The Hidden Gem of the City of Angeles

July 25, 2017

Posted: June 1, 2016, 11:47am

Did you know that the greater area of Los Angeles has 18.68 million people? That’s insane. If you fly into LAX from the east, you can look out the window and see city for miles. That’s not even the shocking part. Once you get close to the ground and are able to see the cityscape go on and on for about 10 or 15 minutes before you finally land. It’s mind-boggling, jaw-dropping.

The city is amazing. For so many reasons, LA is the biggest, baddest city known to mankind. We have the entertainment hub of the world. This city is one of the most international cities in the entire country. There’s all those beautiful beaches all along the coast. There’s the fact that you’re likely to see a few celebrities if you live here long enough. So many things to do and so many places to see. Never a dull moment.

But that’s not all. Just one step outside of civilization lies a great expanse of nature. Almost endless mountains topped with huge pine trees, the occasional creek, and even some waterfalls. In my opinion, it’s the most underestimated (and under-appreciated) gem of living in the greater Los Angeles area. Located just 40 miles northeast of downtown LA, it usually takes longer to just to get out of downtown traffic of the city than to drive the last 30 miles of winding roads past Azusa all the way up to 5,000 feet of elevation.

Maybe you have to see it to believe it. I lived in LA for three years until I realized this place even existed. Angeles National Forest: come for the repose that can only be found in nature; stay for the amazing views. I took two subsequent Fridays off from research (hopefully my advisor isn’t reading this! I promise I read some scientific literature while I was sitting around the campfire!) and drove with a friend with only one goal in mind: relaxation.

I wasn’t too sure where to go the first weekend I went. We drove around for a bit and settled on a place called Little Pines, about 30 miles north of Azusa on the 2. It was beautiful, and as you can see from the picture we camp in style. A cozy tent, complete with air mattresses, chairs and even a small table to cook some hot dogs and beans.

We arrived a bit late to snag one of the best of first-come-first-served spots. So the second weekend I returned a little earlier in the day, around 1pm on a Friday afternoon. This is the backdrop we were treated with for the weekend at Chilao Campground. Oh Los Angeles, you never fail me.

In short, I highly recommend this area. It’s not Yosemite, it’s not Sequoia, it’s not the Grand Canyon, but for less than an hour drive it is well worth your time.

Published on July 25th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017