Things to Do in Los Angeles County

Things to Do in Los Angeles County
The city of Los Angeles is so large that it is easy to forget about the other parks and communities located within the greater county. This massive county offers some of the most diverse natural attractions of any such area in the nation, from rocky deserts to snowy mountain peaks to sandy beaches. Whatever your favorite recreational activity, Los Angeles County is sure to offer it in some form.

The Angeles National Forest

The Angeles National Forest is located just north of Pasadena. Visitors to this arid mountain area can enjoy all types of activities, including swimming, horse riding, hiking, camping, fishing, biking and canoeing. Weather in the winter may result in snow storms and in mid-summer, the temperatures can easily reach the hundreds, so plan and pack accordingly.

Angeles National Forest:
Supervisor's Office
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 574-5200
www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles/recreation/

San Gabriel Mountains

Just to the east of the Angeles Forest lie the San Gabriel Mountains. These mountains are beautiful all year long, but they are particularly popular in the winter when visitors from across California head to Mountain High Resort, the most visited ski resort in Southern California.
During summer months, fewer travelers enter the area, but those who do enjoy an array of activities, including camping, backpacking and hiking.

Mountain High Resort:
24510 State Highway 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(888) 754-7878
www.mthigh.com/

Saddleback Butte State Park

Located just within the east boundary of Los Angeles County and just on the west edge of the Mojave Desert lies the Saddleback Butte State Park. This granite mountain range towers above Antelope Valley and the area's Joshua tree forest and the desert wildlife inhabiting it. Visit in spring to fully appreciate the colors of the blooming desert plants and the many babies of the local animals. This is also the best time to visit as far as weather goes, as summer temperatures are often over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, winter temperatures are often below freezing and fall tends to waver in between the two extremes without any warning.

Saddleback Butte State Park:
E Ave. K At 172nd St. E
Lancaster, CA 93535
(661) 727-9899
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=618

Beach Biking

You don't have to leave the city to enjoy some time outdoors though. Los Angeles is blessed to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. What better way to explore the waterways than on a bike ride with your bathing suit? Start at Marina Del Ray and ride down to Manhattan Beach and you'll get to explore the best beach biking the city has to offer.

L.A. Beach Bike Path:
62nd At Pacific Ave. To The Strand At Manhattan Beach Blvd.
www.labikepaths.com/SoBay.html

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

The Antelope Valley is home to one of the largest natural California poppy meadows around. If you visit between February and May, you'll see a whole sea of orange flowers growing without any irrigation systems or other forms of artificial support. Removing flowers from the park is a crime, so make sure children are in the habit of looking without touching. There are over seven miles of trails through the flowers, so there's plenty of exercise to be had on this lovely walk in the park.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve:
15101 Lancaster Rd.
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 724-1180
www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

Article Written By Jill Harness

Jill Harness has written on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "San Diego City Beat," "Mental Floss," Rue The Day! and Neatorama. Harness has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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