The Newest National Monuments: San Gabriel Mountains, California
Just 90 minutes from Los Angeles's 10 million people, the new 342,177-acre monument is home to everything from California condors to endangered bighorn sheep — a sanctuary in the SoCal crush. Adventures abound here, from mountain biking to birding to cooling off in a dozen or so hot tub–size swimming holes in the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, where you can watch bungee jumpers leap from the Bridge to Nowhere, at the end of the trailhead of the same name. For hiking, it's hard to beat the seven-mile trail up Smith Mountain, a peak that rises 5,111 feet above the Pacific Ocean. It has some of the most dramatic views of the area: a straight-shot vista of L.A. with none of its noise.