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ANGELES CREST HIGHWAY - 167 Photos & 45 Reviews - Local Flavor - Angeles Crest Highway Hwy 2, La Canada, CA
Add this to your list of socially distant day trips! We'd been majorly craving a change in scenery and this drive absolutely did the trick. We picked up coffees at Constellation in La Cañada and then hopped on this highway just a few minutes from the coffee shop. My partner and I were seriously in awe that such an amazing drive is so close to where we live in Pasadena! It was cool to see the terrain change from palm trees and cacti to evergreens as we got further up. We got up over 7000 feet in elevation, so it's quite the climb from LA!
There are lots of turnouts for taking breaks and taking in the views, some with restrooms and picnic tables and some just with some space to park. We did check out one restroom that was decidedly too gross to use, so just keep that in mind since the drive can be a couple hours.
We made a stop for snacks and water in Wrightwood, which was such a cute town. We debated grabbing a patio seat at their brewery, but it was fairly busy on a Sunday and we noticed hardly anyone in town was wearing masks. Luckily, masks were required in their little market/gas station and the snack game there was on point. The restrooms were also nice and clean and my partner, who's a musician, totally got a kick out of the fact that they sell drumsticks and bass strings there. Apparently lots of musicians live in this neck of the woods!
Despite having lived in Colorado for a few years, the altitude totally hit me in Wrightwood and I'm glad I didn't go for a drink (even though I wasn't driving). Once past this charming little town, it wasn't long until we hit the 15 and then took the freeway back to Pasadena. We hit a little construction traffic, but it's still faster to take the 15 to the 210 back to LA rather than winding back down AngelesCrest.
A few notes on safety! A few others have noted, but there are lots of motorcycles and sports cars (we also some cyclists), so be extra careful on this drive. I'm not much of a mountain driver myself despite my years of living in the mountains, so if windy roads and steep downgrades make you nervous, maybe enjoy this one from the passenger seat. There are very few lanes for passing and the road can be narrow, but the turnouts can be helpful if you're going for a leisurely drive.
Wow can't believe I've never been here before! My guy brought me here yesterday and the views were breathtaking. He loves driving his Porsche fast here, can get a bit scary for me, but definitely thrilling ! Apparently it's a road lots of luxurious/ spots cars will take drives on and go fast.
He had also found an adorable coffee shop nearby called constellation coffee which has amazing coffee and chocolate chip cookies ;) would highly recommend grabbing some coffee then bringing your date up here. Such a gorgeous peaceful and quiet view- you won't regret it. ;) I already told him he's bringing me back here !
Beautiful views all over and definitely amazing drives especially for car enthusiasts and bikers alike. A perfect escape as you completely disconnect (no reception). A photographer's paradise and hiker's dream =] Enjoy!
***If you're a slow driver, canyon courtesy is appreciated, so please use the many turnouts to move to the side and let us pass.
Did the full drive as part of the #localadventurechallenge and it truly made for an awesome afternoon!! It's so amazing to find such peace and quiet and serenity so near LA! The drive winds your around through the San Gabriel mountains and Angeles National forest! The colors of the flora and fauna were very autumnal shades of deep, rusty reds, bright yellows and some oranges!
Some warnings though - be sure to watch out for bike riders and large rocks that have fallen onto the road...towards the end of the drive, there were lots in the road that could do some serious tire damage if you hit them! Also, sadly there were several areas full of litter which is very unfortunate...why can't people clean up after themselves??
My advice would be to make a morning or afternoon of it and drive the whole way...it was so gorgeous and peaceful! I started in La Canada Flintridge and wound all the way around to Wrightwood and back home to Monrovia via the 15 and 210. I must've stopped at least 15+ times to practice shooting with my new camera...so many great opportunities for cool and artistic shots!
There are many turnouts and stops all along the way, some with bathrooms and picnic tables. You could bring a nice picnic or stop in the little town of Wrightwood at the end like I did and grab some lunch and souvenirs in one of the quaint restaurants and shops (see my review for Grizzly Cafe, highly recommend)!!
Because I stopped so many times, it took me over 3 hours...but I'm sure you could do it under 2 hours with no stops depending on where you're coming from. It made for a lovely little adventure!
Came by on a whim, to see the beautiful Angeles National Forest! It was gorgeous! You will see a bunch of people riding their motorcycles, and sports cars, so just be a little careful.
Driving up to Mount Wilson, you can still see snow on the ground. If you drive further up, you will come across big pines, with even more snow! All the restrooms that I've used in this forest have been well kept and well maintained.
Road has lots of turnouts and vista points, as well. Which is always a plus if you ever want to stop and enjoy the scenery.
About two and a half hours into the drive, we tried to continue driving through the highway, but unfortunately, the road was closed due to heavy snow. (Roads needed to be snow plowed)
Definitely a great getaway for a day. Will be back soon for the great and breathtaking views!!
The Norton Simon Museum has a collection that reflects 7 centuries of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Goya and many other geniuses. The Museum also has a large collection of South African sculpture as well as a separate sculpture garden with works by Rodin. Pasadena City Hall is a fine example of the California Mediterranean style of architecture. It was built in 1927 according to the best European architectural examples, including the Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice and the Cathedral of Saint Paul in London. The building is crowned by a dome with several tiers, the hoghest point of which is more than 60 meters from the ground. The building's staircases are finished in Alaskan marble, and the roof is covered with red clay tiles from Cordova.
I'm originally from Hawaii and this was a heartwarming drive. If you love nature and leisurely driving this the route to take . I went from the valley to the beach and it was amazing car commercial quality scenery all the way through . Take a sooth cruise with your significant other or the whole family.
This highway has been a long time favorite for my husband and I to get away from the city. It's close proximity to Burbank/Glendale makes for beautiful drives into the Angeles National Forest.
Miles and miles of windy road whisk you away, making you feel as if you are in another state all together. There are so many great views, hiking trails, and scenery along the way. Go for a short drive or an all day adventure!
Some of our favorites asking the way are Mt Wilson Observatory, Switzer Falls, Chilao campground, Newcomb's Ranch Restaurant and Mt Waterman ski resort.
Weekends can get crowded and over the past several years the motorcycle and sport car population has significantly increased. These drivers have become increasingly arrogant and aggressive. Its not uncommon to be tailgated or passed around turns or double yellow lines. My best advice is take your time and be considerate of those who feel the need for speed, and simply pull over in the many turnouts & passing lanes provided along the way. (You'll likely see those idiots crashed or pulled over on your way back).
The drive is far too beautiful to rush. Take your time and stop often. There are a few rest stops along the way with bathrooms. Always carry toilet paper and wipes as they aren't the cleanest or well stocked.
Bring a picnic, extra water, beverages, a jacket and a blanket. My motto is always be prepared. (temps can drop up to 20·, depending on elevation). There is NO DATA OR CELL SERVICE most of the drive. Newcomb's and the Cosmic Cafe at the Mt Wilson Observatory offer free WiFi... other than that, plan to unplug!
You will need an ADVENTURE PASS to park! You can pick up at most sporting good stores and if open, the ranger station at the bottom of the hill at the entrance of the National Forest. Cosmic Cafe also sells them, but they are not always open. I recommend buying the year pass and going in on it with someone else for $30 and the second car pass for an additional $5 (that's $17.50 a year to enjoy all the perks of this beautiful drive) and enjoy this beautiful stretch of road all year long! I believe the cost of a day pass is $5-$7. The proceeds go to maintain the road, forest, rangers, campsites and restrooms. So come on people... give back to your community! The cost of an annual pass is cheaper than a ticket. I'm just saying.
Recently they have opened the road to Wrightwood. I haven't been down that far in decades, but hopefully we'll take that drive one day soon. Check for road closures ahead of time.
Want to play in the snow? Just over an hour drive, depending on temps and rainfall and its there! Carry chains. Snow park has some great hills for sledding and making snowman is a must! (Again, don't forget the ADVENTURE PASS! Oh and to fill up your gas tank. There are no service stations!) Enjoy!