If you are ever in Los Angeles, skip the tourist traps and treat yourself to a scenic drive towards the northern terminus of Route 39. And if you're lucky, you might just find that one stone left unturned.
If you’ve ever been to or are living in Los Angeles, you’re probably thinking that there’s not a lot of stones left unturned in this city. And if I were being completely honest with you, I would tell you that you’re probably mostly right.
In fact, I would tell you that, “off the beaten path” is not exactly something one could describe a city of over three million, and visited by over 25 million each year.
But once in a while, if you’re persistent enough, you’ll come across spots in and outside of the city, that have not been overly trampled by foot traffic.
Just outside of the city of Azusa, for example, is a portion of the Angeles National Forest that is seemingly untouched by humans and a true photographer’s gold mine! It is only known to locals, a number of bikers, off-roading enthusiasts, and campers. I have discovered it earlier this year while I was looking for a place to do a conceptual photo shoot in, and I have been coming back to visit ever since. In fact, it’s now one of my favorite places to shoot portraits in!
How could it not be when it is teeming with wonderful things?! It offers quiet dirt trails that reward hikers with amazing views at the end. It has this long clear water creek that you can take cool dips in during the warm summer months when you’re worn and weary from a hike. It has these two picturesque bluish-green reservoirs that seem to have been forgotten with time. Its rolling hills of forests and meadows are as green as the Italian countryside in the springtime and are as golden as a cave of gold during the summertime.
It is also dotted with “primitive” campsites that offer a true experience with the wilderness (think brown bear and cougar sightings…and no, by “cougar” I don’t mean a 50-year-old woman with a penchant for hot, young men) so if you do decide that you don’t want to leave just yet, you can just pitch a tent and spend the night in this terrific place.
And what’s more amazing is that all of these are easily accessible, what with California’s Route 39 winding through the area.