15 Best Things to Do in Lake Hughes, CA

Lake Hughes, CA
David E. Gordon / shutterstock.com

An unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, Lake Hughes sits along the foothills of the Sierra Pelona Mountains.

Lake Hughes was situated along the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail and was frequented by settlers because water was more plentiful in the area.

The community was named after Judge Griffith Hughes, who homesteaded the area during the 20th century.

Although not much has changed in Lake Hughes in terms of size, it did shift into a more modernized area while keeping most of the structures simple and defined.

Thanks to Lake Hughes’ placement near natural sites, it’s also become a popular destination for people who enjoy doing outdoor activities.

Check out the best things to do in Lake Hughes, California!

Get Jamming at The Rock Inn

Exterior of The Rock Inn
Konrad Summers from Santa Clarita (Valencia) , California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get ready for a fun night out with a couple of drinks in hand when you visit The Rock Inn on Elizabeth Lake Road.

Established in 1929, this restaurant is known for serving Lake Hughes’ people with great food and entertainment for generations.

You can’t miss The Rock Inn’s rocky exterior, which adds to its grandeur and character.

Fill up on a hefty serving of rib eye steak or munch on a basket of chicken wings paired with your favorite drink.

Then, enjoy the night singing along to the tunes of budding and renowned artists from all over the country.

Go Trail Riding with Running Horse Ranch

Explore the wonders of Lake Hughes and all of California when you go trail riding with Running Horse Ranch.

Located along Pine Canyon Road, Running Horse Ranch offers guests the chance to go on scenic trail rides on a horse or by riding an ATV.

Marvel at the mountainous wilderness at the Angeles National Forest and witness nothing short of spectacular views.

Ride through the stormy desert, or feel the cool breeze running through your hair as you trot by the oceanside.

Seasoned and experienced equestrians can go on cross-country trail rides while riding a Mustang, Arabian, or Thoroughbred.

Join the Pack at Shadowland Foundation

Feel the thrill of being a part of your own pack when you play with the wolves at Shadowland Foundation on Pine Canyon Road.

Founded by Paul Pondella in 1978, the foundation serves as the ultimate safe haven for wolves in Lake Hughes.

Get lost in nature’s wonders in the company of these furry creatures, and momentarily join their pack as you explore the area.

Shadowland Foundation also offers educational tours for those who want to learn more about wolves.

Remember that booking these tours requires scheduled appointments, so make sure you’ve got everything settled before going to this Lake Hughes attraction.

Have a Blast at Canyon Creek Summer Camp

If you’re looking for something fun to do while visiting Lake Hughes, Canyon Creek Summer Camp should be on your list.

Located along Lake Hughes Road, the camp gives kids and young adults a perfect chance to have fun and make unforgettable summer memories.

There are over 10 activities in this sleepaway summer camp, such as archery, court sports, swimming, and skateboarding.

Canyon Creek Summer Camp covers 82 acres, which means every nook and cranny will be filled with something fun to do and an adventure you’ll never forget.

Make sure to register as early as possible, as the slots are given on a registration basis, and walk-ins are not permitted.

Down Some Drinks at Lucky Days Cocktail Bar

There’s nothing better than spending Friday or Saturday night at a local bar, downing a couple of drinks with your closest friends.

You can do just that at Lucky Days Cocktail Bar along Lake Hughes Road.

Pick your poison from the bar’s wide selection of cocktails and drinks, and enjoy the night with your closest friends.

A bunch of performers usually grace Lucky Days Cocktail Bar, singing your favorite songs or playing hits that will surely get you moving towards the dance floor.

Book Tee Time at Lake Elizabeth Golf and Ranch Club

Get a good look at Lake Hughes’ scenic views from the golf course when you book tee time at Lake Elizabeth Golf and Ranch Club on Ranch Club Road.

Go driving, practice your swings, and ride a golf cart while getting front-row seats to pristine fairways and rolling hills.

Aside from terrific views, Lake Elizabeth Golf and Ranch Club also offers challenging plays for golfers.

The golf course has 18 holes, which is more than enough to keep you entertained in this Lake Hughes attraction.

It’s also a beginner-friendly course, and if you ever find yourself in a bit of a slump, you can always ask the staff for some helpful tips.

Go on a Retreat at The Oaks

Traveling to Lake Hughes is not just about exploring new adventures and setting sights on new places; sometimes, it’s about finding your inner peace.

The Oaks along Pine Canyon Road is the ultimate Southern California retreat center where you can relax and have fun simultaneously.

Discover more about yourself through guided workshops, and find solace and peace in plush beds and cozy nooks.

Those who want to drive their problems away and reset temporarily can engage in fun activities like conquering the water slide and playing court sports.

The Oaks also offers workshops covering various topics, such as writing, storytelling, and just dreaming big.

Of course, who wouldn’t want to go to this retreat center, as it also offers unrivaled views of Lake Hughes and all its wonders?

Leave Your Kids at The Painted Turtle

The community of Lake Hughes is swarming with recreational camps for both kids and adults, and it’s safe to say that every one of them can guarantee a time well spent.

The Painted Turtle is no exception, but it’s more than your average summer camp.

Located on Elizabeth Lake Road, this camp is specially designed for kids diagnosed with serious medical conditions.

It allows them to experience normal activities with people undergoing the same journey.

If you’ve been blessed with a little warrior of your own, you might want to bring them to The Painted Turtle and have them spend quality time with fellow fighters.

Have your kids participate in horseback rides, campfires, art workshops, sports activities, and much more.

Enjoy a Picnic by Munz Lakes

Spend a relaxing day with mother nature when you walk towards Munz Lakes, one of the three sag ponds comprising Elizabeth and Hughes Lake.

Drown out the sound of the busy streets and step back from your busy city life as you make your way to this Lake Hughes attraction.

Lay down your blanket as you sit on the grass, and whip out your favorite book while enjoying the cool breeze.

You’ll also enjoy watching the sunset from where you’re sitting, witnessing the sinking orb and drowning in the horizon.

Munz Lakes is positioned directly on the San Andreas Fault in the northern region of the Sierra Pelona Mountains.

Shop for Great Finds at Papa’s Country Store

You’re bound to run out of resources like snacks and water while touring the streets of Lake Hughes, and it can be frustrating.

So while you’re in the area, stop by Papa’s Country Store on Elizabeth Lake Road to stock up on some supplies.

It’s one of the few convenience stores in Lake Hughes, so don’t miss the chance to swing by.

You’ll find a bunch of items and food that you typically see in other convenience stores.

If you’re looking to store your visit to Lake Hughes in your memory, you’re welcome to purchase merchandise.

Papa’s Country Store also hosts small events and fundraisers for the community, such as preserving the wolves’ habitat in the Shadowland Foundation.

Set up Camp at Sawmill Campground

Nothing beats lying under the stars during a cold night as you sit by the bonfire simply admiring nature’s wonders.

In Lake Hughes, Sawmill Campground can give you that kind of view.

Pack your camping gear, make your way to Sawmill Campground Road, and be prepared to admire Lake Hughes even more.

There are about eight sites where you can set up camp, which might involve hiking a few trails before you get there.

Amenities you can expect from Sawmill Campground include picnic benches, fire pits, a nearby water tank, and pit toilets.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Lake Hughes is a fairly small community, and there might come a time when you’ll want to explore other nearby areas and do other things.

Check out some of them below.

Walk around Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Scenic view of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

If there’s one place near Lake Hughes you should visit, it’s definitely Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, 14 minutes from Lake Hughes.

The reserve is a state-protected area in California that houses the largest blooming fields of California poppies.

Make sure to bring your camera with you when you visit the area, as the reserve is arguably one of the most Instagrammable places you can go to near Lake Hughes.

People walking along Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
joojoob27 / Shutterstock.com

Frolick across the fields, and enjoy the time you spend admiring the fiery flowers that represent the state of California.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve also makes a great hangout spot for when the sun goes down and the stars begin to appear in the night sky.

Vibrant poppies at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
saraporn / Shutterstock.com

Hike the Castaic Falls Trail

There’s no better way to clear your headspace than to hike along an extremely scenic trail.

When in Lake Hughes, you can travel 30 minutes to the Angeles National Forest and head towards the Castaic Falls Trail.

This hiking trail near Lake Hughes spans a total of 3.2 kilometers and is generally considered a moderately challenging route.

Enjoy the view, feel the gush of wind running through your hair, and get some much-needed exercise while traversing the Castaic Falls Trail.

During your mini-adventure, you might need to follow the path leading to the banks of Fish Creek, as it will eventually lead you to the majestic Castaic Falls.

Go on a Scenic Drive along San Francisquito Canyon Road

Blast some tunes, and roll down your windows as you go on a scenic drive along San Francisquito Canyon Road, 20 minutes from Lake Hughes.

Traversing this road can take you to dozens of scenic overlooks and amazing views of Lake Hughes’ mountainous regions.

You’ll also notice nearby attractions like the Harvey Carey Trading Post and numerous horse ranches during your drive.

San Francisquito Canyon Road runs from Saugus in Santa Clarita to Leona Valley and once served as a home to the historic St. Francis Dam.

The dam collapsed in 1928, killing over 500 people when the roads flooded.

Check Out Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Trail at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

The famed Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park in Lancaster is only 25 minutes from Lake Hughes.

The fully enclosed park doesn’t permit motorized vehicles and requires visitors to explore the area on foot.

Joshua tree at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

As you walk around, you’ll be treated to a brief history lesson on the earliest plants and animals that inhabited the area.

Welcome sign of Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Scottthezombie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park is also home to native Joshuas and Junipers, once considered abundant in the area.

The state park was donated by farmer Arthur Ripley in 1988.

Wildflowers at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Walter Siegmund, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

The community of Lake Hughes may be small, but don’t think there isn’t much to do in the area.

The best things to do in Lake Hughes, California are pretty simple, yet they treat visitors to the area’s most impressive sites while giving them an adventure of a lifetime.

Book your trip today, and let the adventure begin!

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