15 Best Things to Do in Azusa, CA

Azusa, CA
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Azusa is one of the hidden gems of Southern California, located alongside the famed Route 66 on the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Although it is a small town, there is plenty to do in Azusa and the neighboring cities in Los Angeles County.

Established in 1887, Azusa got incorporated in 1898.

It's one of Los Angeles County's older cities.

Named after the Tongva settlement of Asuksa-nga, the city initially hosted the San Gabriel Mission.

Azusa also went by the moniker Canyon City due to its location at the base of the San Gabriel Canyon.

The City's weather is perfect for hiking and camping all year round.

You might want to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available.

Azusa hosts numerous annual celebrations and events, including the Fiesta and Craft Beer Festival and the free Summer Concert Series.

Here are the best things to do in Azusa, California:

Take a Hike in the San Gabriel Mountains

View of Azusa from San Gabriel Mountains
Kristina Gillego / Shutterstock.com

San Gabriel Mountains is part of the Coast Ranges that stretch along the Californian coast.

The mountains loom large over Azusa and provide a beautiful backdrop for any activity in town.

There are hiking trails to explore, and the views from the top are incredible.

A beautiful waterfall in San Gabriel Mountains
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The range includes Mt. San Antonio, the highest point in the region, also known as Mt. Baldy.

Hiking trails with varying difficulty levels abound in the mountains; everyone can find a path that suits their fitness level and hiking experience.

Mountains in the range have a lot of sloping summits.

The San Gabriel Mountains don't have many rocky features, but it has many canyons and is rough and challenging to travel.

You also need to travel 40 minutes from Azusa to get there.

Scenic view of San Gabriel Mountains canyon trail
Ken Nyborg / Shutterstock.com

Take a Scenic Drive Down Route 66

Route 66 is the Mother Road, one of the most iconic highways in America.

The famous route gave rise to the distinctive roadside architecture and amenities in America today.

It stretches from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California.

The section of the road that passes through Azusa is part of the original alignment of the highway.

The trail takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the country, and Azusa is no exception.

There are many pull-offs and lookout points where you can stop to take a view and snap some photos.

If you're feeling adventurous, several hiking trails start from the highway.

Spend a Day at Mount Wilson

Scenic view of Mount Wilson
Mariusz Lopusiewicz / Shutterstock.com

Another well-known peak near Azusa is Mount Wilson.

It's home to the Mount Wilson Observatory and an antenna farm containing many of the transmitters for regional media.

The peak of Mount Wilson only has a slight topographical prominence, which makes it challenging to see from a distance.

However, the numerous antennae close to its summit make it easy to identify.

It is a subsidiary peak of the neighboring San Gabriel Summit, the highest point in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Trail sign of Mount Wilson
Noah Sauve / Shutterstock.com

Mount Wilson is a popular destination for hikers, as many trails of varying difficulty lead to the summit.

The most popular trail is the Mount Wilson Trail, a 6.9-mile out-and-back trail that takes you to the summit of Mount Wilson.

The trail gets its name from Benjamin Davis Wilson, the owner of Rancho San Pascual.

He explored the mountain to find a suitable route for his casks.

The views from the top are incredible, and you can see downtown Los Angeles on a clear day.

However, you'll need to drive for 52 minutes to get there from Azusa.

View of Mount Wilson observatory
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Explore the River Wilderness Park

More commonly known as the Asuza River Wilderness Park, the River Wilderness Park is a nature lover's paradise.

The park spans over 4,000 acres and is filled with hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing spots.

The Asuza River runs through the center of the park.

Authorities have also built many bridges and dams to control water flow.

Walk through miles and miles of nature as you hike along the river and take in the scenery.

You will pass by a seasonal waterfall and marvel at the magnificence of the canyon.

The park is home to different animals, so keep your eyes peeled for some wildlife sightings.

Explore the Azusa Civic Center

Exterior of Azusa Civic Center's city hall
Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Azusa Civic Center is a complex that houses the city's government offices, library, and police department.

In 1904, the city moved its public library to the site of the present-day civic center.

Then, they began construction on the civic center itself.

In 1928, the city finished the center's main wings, the City Hall and municipal auditorium.

The center is also home to Asuza's fire department, which they completed in 1945.

There are art galleries and a performing arts theater in the center.

Learn about the history of Azusa and its arts and culture at the civic center.

Go Golfing at the Azusa Greens Country Club

Check out the stunning 18-hole golf course of the Azusa Greens Country Club, boasting narrow tree-lined fairways, small sloping greens, and several doglegs.

This course will challenge your accuracy as you try to avoid the many bunkers that block your swing.

The course is in the San Gabriel Mountains' foothills so that you can enjoy some incredible views as you golf.

The public country club is open year-round, and it doesn't require a membership.

The Azusa Greens Country Club also offers classes and private lessons for those who want to improve their game.

Go to the Azusa Greens Country Club if you're searching for a place to practice your swing.

Hike or Bike through the San Gabriel Canyon

Scenic view of San Gabriel Canyon
Ronald McKinley Jr / Shutterstock.com

Feast your eyes on the gorgeous scenery as you hike or bike through the San Gabriel Canyon.

The canyon is in the Angeles National Forest, a popular spot for both hikers and cyclists.

Many trails of varying difficulty wind through the canyon, so you can choose a route that suits your abilities.

Morris reservoir dam in San Gabriel Canyon
Tverdokhlib / Shutterstock.com

The San Gabriel River Trail is the most popular; it's a 6.8-mile out-and-back trail that takes you along the river.

The San Gabriel River Trail is relatively flat, making it perfect for an easy hike or bike ride.

As you walk to the canyon, tower cliffs and lush vegetation will surround you.

You can also find marshes and wetlands along the trail, providing a habitat for many different species of animals.

Take a 20-minute drive from Azusa to reach the entry point.

Take a Stroll through Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park is a small park located in the center of Azusa.

This popular park offers plenty of open space for meditation and a quiet stroll.

The park is home to various flowers, trees, plants, a playground, and a gazebo.

You can also find several benches throughout the park, making it the perfect place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

The park is also home to several amenities, such as picnic spots with BBQ pits and a walking track.

Pioneer Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Taste Some Avocado at the Rancho Vasquez

As the only avocado orchard in Asuza, the Rancho Vasquez is a great place to learn about this popular fruit.

The ranch offers tours of the orchard, as well as tastings of different varieties of avocados.

Three generations of the Vasquez family own the 100-acre orchard.

You can find it on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The ranch also grows other fruits and vegetables, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes.

In addition to tours and tastings, Rancho Vasquez holds events throughout the year.

You can also purchase avocados to bring home with you.

Admire the Gorgeous Waterfalls at the Fish Canyon Falls

Daytime view of Fish Canyon Falls
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

The three-tiered Fish Canyon Falls is a must-see in Azusa.

The Falls are in the San Gabriel Mountains and accessible via an easy 4.8-mile out-and-back hike.

The Falls offer an excellent opportunity to take in the area's natural beauty.

The hike also features scenic views, such as the canyon floor and the surrounding mountains.

A rock quarry occupies fish Canyon's bottom.

For many years, you can only access the Fish Canyon Falls Trail by shuttle on certain days.

Today, everyone may enjoy the trail seven days a week.

The Fish Canyon Falls is a popular spot, so get there early to avoid the crowds.

Explore the Durrell House Museum

Durrell House Museum is a living history museum.

It's one of the few remaining structures from the early settlement days of Azusa.

In 1923, the mayor Moses Thompson Durrell built the two-story Spanish Colonial home.

The museum is open for tours and aims to educate visitors about the early days of Azusa through the lives of the Durrell family.

They relocated the home from its original position at Foothill Blvd. to the park behind City Hall.

You will see the original furniture and fixtures still in the house, as well as learn about the history of the Durrell family.

The museum is also available for special events and functions.

Discover the Bridge to Nowhere

Daytime view of the Bridge to Nowhere
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One hike you must take at least once in your life is the 10.5-mile, six-hour Bridge to Nowhere trek in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Bridge to Nowhere is an arch bridge constructed in the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Azusa, California, in 1936.

The builders wanted the bridge to cross the San Gabriel River East Fork and connect the San Gabriel Valley to Wrightwood.

However, they had to abandon the project in 1938.

The 1938 Los Angeles Flood washed away the connecting East Fork Road, which was still under construction at the time.

Even though adventurous hikers frequently stop by, the Bridge to Nowhere is still a remote location deep within the Sheep Mountain Wilderness.

You need to travel 37 minutes to reach the trek's starting point.

Admire the Artwork at the Azusa Pacific University Art Galleries

Azusa Pacific University aims to display artworks from its students, alumni, and faculty.

The University Art Galleries are open to the public and free of charge.

There are at least five galleries on campus, and the exhibitions change every few months.

The galleries feature a variety of artwork, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media.

In addition to the artwork, the galleries also host various events, such as artist lectures and receptions.

You can visit the Darling Hallway Gallery and marvel at the talent of Azusa Pacific University's students and faculty.

Other galleries are the L Art Gallery, Duke Art Gallery, and Heritage Gallery.

Go Camping at the Crystal Lake Recreation Area

Exterior of a snack bar at Crystal Lake Recreation Area
Eeekster, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Crystal Lake Recreation Area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors.

You can find a small lake, an outdoor amphitheater, a public campground with at least 120 campsites arranged in "loops," and Deer Flats.

The latter is a group campground with about 25 campsites.

The recreation area features a variety of activities, such as camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.

This part of the San Gabriel Mountains offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The U.S. took up Crystal Lake Campground permanently in 1946.

Back in the 1920s, the site was a privately leased campground.

With 232 campsites at its peak, it functioned as the largest campground in the Angeles National Forest.

In addition to the breathtaking views, the recreation area is also home to wildlife, such as deer, squirrels, and birds.

The Crystal Lake Recreation Area is the perfect spot to camp or enjoys the outdoors.

Take Your Best Shot at the Strawberry Peak

Scenic view of Strawberry Peak
Noah Sauve / Shutterstock.com

Strawberry Peak is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and the stunning views of Southern California.

Sitting atop the San Gabriel Mountains, Strawberry Peak offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, such as Mount Baldy and Mount Wilson.

You can also see several valleys from the peak.

The best time to visit Strawberry Peak is spring, when the wildflowers bloom.

In addition to the beautiful views, Strawberry Peak is also a popular spot for photography.

If you need a place to enjoy the outdoors and take some stunning photos, check out Strawberry Peak.

Drive 39 minutes from Azusa to reach the starting point for the trek to Strawberry Peak.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a fun and exciting place to visit, check out Azusa, California.

Activities such as hiking, fishing, and admiring the artwork keep you busy.

Serenity meets adventure in Azusa, CA, and you will have a memorable experience.

Book your trip today!

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