Covering more than 694,000 acres and most of the San Gabriel Mountain Range, the Angeles National Forest has been L.A.'s backyard playground since 1892. The forest's terrain varies from dense chaparral to pine and fir-clad slopes. Elevations range between 1,200~10,064 feet, with several majestic dominating the scenery Mt. Baldy and Mountain High among them. It also contains important watersheds that supply fresh water to Southern California and help prevent flooding.
Lakes within Angeles National Forest include Pyramid Lake near Interstate 5, which allows jet skiing, Castaic Lake just north of Magic Mountain Amusement Park, where group picnic areas can accommodate groups of 75 to 500 guests. Elizabeth Lake is west of Palmdale, and Jackson Lake is near Big Pines. Littlerock Reservoir also offers fishing and picnicking although the upstream areas are closed as a protected wildlife habitat.
Activities which can be enjoyed at the Angeles National Forest include exploring the natural environment, camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and skiing. There are some 500 miles of well developed trails throughout the forest for use by equestrians, mountain bikers, and off-highway vehicles fans as well as hikers. A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail passes through, too.
Visitors can take advantage of over 110 campgrounds and picnic areas. Fishing with permits is allowed beside streams, lakeside, or from boats. Hunting and target shooting opportunities are also available. Most of the facilities and services here are free, although some require a California Adventure Pass or payment of recreation fees and parking charges are typically $6 per vehicle per day. A visitor center is located at 701 North Santa Anita Avenue, Los Angeles, California 91006.