Weekend Getaway: Angeles National Forest

Come take a trip to one of my favorite campgrounds in California, just mere miles outside of Los Angeles. Not in LA? Then let us try to inspire you to find your own getaway this weekend!

I’ve been going to Chilao Campground for more than a few years now and each visit is more gratifying than the previous. Whenever the city seems to be closing in and my mind is overwhelmed, I know I can make a quick getaway to Chilao. It’s a small campground in the Angeles National Forest, hidden among the pines and dense shrubbery, where tents peek out from over the rocks and open up to a breathtaking view of valleys and crests. Mother Nature seemed to have strategically situated large boulders across the campground to create perfect seats for early morning coffee drinkers and late night stargazers. The sky here is like nothing I’ve ever seen — bright pink hues and neon orange clouds crash over mountains. Other evenings, the clouds are so whispy and intensely radiant you’d think they were painted directly onto the sky. Life here is peaceful, the camping is comfortable. The breaths are deepened, the soul feels free. The mind has time to think.

Angeles National Forest was established in 1908 and spans over 700,000 acres across Los Angeles, San Bernadino and Ventura counties. Extraordinarily, it is also located right outside of one of the most densely populated cities in the world.




There are 53 trail heads to pick from across the entire Angeles National Forest, all leading to various vistas, lakes, waterfalls, and views. 240 miles of rivers and streams snake through the land and make for the perfect swimming pit-stop. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like jumping off of a waterfall into a swimming hole to make you feel removed, far far away, from city life.




So what are you planning to do this weekend — escape the mundane or hectic weekday lifestyle and head to your own getaway or simply let another weekend roll by? So often I choose the latter. Sometimes a trip to the park with a book and a blanket is all you need. Grab a friend, your significant other, or just venture out solo — but whatever you end up doing, I hope you find your own “getaway.”

+ What are your plans this weekend? I would love to hear about it!

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  1. Whaaaaaaaat?! I’m LA based and never knew about this forest! I think this is gorgeous! For the longest time I’ve been trying to find a nature getaway and I think this is the destination!

  2. Gosh, that’s a lovely place. Right now I’m in England where it’s pretty dreary and rainy and no one feels like camping. But then there’s Blenheim next door and lovely gardens to walk thru…even in the rain. In Vancouver, where I am at other times, there’s this kind of beautiful nature to get away inot, so best of both worlds really. :D

  3. for me, there’s nothing like going outside into the wilderness to center and reconnect with myself….I need to do that more often !!! now that I know such an amazing place exists so close to where I live, I have no excuse!
    thank you for sharing your wonderful hideaway and gorgeous pictures!!!

    The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

  4. That is the great thing about Los Angeles. You can be 30 minutes fro anything. The Beaches, the Woods, and more. I was thinking about going to Paris next year, and it seems like there isn’t too much hiking available near the city. We are fortunate to have the best of both worlds. Thanks for sharing your camp site location.

  5. Hi Joanna! I’m Joanna too =) I’m planning a weekend trip to Angeles National Forest in two weeks. Do you have any recommendation as to how to find these waterfalls?

  6. Hey Joanna! (Love meeting other Joannas!) I recommend Switzer Falls – it’s easy to find, right off the highway. Park near the bottom of the hill and give yourself enough time… It’s a long hike. Enjoy! xx, Joanna

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