I spent late Saturday evening scoping out Google Maps for my next adventure. After my recent trip to Mountain High, I became intrigued by Angeles National Forest and knew a second trip was in order. Zooming into the green colored territory on the map, I realized just how vast the National Forest was and decided I needed more information on where to go and what to see. I scrolled down the Visit California webpage and paused to read more about a 66-mile highway. Before I could even finish the sentence, my husband appeared over my shoulder and said, “We should go to Angeles Crest Highway. My favorite vlogger took a drive there and raved about the views.” He was one step ahead of me.
Yesterday morning, we woke up early to avoid traffic (as one does in L.A.) and drove along the empty freeway until we arrived at our exit and turned onto Angeles Crest Highway. We began our ascent through another overpriced California neighborhood and passed a sign that said the road was only partially open. Unsure how far we would get into the forest, we ventured on.
Within minutes, we could see the Glendale skyscrapers appear behind us, rising above the mansions that clouded our view. Even though the road ahead was moderately windy, sports cars sped by us with no concern for safety. The cut outs on the side of the road also reiterated the lack of caution by drivers in this area, tattooed with skid marks from attempted donuts. We passed Newcomb’s Ranch Restaurant, and were unsure if we were at the L.A. Auto Show or actually in nature. It was one luxury sports car after the next.
We began to notice a slight change in scenery as we got higher up the mountain. Beautiful trees made their debut, scattered along the hills, and a snow-covered peak appeared in the distance. Initially, we were convinced that the road would close before we made it to the snow, but we slowly began to spot ice patches outside our windows.
With each mile, the snow got deeper and more plentiful. We were equally surprised by the amount of snow, and the amount of amount of people in the area. Just steps off the highway, kids were sledding, dogs were playing frisbee, and parents were gathered around tables eating lunch. It felt like we had entered a popular campsite because this spot was clearly a known destination.
After a few more miles of snow, we reached the “Road Closed” sign. Unlike the many individuals testing the limits of the government shutdown and using the closed road as a sledding spot, we decided to find another area to explore and ventured onto a nearby path called Islip Pass which is part of the infamous Pacific Crest Trail. Initially excited about the opportunity to hike in the snow, we quickly realized that this trail was far too narrow for us to hike without the proper gear.
We returned to our car and descended down the mountain, finding a large cut out with another path. Unlike the other, this one was snow-free and led us to a characteristically California view. With the ocean in front of us and snow-covered peaks behind us, we could tell Mother Nature was showing off for us on this fine Sunday, and we couldn’t blame her.
Click here to learn more about Angeles Crest Highway.