California is among some of the most beautiful places in the U.S. to go hiking since there are many trails and National Forests in the Golden State. If you are lucky enough to live there or nearby or are planning to go over for a nice weekend hike, one of the forests you can visit is the Angeles National Forest.
The National Forest is located in the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains. It has about 557 miles of hiking trails and 176 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. The trails in the forest are suitable for hikers and adventurers of all levels, from beginner, all the way to the more experienced so just about anyone can go for a visit.
FUN FACT: The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is one of the most beautiful and one of the longest trails in the world, spanning a staggering distance of 2,659 miles or 4,279 km. It runs through California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
There are quite a number of trails in the forest itself. Today, we will go through some of the most popular trails that you can hike and sites to see in Angeles National Forest.
Big Horn Mine
A popular site to check out in the National Forest is the Big Horn Mine via the Big Horn Mine Trail. It is an out and back trail that is about 4.2 miles with an elevation gain of about 650 ft. This is a trail that is suitable for beginners and takes about 2-4 hours to complete. It is well maintained with markers so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. If you have a furry, four-legged friend, you can take him with you as well – as long as he is on a leash.
The trail is accessible year-round but the best time to go is from March until October. Don’t forget to take your camera with you when you visit the mine as there are a lot of beautiful, picture-perfect opportunities waiting for you there!
If you want more details about the hike, as well as a downloadable GPX that you can load into your GPS, you can visit TrailToPeak.com.
Sturtevant Falls Trail
Sturtevant Falls Trail is another place you can visit with a nice 50-foot waterfall to take a little dip in. It is an easy to moderate, out and back trail that is about 3.1 miles long. You can go horseback riding on this trail or bring your dog as well.
Just note that the last 0.6 miles of the trail to get to the parking lot is uphill – so conserve some energy! You also need a pass for this trail and an Adventure Pass for your car. It can be accessed year round but the best times to go is from November to March.
Devil’s Punchbowl Loop and Devil’s Chair Trail
Doesn’t it make you wonder why the trail is named this way? Me too. The Devil’s Chair Trail is located in Devil’s Punchbowl Park. It is a moderate to the difficult trail that is about 9.1 miles long that is best accessed from October to April. It is 1,310 acres of sandstone poking out from under the earth.
What’s pretty cool about this trail is that Devil’s Punchbowl is at a point where two earthquake faults collide and create vertical walls of rock that reach as high as 300 feet. It is sandwiched between Angeles National Forest and the desert.
The trail offers breathtaking geological formations, white cliffs that are chalked with pink streaks, and brown slabs. This, of course, is combined with lush green mountains to create a truly spectacular view.
San Antonio and MT. Baldy Notch Trail
This very long-named trail is a 9.5-mile long trail that is a bit more difficult, challenging you at elevations of about 4,114 feet – it is only recommended for very experienced hikers. It is a looped trail that features an amazing waterfall and beautiful views. It is best used from March to November.
The loop will take you to the summit of Mr. Baldy and pretty much everyone from South California knows where it is because of its white top and snow-covered backgrounds – even throughout June!
The real name of the mountain is actually Mt. San Antonio, but it is popularly called Mr. Baldy, most likely because it looks bald! It is an icon of South California.
If you want more information about the trail, you can visit AllTrails.com to learn more as well as read some reviews of the place.
Before You Go…
Before you go on this hike (or any hike for that matter), here are a few things to take note of so you have a great hiking experience:
- Do your research ahead of time – know the area and the routes where you’re going. Check out any information on the trail and what there is to see. Get or print out maps if you need to, or check to see if there are any GPS information available online.
- Check the weather forecast beforehand as well as the conditions in the area, so you’ll know how to prepare accordingly or if the trail is safe to pass on.
- Know your physical capabilities as well as the difficulty of the trail. Make sure you don’t push too hard, especially if it is your first time or you have some sort of medical condition. Remember, safety first!
- Lastly, don’t hike alone, especially if you are inexperienced. But if you must take a solo adventure, just make sure you tell someone such as your loved ones exactly where you are going and what trails you’ll be hiking. Give them as much information as possible!
So there you have it! Those are some trails you can hike in Angeles City National Forest. Be sure to come back here after your trip and tell me how it went and what trail you visited. Let me know if you checked out a different trail as well! And feel free to share this article with your friends – it really helps me out!
As usual, stay safe and have a happy adventure!