Los Angeles Natural Lands

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Hiking the new connector between the Santa Clarita Woodlands and Angeles National Forest.
Photo credit: 
Darcy Kiefel

Los Angeles may bring to mind a vast cityscape, yet the county boundary encompasses areas of wilderness, rich with wildlife and quiet beauty. These lands are some of the city’s most precious assets. The Trust for Public is dedicated to preserving Los Angeles County’s last unspoiled landscapes in the San Gabriel Mountains and Foothills to the north, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the west; keeping them safe from development, and open for everyone to enjoy.

San Gabriel Mountains 

Rising high above the Los Angeles Basin, the forested slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains form a natural buffer against sprawl. Nearly 621,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness, still rich with native plants and animals, are explored and enjoyed by millions of visitors each year. But development continues to eat away precious open space at the edge of a metropolis that already encompasses more than 4,000 square miles. We are working to keep the mountains safe from development and open for everyone to enjoy. Through acquisitions such as Gale Ranch, which added 151 acres of natural lands to the beautiful and popular Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, we are establishing a green line of protected land on the urban edge, saving a landscape one place at a time. To date, we have protected more than 3,800 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains, their foothills, and the Angeles National Forest

Santa Monica Mountains

The nation’s largest urban park, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area extends 47 miles from the ridge above the Hollywood Sign in the heart of Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County. The mountains’ beauty and wildlife draw millions of visitors each year. 

As part of a multi-agency effort, we’re working to protect the last private holdings from development to link public lands together, creating one of the largest coastal mountain recreational areas in the nation. In 2008, we protected Rancho Corral, a 650-acre coastal canyon that was added to Malibu Creek State Park. Now a haven for picnickers and day hikers, its rich woodland and dramatic rock gorge are also used for making movies. In 2010, our successful campaign to save Cahuenga Peak, protected the views of the Hollywood sign and added more than 130 acres to Griffith Park.