National Forest Foundation

Our Forests

Find a Forest

Angeles National Forest

The Angeles National Forest is located within an hour's drive for more than 20 million people who live in the Greater Los Angeles area, and provides a wealth of recreation opportunities.

The Angeles National Forest covers over 650,000 acres and is the backyard playground to the huge metropolitan area of Los Angeles. The Angeles National Forest manages the watersheds within its boundaries to provide valuable water to southern California and to protect surrounding communities from catastrophic floods.

The land within the Forest is as diverse in appearance and terrain as it is in the opportunities it provides for enjoyment. Elevations range from 1,200 to 10,064 feet. Much of the Forest is covered with dense chaparral which changes to pine and fir-covered slopes as you reach the majestic peaks of the higher elevations.

Over 36,000 acres within the Angeles National Forest are designated as the San Gabriel Wilderness Area and have been set aside to preserve their wilderness character. The area encompasses some extremely rugged terrain, ranging in elevation from 1,600 to 8,200 feet.

Switzer Picnic Area

In 1984, the 44,000 acre Sheep Mountain Wilderness was set aside as one of the Nation's truly unique wild areas. With elevations ranging from 2,400 ft. to over 10,000 ft., this area offers something for everyone. Whether you're a novice hiker, an experienced backpacker, a fisherman or just interested in the "great outdoors", this rugged terrain provides a variety of opportunities for all.

The Angeles National Forest offers 557 miles of hiking and equestrian trails which include 73 miles of National Recreation Trails and 176 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). These trails offer ample choices for all, from beginners to experienced outdoor enthusiasts.

Other recreation opportunities are plentiful: camping and picnicking, fishing, hunting and target shooting, off-highway vehicles, water sports, wilderness, and winter sports.

First-timer’s Adventure

Enjoy the hike from Charlton Flat to Vetter Mountain. This 3-mile round trip excursion takes you to the historic Vetter Lookout.

Along the trail you will see excellent specimens of Ponderosa, Jeffrey and Sugar Pines, along with Western Red Cedar, oaks, Manzanita and some Coulter Pine near the top. In May and June, look for the exotic and strange snow plant, looking like a large, bright red asparagus spear. They are rare, so please do not touch. Leave them for others to see.

Statistics

State(s):

California

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Los Angeles

Notes & Conditions:

When off-roading, all vehicles must meet DMV standards for approved mufflers and current registration. Off-highway vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs and Odysseys must be equipped with approved spark arresters and have valid green stickers. Remember - State law requires that ALL ATV riders wear a helmet. Before you go, please check this link for rules and regulations.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.