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Palmdale, California

Palmdale, California is a great place to explore outdoor activities and attractions. With its stunning landscapes, mesmerizing trails, and remarkable natural features, it is an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers. Popular attractions in and near the area include the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, and the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve. These attractions offer visitors the opportunity to explore the area's unique culture, flora, and fauna. The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is a great place to learn about the area's past and its native inhabitants, while the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is the perfect spot to witness its mesmerizing wildflower blooms. The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve provides visitors with a chance to explore the region's unique desert ecosystem. Also, for those longing for a more active experience, there are plenty of amazing trails to explore, such as the Angeles National Forest and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. No matter what type of outdoor adventure you're looking for, Palmdale, California is the perfect place to go.

Top Spots in and near Palmdale

  • Palmdale, California

    California Aqueduct Trail

    7.67 mi / 213 ft gain
    California Aqueduct Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Palmdale, California.
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  • Santa Clarita, California

    Hike the PCT and Foot Trail Loop through Vasquez Rocks

    5.0
    5.5 mi / 287 ft gain
    The Pacific Crest Trail and foot trail hike is a 5-mile loop with a quick PCT branch-off that leads under the 14 freeway through a long, well-maintained (but very dark) tunnel.  Pull into the well-marked parking lot and stop in the visitor center to take a look at the topographical park model and...
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  • Agua Dulce, California

    Vasquez Rocks

    5.0
    2.42 mi / 367 ft gain
    This is a Natural Park Area located in Santa Clarita, within the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It features amazing diagonal rock formations, created because of the force between two tectonic plates pushing against each other. This place is a photographer's paradise, and every spot in this 900+ acre l...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Camp at Horse Flats Campground

    3.0
    The Horse Flats Campground is located 29 miles up Highway 2 from Interstate 210. You will turn left at the Santa Clara Divide Road(this intersection is also known as 3 Points). 3 miles down the road you will turn left to enter the campground. I have camped here a few times and its always been pre...
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  • Lancaster, California

    Little Butte Trail

    4.0
    2.09 mi / 213 ft gain
    Little Butte Trail is an out-and-back trail that is moderately difficult located near Llano, California.
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  • Lancaster, California

    Saddleback Butte State Park Loop

    0.58 mi / 46 ft gain
    Saddleback Butte State Park is a state park in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert. It’s oftentimes looked over, but you’d be surprised what you can find there. Definitely a place to stop. It is located east of Lancaster. It can get hot so make sure to bring lots of water and wear su...
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  • Palmdale, California

    Camp at Chilao Campground

    4.3
    While not as popular as shady Buckhorn Campground up the road, Chilao offers the better views and greater chances of scoring a peaceful and private campsite. There are two campsites located here (and two group camps down in the valley). Sites are first come, first serve, and cost $12 (bring exact...
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  • Palmdale, California

    Camp at Manzanita Loop in Chilao Campground

    5.0
    Chilao Camp is located at an elevation of 5,300 feet, in the San Gabriel Mountains, and is divided into two different loops called the Manzanita and Pine.This specific adventure is for the Manzanita Loop, which is pretty much known as the more scenic loop, mainly because the area overlooks the Bi...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Devil's Punchbowl and Devil's Chair

    4.5
    7.37 mi / 1870 ft gain
    What a hidden gem! A martian landscape full of faultline desert rock formations and joshua trees against a mountainous backdrop of the San Gabriels. Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area features a 1 mile well-marked, well-maintained single track loop trail inside the Punchbowl (great for kids) and a 7 ...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Hike to the Cooper Canyon Trail Camp

    5 mi / -765 ft gain
    There's a small parking lot just below Cloudburst Summit on the way to Waterman Mountain. Start your adventure there. I'd be hard pressed to say it's more than 15 yards from the sign for the summit (7018' AMSL). There's a fire road, if you're newer to altitude and don't know how to read a map (or...
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  • Lancaster, California

    Visit the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

    5.0
    2 mi / 900 ft gain
    If you're going during wildflower season, start your adventure at the visitors center at the end of 150th St. W. Parking in the lot outside the visitors center is $10, but there is ample street parking that is free. In the visitors center you can read more about the reserve, plan your hike, and s...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Hike Mt. Waterman

    5.0
    6 mi
    Mt. Waterman is accessed along Highway 2 in the Angeles National Forest. Heading east from La Canada look for mileage marker 58.0 (34 miles from La Canada) just past the closed ski resort. Park at one of the large paved turn outs on your left. Display an Adventure Pass ($5 at Ranger Station or Bi...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Burkhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls

    5.0
    4.77 mi / 981 ft gain
    Burkhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Mount Wilson, California.
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Cooper Canyon Falls

    5.0
    3.01 mi / 755 ft gain
    Burkhart Trail is well-defined and easy to follow through an unbelievable old growth of Jeffrey pines, incense-cedars and surprisingly, redwoods! At 0.25 miles, there is a steep spur trail near a large pile of boulders that leads to a popular swimming area, often frequented by guests of the campg...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Snowshoe Buckhorn Ridge Trail

    2.5 mi / 700 ft gain
    Located 1 mile east of the Mt Waterman Ski Resort, Buckhorn Ski Hill is a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll through a snow-covered forest, complete with views of towering Mt Waterman. To get here take I-210 toward La Canada, exit on to California Highway 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) heading no...
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  • Palmdale, California

    Hike to Vetter Mountain and the Fire Lookout Tower

    2.8 mi / 550 ft gain
    If you're looking for an easy mountain to hike, and perhaps give the kids something interesting to learn about at the top, then Vetter Mountain may fit the bill.  At 5,908', and with a trailhead at about 5,350', this 1.4 mile (one way) hike only climbs about 550' vertical.   The trailhead is loca...
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Camping and Lodging in Palmdale

Bandido Group Campground
Pearblossom, California

Bandido Group Campground

Meadow Group Campground
Palmdale, California

Meadow Group Campground

Coulter Group Campground
Palmdale, California

Coulter Group Campground

Huttopia Paradise Springs: Trappeur Tents
Huttopia Paradise Springs, California

Huttopia Paradise Springs: Trappeur Tents

From $177 / night

Jackson Flats
Azusa, California

Jackson Flats

Mountain Oak
Valyermo, California

Mountain Oak

Guides, Insights and Stories from Palmdale

Cooking with Coleman: Camp stove tacos with Paulina Dao and the City Project

Cooking with Coleman: Camp stove tacos with Paulina Dao and the City Project

The Outbound Collective

The Best Post-Adventure Food

The Best Post-Adventure Food

Aaron Rickel Jones

Reservation Permits Needed To Reopen Trails Responsibly, Says Steve Gerhardt

Reservation Permits Needed To Reopen Trails Responsibly, Says Steve Gerhardt

Aaron Rickel Jones

The Mountains Are Calling, and I Let It Go to Voicemail

The Mountains Are Calling, and I Let It Go to Voicemail

Aaron Rickel Jones

Cub House Birthday Ride

Cub House Birthday Ride

Aaron Rickel Jones

The Dawn Mine Loop Trail (or how to train for backpacking last minute)

The Dawn Mine Loop Trail (or how to train for backpacking last minute)

Aaron Rickel Jones