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Pure nature around Los Angeles

In a city with a population of four million, it may seem like nature is a long way off. But the residents of Los Angeles have plenty of options to escape the urban jungle. Red rocks, shimmering lakes and vast deserts: these five trips take you from the bustling metropolis to the peace and quiet of nature.

Let’s go

Joshua Tree National Park

With its cactus gardens, oases, impressive rock formations and unique vegetation, the Joshua Tree National Park is a genuine desert park. In fact, two deserts converge here, the Colorado and the Mojave. The park owes its name to the yucca brevifolia, better known as the Joshua Tree. There are dozens of routes to hike, but you can also climb rocks, ride horses and camp here. Tip: always bring twice as much water as you think you’ll need for the day. The desert is mercilessly hot.

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    San Bernardino Mountains

    Mountains, lakes and woods

    San Bernardino is located only two hours from downtown LA. This high mountain ridge boasts dense forests and shimmering lakes, the largest of which is Big Bear Lake, beautifully surrounded by huge pines. In the summer, it’s the perfect place to hike, camp and go canoeing, while winter brings a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts.

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    Laguna Beach

    California beach life

    Size doesn’t matter. This is clear at Laguna Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in California. This long stretch of sand is located just south of the city. With its caves, rocks, tide pools and fantastic walking options, you’ll feel far from the chaos of everyday life. In South Laguna, you can enjoy the picturesque 1000 Steps Beach, while Laguna Beach itself is perfect for looking for starfish and other aquatic life.

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      Mojave National Preserve

      Sand dunes and lava tunnels

      Just north of Joshua Tree is the Mojave National Preserve, another desert park, but of an entirely different kind. Here you will find the towering Kelso sand dunes and can walk through a lava tunnel. Another must-see is Hole-in-the-Wall Canyon in the heart of the park, where you can admire unique sculptured volcanic rock walls.

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        Oak Glen

        Picking apples

        With its orchards, sheep and farms, the picturesque town of Oak Glen is the perfect place to escape to the countryside from the urban sprawl. Only an hour-and-a-half by car from Los Angeles, here you can enjoy an abundance of quiet, space and... orchards. Fall is a fantastic time to visit, when the fall colours take on a New England-like calibre, and it’s also time to pick apples! An eight-kilometre route takes you past ranches, orchards and farms.

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