Angeles National Forest is the second oldest National Forest in the country, classified as such in the 1890’s before any world war, nuclear bomb, or car graced this earth. Unfortunately the world as we know it now has encompassed and changed the world as it was in the 19th century. In 1892, the population of Los Angeles was hovering around sixty thousand people, and needless to say these people were not driving motorcycles at breakneck speed, with a noise level that makes them known throughout the entire canyon. Now this is exactly what can be found in this section of the park.
What Makes It Great
The World of Chaparral Trail at the George’s Gap trailhead is named as such because of shrubland plant community that can be seen throughout the run. This is an altogether beautiful trail that is potentially more fit for running than for hiking.
This profile concerns a trail run that is beautiful in its essence, but is marred in reality by its auditory proximity to the road and its lack of maintenance. Luckily, running does not require the same level of serenity as hiking does, and so it can be still enjoyed thoroughly. This, a tough run, gives you some great views and some very technical and difficult terrain with switchbacks and altitude changes.
From George’s Gap, the take World of Chaparral Trail (the only trail that leaves the parking lot) and work your way down the hill. Follow the switchbacks down the mountain until you reach the first railhead marker (yes, the trail starts out descending). Take the path that points you towards the “the Pines.” This will take you .6 miles to the pines recreation area (also accessible from Angeles Forest Highway) where you will get a nice view of the Tujunga valley. Turn around and take your same path back, and complete your three-mile quick jaunt with lots of incline change.
Who is Going to Love It
This isfor the runner looking to get a quick but intense workout. It is not an easy run by any means. It is more like a hill sprint than a long job so if you want to improve your technical running and have some quick muscle growth to go along with it, this is a good spot for you. The trail has great views, but you need to be able to ignore the noise from the motorcycles on the road. If you are able to do this, the stunning views will make you happy you took the trip.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take Interstate 210 (“The 210”), then take the Angeles Crest Highway/CA 2 exit and turn up the hill. Follow the winding road about 8 miles until you get the second wide turnout with delineated parking spots on the left side of road. Look to for a trailhead marker that reads “Georges Gap Trail” and a plaque commemorating Angeles National Forest. Plenty of parking here (Adventure Pass Needed).