Angeles National Forest
Our first impromptu camping trip as LA residents and recent dog owners, was to nearby Angles National Forest. It being January, many campsites that didn’t require Adventure Passes were closed for the season. So after some research, I settled on the highest and prettiest camp site I could find - Chilao Campground. I can not recommend this enough as a local weekend getaway during off season where you have plenty of campsite options on the first come first serve system.After picking the perfect sunset spot, we set up camp, got organized, and took off on what I thought was going to be a 7 mile hike but turned into 10. Partly because it took us a bit to find the trailhead and partly because we scampered around some awesome boulders.
Back at camp the temperatures dropped quickly to below freezing. Kuma, who was afraid of the fire, dug herself a little hole and sat in it to stay warm. I felt like a horrible dog mom. We made a fire, watched the sunset, cooked up some burgers, and were in our tent getting warm probably before 8:30pm. Which meant plenty of rest and naturally waking up for sunrise. In the morning, we made another fire, Sam cooked a bomb breakfast, and we packed up and were back home in LA by 11am! Perfect weekend outing.
Our Hike - Chilao to Mt. Hillyer via Horseflats
Look for the Silver Moccasin Trailhead. Follow that to the Horse Flats Campground where you will see a trailhead for Mt. Hillyer. We took this trail all the way to the top and then continued to follow it in a loop back down to Horseflats campground (which was closed for the season). Important to download maps and clear routs for this as part of the trail was hard to find in advance (we eventually hit a fire road that took us back down to Horseflats), but I made sure that our GPS did not go off the route I initially outlined.