...
A hike sponsored by the Hundred Peaks Section of the Sierra Club was recently canceled due to the very large number of hunters they saw in the area. The HPS is made of very tough and brave folks for the most part, who were going to do a 12 mile roundtrip, 4800 feet elevation gain hike 27 miles from Gorman. But they decided it was much safer to change their hike to Frazier Park.
Deer hunting season ends in San Diego County on November 24.
North of the Mountains
- Tehachapi Mountain Park
- Tomo-Kahni Reserve
- The Trail to Tomo-Kahni - Ancient Land of the Kawaiisu Explore the ancient land of the Kawaiisu, an intriguing preserve of wind-sculpted rock formations, pictographs and a pinyon pine forest.
- Placerita Canyon Park and Nature Center Placerita Canyon is a 350-acre natural park and is home to the famous "Oak of the Golden Dream." Call (661) 259-7721.
- Red Rock Canyon State Park
- Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park This 745-acre park of unique geological rock formations is located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs. Park is completely open as of 10/2/04.
- Devil's Punchbowl Nature Center This 1,310-acre natural park has some of the most unusual rock formations in California! Call (661) 944-2743.[Park is open as of 10/4/04, but all the trails are closed.]
- High Desert Wildlife Sanctuaries Located in the high desert of Antelope Valley are eight County wildlife preserves. Activities at these sanctuaries include birdwatching, hiking and horseback riding.
- Saddleback Butte State Park some thousand feet above the broad alluvial bottom land of the Antelope Valley about twenty miles east of Lancaster, on the western edge of the Mojave Desert.
- More info on Saddleback Butte State Park The best time of year to visit this park is in the springtime... Autumn (October and November) is also likely to be pleasant, although temperatures may vary widely and rather suddenly.
- Some nice pix Saddleback Butte is a good, 1.6 mile, one-way, trail hike from the parking lot.
- Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Pacific Crest Trail. [All backcountry roads and trails are closed in the wilderness areas, and open fires are forbidden. Open areas:
Miller Canyon Group Camp (Existing reservations will be evaluated, no new reservations will be accepted during the closure period.)
West Fork Group Camp
Old and New Mesa Campgrounds and Visitor Center
Cleghorn Day Use Areas
Black Oak and Day use Facilities in the Marina Area (i.e. Sawpit)
Chamise, Sycamore and Live Oak Landings (Boat In)
See Fire Restrictions, Travel Restrictions, And Closures For Some California State Parks, October 3, 2002.]
- Mojave Narrows Regional Park A virtual oasis in the Mojave Desert. Hike nature trails, and enjoy horseback riding on 840 acres along the ancient riverbed of the Mojave River.
- Bureau of Land Managment in California: Southern California Trails Learn about desert wildlife or coastal animals on short, self-guided nature trails -- or tackle all or portions of the grueling Pacific Crest trail. You'll find both types of trails on public lands that BLM manages in California.
East of the Mountains
- Riverside County Parks
- Box Springs Mountain Park: Pigeon Pass Road off Hwy. 60. Spread over 1,155 acres of undeveloped open space, Box Springs offers a getaway from the hustle and bustle. Equestrian and hiking trails climb the park's steep hills, and an interpretive trail introduces local flora and fauna. (909) 955-4310.
- Rancho Jurupa Regional Park: Crestmore Road off Mission Blvd. This 350 acre section of the Santa Ana Regional Park has more than 10 miles of hiking and equestrian trails.. (909) 955-4310.
- Joshua Tree National Park Viewed from the road, the desert only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals.
- Mojave National Preserve
South of the Mountains
- Hiking in Griffith Park Hiking into the rugged hills and sparsely developed areas is perhaps one of the most popular forms of recreation in Griffith Park. Hikers are allowed to use the entire 53-mile network of trails, fire roads and bridle paths.
- Verdugo Mountains Hiking Trails
- Stough Canyon Nature Center & Wildwood Canyon Park in Burbank
- A Trail of Two Cities "The vital link" of the Verdugo Mountain Trail system between Burbank's Wildwood Canyon Park and Glendale's Deukmejian Wilderness Park
- Deukmejian Wilderness Park Trails in the City of Glendale
- Hike the Arroyo Seco
- Eaton Canyon Natural Area This 184-acre natural park is located at the base of Mt. Wilson in northeast Pasadena and is most of the southeast portion of Eaton Canyon Wash from a bit south of the Toll Road Bridge to New York Drive. A free trail map of the Natural Area and Vicinity is available at the Nature Center, as well as displayed just outside it.
There are two very short nature trails next to the Nature Center, the Fire Ecology Trail and the Oak Terrace Nature Trail. The West Bank Trail is 0.9 miles from the Nature Center to just south of the Toll Road Bridge, and is almost entirely on City of Pasadena land on the west portion of Eaton Canyon. The Midwick Trail descends the west bank from the junction of Midwick Drive and Altadena Drive and ends at the West Bank Trail. The Park Road Trail is ~1.1 miles mostly on the east side of Eaton Canyon, and leads to the Toll Road Bridge. The Equestrian Trail up to the Toll Road (~0.5 miles with ~500 feet elevation gain) leaves from about the halfway point on the Park Road Trail. The Waterfall Trail is about 0.4 miles from the Toll Road Bridge north.
An anonymous reader reports on 11/2/02 that Eaton Canyon Natural Area [the county park] is open. The trail to the waterfall from the Toll Road Bridge, which passes through City of Pasadena property, is closed, as is the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. The West Bank Trail, Midwick Trail, Equestrian Trail, and Park Road Trail are open.
- Bailey Canyon [Closed as of 9/29/02, reported by Michael Charters. Check with City of Sierra Madre Parks & Recreation Services at (626) 355-5278 to see if it has been reopened]
- Arcadia Wilderness Park [check with City of Arcadia] Arcadia Wilderness Park / Preserve is located in rustic Santa Anita Canyon at 2240 N. Highland Oaks Drive, (626) 355-5309. A self-guided nature trail and a Nature Center with life mount exhibits are available. Park hours vary depending on season.
- Monrovia Canyon Park [Brush fire on October 10, 2002. An anonymous reader reports on 10/13/02 that only the waterfall trail is open (but closed to bicycles). Check with City of Monrovia Public Works Department at (626) 932-5575 for further changes.]
- Glendora Wilderness Park, Big Dalton Canyon Road, has hiking trails set in natural surroundings [Within Willliams Fire perimeter. Check with the City of Glendora at (626) 914-8200].
- San Dimas Canyon Nature Center [Within Williams Fire perimeter. Call (909) 599-7512.]
- Marshall Canyon [check with County of Los Angeles]
- Claremont Wilderness Park [check with City of Claremont] The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains with hiking trails,intermittent streams, and a wide variety of animals. Enter from Mills Ave. Closed during periods of extreme fire hazard.
- Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Located at an elevation of 1,350 feet on the outwash plain of the San Gabriel Mountains in Claremont. [Thanks to FlatlandRefugees of Wrightwood for this suggestion.]
- Schabarum Regional Park This wilderness park is comprised of open space and natural areas and contains picturesque canyons and rolling hills for hiking, biking and horseback riding, Skyline Trail, Rowland Heights
- Mount Rubidoux in the City of Riverside
- Chino Hills State Park
- Mount San Jacinto State Park [Mario Bonura reports on October 23 that the Park is only partially open. The Wilderness area is closed. Only two drive-in campgrounds and the Tram from Palm Springs are open. From the tram, you can day-use the Long Valley area including the Desert View Trail. See Fire Restrictions, Travel Restrictions, And Closures For Some California State Parks, October 3, 2002.
In addition, an anonymous reader reports that the trail from Palm Springs to the tram station is open, which he hiked the weekend of October 20. That "Cactus to Tram" hike is 10 miles one-way with 8000' of elevation gain.
For later updates, check with park at (909) 659-2607]
West of the Mountains
- Santa Susana Mountains
- Los Padres National Forest Wear blaze orange while hiking these trails during hunting season.
- O'Melveny Park Hiking Trails
- Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Hiking Trails
- Rocky Peak Hiking Trails This area encompasses the ridge that separates San Fernando Valley from Simi Valley. It has a fine selection of trails from the very easy trails in Corriganville Park to long trails up the Rocky Peak Ridge.
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Activities
- LATrails.com Index
- California's Deserts, from A to Z "Enjoy a light-hearted alphabet cataloguing the many wonders of California's beautiful deserts."
- List of low peaks to climb from Lower Peaks Committee, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Of course, you need to exclude those within the national forests.
Copyright © 2002-2004 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong | Tom Chester
Updated 3 October 2004.