Angeles National Forest

Pasadena & the San Gabriel Valley

The San Gabriel mountain range that hems in the northern edge of Pasadena and all of urban LA, is part of the Angeles Crest. Its creeks, canyons and campgrounds provide quick city getaways year-round. It’s particularly pretty during the spring wildflower season and gets lovely fall color.

Note that visiting the Angeles National Forest requires a National Forest Adventure Pass, which you can buy online.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pasadena & the San Gabriel Valley attractions

1. Mt Wilson Observatory

1.51 MILES

As you drive into the Angeles National Forest take the Red Box Rd turn-off, which, 5 miles later, dead ends atop 5715ft Mt Wilson. Operating since 1904,…

2. Aztec Hotel

6.36 MILES

This supposedly haunted hotel built in 1925 sports elaborate Mayan Revival–style detail and once housed a speakeasy where Hollywood celebs knocked 'em…

4. California Institute of Technology

8.51 MILES

With 34 Nobel laureates among its faculty and alumni (not to mention that it's the fictional setting of TV's The Big Bang Theory), it’s no surprise that…

6. Pasadena City Hall

8.71 MILES

Pasadena's 1927 city hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and a prime example of California Mediterranean-style architecture.

7. Mack & Jackie Robinson Memorial

8.78 MILES

This pair of giant heads depicts the Robinson brothers, groundbreaking athletes who spent their formative years here in Pasadena. Jackie (1919–72) gained…

8. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

8.78 MILES

Operated by Caltech, JPL is NASA’s main center for robotic exploration of the solar system. It's about 7 miles north of the main Caltech campus. It’s best…