Chilao Recreation Area

Chilao Recreation Area, La Canada Flintridge: Address, Phone Number, Chilao Recreation Area Reviews: 4/5

Chilao Recreation Area
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
9 reviews
Excellent
3
Very good
4
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Shilpi R
Los Angeles, CA35 contributions
Couples
The best thing about the Chilao Campgrounds is that they are first come first serve, which means, when you suddenly decide to go camping in southern california, you can actually get a spot! Anyone who's been camping in Southern California knows that it is almost impossible to get a good campsite at a good campground unless you reserve it months in advance. My husband and I went up Fourth of July weekend. 1 of the 3 loops was closed, and out of the open two, the better loop was all filled up, but there were plenty of spots open in the second look (Little Pines) so we picked one there.

This part of Chilao is right next to recent forest fires, so the brush and trees are thinned out and blackened, but it's still beautiful(the other Loop, I forget the name, but it wasn't directly next to the burnt areas, that's probably why it was more popular). Unfortunately Chilao does not have any good water spots nearby, but as long as you're prepared for that, it was a good place to camp. With lots of campsites, and only $12 a night per site (per vehicle) it's a great location for when you've spontaneously decided to camping. It's also within 90 minutes of must of LA, so you won't spend that much on gas either!

the bathrooms were very very clean (I believe the campground had just re-opened from being reconstructed after fire damage) and there is water available, it's just not drinkable. There are some trails nearby, particularly the Silver Moccassin Trail that actually goes through part of the campsite.
Written July 28, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark T
Hillsboro, OR2,501 contributions
Couples
Chilao is a stop on Angelus Crest in the Angelus national forest just north of La Canada Flintridge . It has facilities for overnight camping and day time picnics. There is a visitor center with friendly helpful staff .The restrooms are across the road in the picnic area. Beware of rattlesnakes in the summer
Written July 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jg3arrow
Nice, France1,397 contributions
Great for picnics, family reunions & camping. Much of this has been updated & rebuilt & cleaned up the big forest fire three years ago. a short drive up Angeles Crest Highway from Greater LA...and close to Mt Wilson Observatory. My favorite place for dark-night star-gazing in all of the LA area!
Written August 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Z4859BAjohnm
Long Beach, CA50 contributions
The Chilao Recreation area has been a go-to place for campers, hikers, backpackers, and forest visitors for as long as I can remember (50 years or more). It's perfectly situated to experience the variety of plant and animal life native to the Angeles National Forest. Of course, the term "forest" is a bit deceiving in this case because SoCal doesn't have any "forests" in the traditional sense, but has what we call "chaparral" consisting of a mix of vegetation. But Chilao does sit above the "tree-line" so there's plenty of pine trees, plus a lot of native manzanita bushes. The visitor center itself is quite unique, from the stepped-dome architecture to the displays and gift shop inside. One of the best visitor's centers and displays I've seen in a national forest. Check the web site for hours as they change seasonally, open only on the weekend during the winter (if the road is open, which it usually is). The picnic areas and campsites are generally well kept, and there's plenty of trails to choose from depending on how far you want to to. Make sure to grab a map first. And remember, this is generally a high fire danger area, so learn and follow all the necessary regulation (or just avoid lighting fires altogether).
Written February 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cavydad
Camarillo, CA2,202 contributions
Couples
Camping and picnicking at Chilao is very special. It includes a drive up the Angeles Crest Highway that curves its way by Red Box and Mount Wilson up to Chilao. There are many pine trees and manzanita bushes. Chance for snow in the winter.
Written December 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CrankingChick
Tucson, AZ7,872 contributions
Couples
We stopped at the Visitor Center while taking a scenic drive on Angeles Crest Highway (CA2). Chilao is about 27 miles north of Flintridge, on the west side of the road. It was a Friday before Memorial Day in May, so traffic and visitation were light. We knew that it's only open on weekends, but we stopped because they advertise a wheelchair-accessible nature trail and there is not much for people who use wheelchairs to do in the National Forest. Unfortunately, to access the trail one has to pass through the Visitor Center - which means that the trail is also only open on weekends. The Forest Service should consider modifying the access to the trail to make it more available. Picnic tables and a restroom can be used even when the visitor center is closed. Campground nearby. You are supposed to have a National Forest Adventure Pass to park and use developed facilities. These can be purchased online or at numerous retailers in the region. (Search "National Forest Adventure Pass" for information).
Written June 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David_DeMulle
Los Angeles, CA584 contributions
Couples
We were on our way to Newcomb's Ranch when it started to snow. We saw the sign for the Chilao Recreation Area and we pulled in. There is nature and there is nature that is so beautiful that you think you are in a dream. The campgrounds are very well kept and safe. This is a place to bring your family and dog for a day trip. Just 27 miles from La Crescenta, you are in the middle of a nature preserve that makes you feel that there in no civilization.
Written March 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Eduardo P
Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina518 contributions
Family
Went for fathers with gran children's
Was so quite, clean
Pristine, silent
Very close to LA
Impossible not to go
Public restrooms can be improved
Written June 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3Kells
Kimberly, ID1,583 contributions
Friends
We're an avid hiker family, the family dog being the most energetic.
6.23.13 - on our first hike up Horse flat Campground, my dog suddenly reared up on his hind legs and hissed. He had startled a rattlesnake that was sunning itself on a boulder by the trail. They stared each other down eyeball-to-eyeball barely 6 inches apart! I immediately reeled the dog back. The snake slithered away into the brush, coiled up into a defensive striking pose and it kept rattling at us for a long while. Phew! Highlight of our hike for sure that day!

Hikers with dogs always keep your dog on a short leash and be mindful of snakes. The Chilao Visitor Center has finally re-opend after the fire. It is spiffy and nice with fresh paint. The building itself is rather unique - half-dome shape like a UFO in the woods!
The rest-rooms were clean and that is always a great relief. There isn't enough shade trees along the trail though. My dog kept ducking under any brush he could find along the way to escape the scorching sun. It was also very dry and dusty. It would have been better to hike in the cooler months here.
Written September 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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