Tucked away in the San Gabriel Mountains within the Angeles National Forest are myriad trails for those looking to get lost in nature. One spot in particular, just south of Blue Ridge where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Highway 2, definitely lives up to its name: Inspiration Point.
At an elevation of 7,385 feet, Inspiration Point overlooks the San Gabriel River Basin with views of Blue Ridge, Pine Mountain, Mount Baldy, Iron Mountain, Pine Mountain Ridge and Mount Baden Powell. While the scenery itself is breathtaking and doesn’t require venturing out too far to enjoy, Inspiration Point’s best feature is its peaceful state. During the winter months, with most of the traffic stopping at Mountain High and its nearly 20 miles of runs for skiers and snowboarders, the trails remain relatively empty.
Close your eyes and relish in true silence, the only sounds consisting of your own breathing and the occasional breeze through the foliage and fluttering wings of low-flying birds. The trails were snow-free during our visit as we trekked in the cool mountain air.
Given that 176 of PCT’s 2,665 miles are found in the Angeles National Forest, there’s no shortage of options in terms of distance and difficulty. Many paths split up only to meet at a certain point, meaning that those looking for a challenge can get their fix while those looking for a more manageable hike are not left wanting. No matter the path, the views are spectacular and sunset is almost too good to be true.
Entering and exiting the mountains take you through the quiet community of Wrightwood, where the structures of wood and stone reflect the town’s history and old-timey nature. Originally inhabited by Serrano Indians, Wrightwood evolved into a cattle ranch, then an apple orchard, before becoming the mountain resort community it is today. A land of four seasons, Wrightwood acts as the gateway to Angeles National Forest, drawing visitors from all over who have an interest in camping, fishing, hiking and skiing – old-fashioned outdoor fun.
Up and away from the crowded streets and busy sidewalks of bustling cities is a place to escape, relax and enjoy a moment of clarity before descending the with lungs full of fresh air, heightened heart rates and a deeper appreciation of the places we can reach in just a few hours’ drive. ￼