Los Angeles, while a bustling and chaotic metropolitan area, contains some amazing outdoor attractions right outside its busy streets that were established and now maintained by the National Park Service. These national parks range from the desert to mountains to islands, offering a little bit of something for everyone, whether they live nearby in the Los Angeles area or have traveled from across the country and beyond. Recreational activities abound throughout the area, offering many opportunities to escape the busy city.

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1.Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park
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Channel Islands National Park is made up of five amazing islands, as well as the ocean environment surround them. There are a wide array of recreational activities in the park, in addition to a chance to escape the bustling city life. Many roads and trails across the islands offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, and camping is allowed on all of the islands year-round in campground managed by the National Park Service. Due to thousand of years of isolation, the Channel Islands has been preserved and provide a chance to experience the coast of southern California from the past.

1901 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001, Phone: 805-658-5730

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2.Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve
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The Mojave National Preserve offers solitude in the desert of southern California. The 1.6 million-acre nature preserve features carpets of wildflowers, forests of Joshua trees, volcanic cinder cones, and singing sand dunes. A trip to the preserve’s mesas, mountains, and canyons will reveal rock-walled military outposts, homesteads, and long-abandoned mines. Situated between the cities of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the Mojave offers solitude and serenity away from the massive metropolitan areas. The Kelso Depot, originally built back in 1924, acts as the Mojave National Preserve’s Visitor Center, which contains several exhibits focusing on the desert’s natural and cultural history.

2701 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA 92311, Phone: 760-252-6100

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3.Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
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While hidden out of sight from the city of Los Angeles, people can easily access surprisingly wilde places in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Visitors can explore over five hundred miles of hiking trails or have fun at the beaches in Malibu. Cultural and historical sites abound throughout the massive park, from Native American centers to old movie ranches. Those exploring the area can climb a mountain and soak their feet in the waters of the Pacific Ocean or explore the Paramount Ranch during the day, and at night, take in the marvelous sight of the Milky Way.

26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, CA 91302, Phone: 805-370-2301

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3 Best National Parks near Los Angeles