Angeles National Forest Welcome Brochure
WELCOME! The Angeles National Forest was established by Executive Order in December 1892. Covering over 650,000 acres (about one-quarter of Los Angeles County), it is one of 18 National Forests in California, and one of 156 in the Nation.
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. Wildlife is abundant throughout the Forest, and spring brings a sprinkling of colorful wildflowers.
The Forest is not only a vital watershed for Los Angeles and surrounding communities, but provides a place where you may hike, camp, ski, fish, swim, target shoot, go off-roading or just enjoy the beautiful scenery. A Forest Recreation Map is available for purchase from your local Forest Service office.
NATIONAL FOREST ADVENTURE PASS
A National Forest Adventure Pass is a recreation pass for visitors using the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests. It is required for vehicles parked in non-fee areas while visitors are participating in recreation activities (picnics, hiking, fishing, etc.).
The Pass must be displayed on visitors’ vehicles and is available in two forms: a Daily Pass for $5, and an Annual Pass for $30. Passes may be purchased at many Forest Service locations, local vendors and most major sporting good outlets. For more information on the Pass and where you may purchase yours, contact a local Forest Service office.
CAMPING AND PICNICKING
The Angeles National Forest has over 100 developed picnic areas and campgrounds. Choose from cool, secluded forest sites to sunny stream side locations.
Camp sites are first come first served with a maximum 14-day stay. A campsite may be used by a maximum of 8 people and 2 vehicles. Where fees are required, check out time is 2 p.m. unless otherwise specified. Campgrounds accommodating large groups are available on a reservation basis only. Contact a local Forest Service office for more information.
Campfire permits are not required at developed Forest Service campgrounds or picnic areas. Visitors may use the stoves, fire pits and campfire circles provided by the Forest Service, or their own barbecues, liquid or gas fuel portable stoves, if proper clearance is maintained. Visitor built “rock ring” campfires are not allowed.
Open wood fires and barbecues are not permitted outside developed Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas. Only portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel may be used outside developed sites, and a California Campfire permit is required for their use. Fire restrictions may be imposed during high fire danger. Free Campfire Permits and current fire restriction information may be obtained at any Forest Service office.
Although lakes and streams may appear pure, only piped water at developed recreation sites is safe to drink without being treated. Always treat water from springs, lakes, ponds and streams before drinking or using it to wash dishes. One recommended method of treatment is to bring clear water to a rolling boil for at least 5 minutes.
The Angeles National Forest offers 557 miles of hiking and equestrian trails including 73 miles of National Recreation trails and 176 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. These trails offer ample choices for all - from beginners to experienced outdoors
enthusiasts. All trails, except the PCT and those in Wilderness Areas, are open to mountain bikes.
Before beginning any trip, consider your time available, knowledge of the area, necessary equipment (don’t forget water), weather, terrain and time of year. Let family or friends know where you are going and when you expect to return.
BOATING AND SWIMMING
PYRAMID LAKE offers boating, swimming, picnicking, and fishing. A parking fee is charged for vehicles, including trailers and recreation vehicles. Camping is available at Los Alamos Campground, 1 mile west of the lake. Call (661) 295-1245 for more information.
CASTAIC LAKE, managed by L.A. County, offers boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and boat rentals. A parking fee is charged. No public campgrounds are available. Call (661) 257-4050 for more information.
offers fishing and boating for sailboats, non-motorized watercraft and boats with 10 h.p. engines or less. Jet skis and engines over 10 h.p. are strictly prohibited. Swimming is not permitted, and no camping is available.
Two concessionaire-operated shooting areas are located within the Angeles National Forest. These are fee areas and are the only legal areas for target shooting. A Place to Shoot is located at 33951 San Francisquito Canyon Road, 11 miles north of Saugus. Call (661) 296-5552 for more information. Burro Canyon Shooting Park is located about one half mile east of the junction of State Highway 39 (Azusa Ave.) and the East Fork Road. Call (626) 910-1344 for more information.
Hunting is permitted throughout the Angeles National Forest during hunting seasons designated by the California State Department of Fish and Game. Hunting is not permitted in those areas where the discharge of firearms is prohibited by County Ordinance, California State law, or Federal regulations. A valid California hunting license is required.
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES (OHV)
Because of the many different uses of the Forest and the delicate environment, all OHV travel must be on designated routes and trails or in designated Open Areas. The Angeles provides 364 miles of designated routes (roads). Rowher Flats OHV Area (Santa Clara/Mojave RD) offers 47 miles of designated trails and a designated "Open Area". Other Open Areas are located at San Gabriel Canyon (San Gabriel River RD) and Little Rock Canyon (Santa Clara/Mojave RD). All OHVs must meet DMV standards for approved mufflers and current registration. 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.
Five Wilderness areas, totaling about 132,000 acres, exist within the Forest. These are the San Gabriel, Sheep Mountain, Cucamonga, Pleasant View Ridge, and Magic Mountain wilderness areas. Not only do they offer a unique opportunity to escape the hectic pace of city life, but also provide a chance to explore areas set aside as some of the Nation’s truly natural areas. Hiking trails are provided for the novice as well as the experienced backpacker. Entering to the Cucamonga Wilderness requires a permit which may be obtained through the San Gabriel River District Office in Glendora during the week, or on weekends at the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center. When entering the Sheep Mountain Wilderness from the East Fork, a permit is required. For your convenience a self-service Wilderness Permit system is available at the East Fork Ranger Station. No permit is required for the San Gabriel Wilderness.
Pets are welcome in the Angeles National Forest, but in consideration of other visitors, the protection of wildlife and for your pet's safety, all pets must be on a leash.
The following areas offer shoreline fishing and are stocked periodically by the Department of Fish and Wildlife: Piru Creek,
Bouquet Creek, Arroyo Seco Creek, Upper Big Tujunga Canyon (Alder Creek), Lower Big Tujunga Creek, Big Rock Creek, Crystal Lake, Littlerock Creek and Reservoir, Jackson Lake, San Dimas Reservoir, San Gabriel Reservoir and all forks of the San Gabriel River.
Pyramid Lake, Castaic Lake and Elizabeth Lake are also stocked periodically, and offer boat or shoreline fishing opportunities. For current stocking information call the Department of Fish and Wildlife: (855) 887-1275.
The West Fork of the San Gabriel River from the second bridge upstream from Highway 39 to Cogswell Reservoir, is designated as a native trout "catch and release" area. Only artificial lures with a single barbless hook maybe used. Fishing platforms are located along the river. A valid California fishing license is required. No fishing is allowed in Morris, Cogswell, Big Tujunga, Pacoima, or Bouquet Reservoirs.
Winter not only provides a spectacular snow-covered landscape but offers a large variety of recreation opportunities. Cross-country skiing, snow camping, hiking, snowmobiling, and snow play are some popular uses of the Forest when it is blanketed with snow. Downhill skiing is available at all of the following commercial ski areas: Mt. Baldy, Mountain High, Ski Sunrise, Snowcrest snowpark and Mt. Waterman. For more information, contact any of these offices. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Angeles National Forest
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice)
CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY)
Los Angeles River Ranger District
12371 N. Little Tujunga Canyon Road
San Fernando, CA 91342
San Gabriel River Ranger District
110 N. Wabash Avenue
Glendora, CA 91741
Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers Ranger District
33708 Crown Valley Road
Acton, CA 93510
Alerts & Warnings
- NEW! Office & Visitor Center Updates - Need Info or Passes?
- Small Section of the Forest Still Closed due to Bobcat Fire
- Driving to the Forest?
- Advisory: Hiking at High Elevations
- San Gabriel Reservoir Area Closure
- Forest Service Road Closures
- Planning to Camp? (Stay Limits & Dispersed Camping Restrictions)
- Storm Damage to Roads/Trails