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From the top of the Angeles Crest, view an unmatched panorama of ocean, islands, and mountains.

Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) snakes along the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains, offering always impressive and sometimes stupendous views of thousands of square miles worth of Southern California real estate, mountain and desert wilderness spaces, and a big slice of the Pacific Ocean. For months now, an upper section of the highway west of Wrightwood and Big Pines has been closed due to storm damage. Currently, however, motorists approaching from the west (La Canada/Pasadena) end of the highway can navigate as far as Islip Saddle, a drive of some 40 miles east from Interstate 210 at La Canada.

Only one mile short of the road closure at Islip Saddle, and just beyond the second of two highway tunnels, you'll come upon the Jarvi Memorial Vista, which honors Sim Jarvi, a former Angeles National Forest supervisor. This vista point also serves as the trailhead for the Sierra Alta Nature Trail. Due to its short length, the trail isn't much good for significant exercise, but it does feature interpretive plaques highlighting the local flora (ponderosa pines, Jeffrey pines, canyon live oaks, etc.), as well as calling attention to viewful features in various directions.

The trail perches over the upper tributaries of Bear Creek, where (yes) black bears do roam. The exceedingly rugged terrain just below and to the south (classified as the San Gabriel Wilderness) and additional equally rugged spaces to the east (the Sheep Mountain Wilderness) also harbor significant herds of Nelson bighorn sheep.

Clear-day views from the memorial vista and the trail can include the ocean, as well as Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands. The clearest weather of all is likely to take place from November through February. Winter snowfall, however, could result in a seasonal closure of upper Angeles Crest Highway starting in December or January. For the latest on road conditions, it is helpful to call the Caltrans information hotline (800-427-7623), and press "2" for information on Highway 2. Also be aware that during any exploration away from your car, you'll need to display on your vehicle a National Forest Adventure Pass permit, which is widely available for purchase and valid in all four national forests of Southern California.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

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Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) snakes along the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains, offering always impressive and sometimes stupendous views of thousands of square miles worth of Southern California real estate, mountain and desert wilderness spaces, and a big slice of the Pacific Ocean. For months now, an upper section of the highway west of Wrightwood and Big Pines has been closed due to storm damage. Currently, however, motorists approaching from the west (La Canada/Pasadena) end of the highway can navigate as far as Islip Saddle, a drive of some 40 miles east from Interstate 210 at La Canada.

Only one mile short of the road closure at Islip Saddle, and just beyond the second of two highway tunnels, you'll come upon the Jarvi Memorial Vista, which honors Sim Jarvi, a former Angeles National Forest supervisor. This vista point also serves as the trailhead for the Sierra Alta Nature Trail. Due to its short length, the trail isn't much good for significant exercise, but it does feature interpretive plaques highlighting the local flora (ponderosa pines, Jeffrey pines, canyon live oaks, etc.), as well as calling attention to viewful features in various directions.

The trail perches over the upper tributaries of Bear Creek, where (yes) black bears do roam. The exceedingly rugged terrain just below and to the south (classified as the San Gabriel Wilderness) and additional equally rugged spaces to the east (the Sheep Mountain Wilderness) also harbor significant herds of Nelson bighorn sheep.

Clear-day views from the memorial vista and the trail can include the ocean, as well as Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands. The clearest weather of all is likely to take place from November through February. Winter snowfall, however, could result in a seasonal closure of upper Angeles Crest Highway starting in December or January. For the latest on road conditions, it is helpful to call the Caltrans information hotline (800-427-7623), and press "2" for information on Highway 2. Also be aware that during any exploration away from your car, you'll need to display on your vehicle a National Forest Adventure Pass permit, which is widely available for purchase and valid in all four national forests of Southern California.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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