For those who like to get off the beaten path and love California road trips, you will love this adventure in your backyard. If you desire a getaway from all the craziness & traffic of the city yet still want to be in the LA vicinity, this is the perfect escape for you. A short 1-hour drive from Downtown Los Angeles will see you in another world.
Road trip to Box Canyon, California
This remote canyon is a hidden gem that many locals don't even know about. Bear in mind when searching for it on a map, there are a few Box Canyons around the U.S. and one in Mecca, California, near Joshua Tree National Park. This Box Canyon is in the Chatsworth area (Officially, you are still in Los Angeles County.) and is so named as it forms a box inside Chatsworth and Simi Valley. The area features bike and hiking trails, parks, and reserves for nature lovers.
The hideaway has a bit of a dark history as the base of a doomsday cult. They envisioned they would inspire the world with love and kindness after World War 3 destroyed it. However, two men, whose wives had joined the cult, blew up the compound and killed the charismatic leader and several followers. Eventually, the rest of the pack disbanded, along with their dreams of an ideal world.
It is probably due to the dark history that Box Canyon has remained under the radar.
Today, Box Canyon is the home to alternative lifestylers living in simple timber or stone-built homes and newly built architectural lavish houses. It is exciting for those who like touring to view houses and architecture.
A visit to Box Canyon is all about the journey and not the destination. As you get closer to Box Canyon, the bush gets denser, and you will start to see incredible rock formations.
As you travel along Box Canyon Road, you will see houses living their best life surrounded by nature. The views are phenomenal, with fabulous panoramic valley views. The hills around the canyon are full of slot canyons and narrow ravines. There are many opportunities for perfect Instagram captures.
Additionally, the steep hills offer challenging rides for bikers. Whether you choose to drive, ride a bicycle, or hike, Box Canyon is wonderfully scenic, with a chance to get out of the city and see wildlife.
Getting to Box Canyon
Box Canyon is 40 minutes north of Downtown Los Angeles, 50 minutes from Pasadena, 45 minutes from Santa Clarita, and 1 hour from Ventura, California.
Where to stop for a picnic and bushwalking
After your scenic drive, pop over to the Chatsworth Nature Preserve. The 1,325-acre open-space preserve is located in the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. The peaceful park contains oak woodlands, savanna, and grasslands and is an excellent spot for a picnic.
Due to the rugged, picturesque landscape of rock outcroppings, boulders, canyons, The Chatsworth Nature Preserve has been a popular filming location for movies and TV for decades.
Additionally, Chatsworth Oaks Park has barbecue pits and picnic tables. This remote park out in the middle of nowhere is a great starting point for trails in the area, including some of the historic Santa Susana Pass trails. Some of the trails reach elevation giving you fantastic views.
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