25 Things To Do in Wrightwood with Kids
If you're trying to get away from the noise of city life and are looking for an exciting mountain escape, Wrightwood is an idyllic town to visit. Just 77 miles outside the big city you'll find this cozy, picture-perfect mountain town, nestled in the pine trees. Its charm, beautiful scenery, and abundance of family-friendly activities will lure you any time of the year, but my personal favorite season to visit Wrightwood is in winter. Read on to discover what my family loves to do when we visit this charming little piece of the Universe.
For more mountain day trips from Los Angeles, like Lake Arrowhead, or weekend getaways, like Lake Tahoe—check out our Weekend Getaway Guide and Day Trips from Los Angeles.
And away we go! Photo courtesy of Mountain High Resort
Things To Do in Wrightwood with Kids
We love to visit Wrightwood when there's snow, and we found just the perfect place where you can go play with lots of it, and for free. For small children, I recommend the Apple Tree Campground. It has well-groomed small slopes and open spaces—and the great thing is you can also bring your own sleds. Remember to buy the Adventure Passes for parking, which you can buy at the Mountain Hardware Store, at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center, Jensen, and Wrightwood Mini Mart.
If you're craving for a day filled with fun and adventure for the whole family, this is the place to go! Mountain High is conveniently split into three different resorts: West Resort, East Resort, and North Resort. Explore to the max based on your skills and level of experience: The West and East Resorts are ideal for more experienced skiers, and the North Resort is perfect for beginners and small children.
If you have small kids and want to introduce them to the wonders of snow tubing, I recommend the North Resort, home of the North Pole tubing park, where your little ones can tube down the ten gentle tubing lanes and enjoy winter fun in a place designated for beginners. My little girl is still not ready to try skiing, so tubing is still our favorite winter sport—and to tell you the truth, I'm a fan of tubing myself. It's guaranteed fun for everyone in the family. If you go to Mountain High East, you might get lucky and even meet a Yeti!
If you're visiting Wrightwood on a Saturday, don't miss a trip to the Museum. It displays Wrightwood's historical artifacts and memorabilia, including information about its most notable residents. The museum is located in what used to be the town's first fire station, and kids love to explore it. There's also a small mining museum out back that's very well maintained and worth a visit.
Ziplines at Pacific Crest are a fantastic non-snow adventure. Photo courtesy of ZPC Staff
This one is for the big kids. If your child is ten or older and weighs more than 90 pounds, don't miss a thrilling experience on this ¼ mile ride. Get your adrenaline going while enjoying the speed and admiring the views of the San Gabriel Mountains. Children between the ages of 10 and 13 have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The tour lasts around three hours, so remember to plan accordingly.
Wrightwood is just a great place to be outside, any time of year! Photo courtesy of the author
Located on Pine Street, right in the heart of town, this playground is surrounded by pine trees and beautiful mountain views. Kids love the play area, which has a variety of amenities including swings, slides, monkey bars. There are two sets, one for small kids and the other one for bigger kids. This is a great place to let them do their thing (and run off the sugar from having one of the amazing cookies at the Grizzly Cafe) while you sit on a bench breathing the fresh air while enjoying the scenic views.
This hidden gem is only a five-minute drive from Wrightwood. It is small but it offers the charm of any big lake, and is ideal for fishing, camping, and hiking. If you're in the mood for a picnic, you'll find plenty of picnic areas throughout the site. Every time my family and I visit Wrightwood, we stop at Jackson Lake right before heading back to LA, to absorb the tranquility it inspires and bring that feeling back to the city with us.
Visit a charming little mountain town without putting chains on the car! Photo courtesy of Red Apple Cabins
Park your car and discover Wrightwood Village on foot. Visit its charming shops, restaurants, and the cutest coffee shops while enjoying the promenade with your family. Get the feeling of Wrightwood life right in the center of it all. The whole village area is walkable and safe, so put on your boots and have fun exploring.
Family-Friendly Hikes near Wrightwood
Table Mountain is the perfect trail for small children. It's only half a mile long with an approximate duration of 30 minutes, and it's located right next to Mountain High North Resort. You can break a sweat breathing the fresh scent of pine trees. There are several picnic tables in the area, so you can also make a pit stop to enjoy a snack.
Take a gorgeous hike in the fall (or summer or spring!). Photo courtesy of the author
This hike is approximately 4 miles long, round trip. You might want to reserve this hike for big kids, as the hike gets steep and narrow. Visit the abandoned mine and Vincent's Cabin and learn a little history by exploring it in situ.
Where To Eat in Wrightwood with Kids
11. Grizzly Cafe
This restaurant has a cozy family-friendly atmosphere. I love the wooden décor—it's what you'd imagine a mountain restaurant to be. It also has a cute little gift shop where you can find pretty much anything. There's also an outdoor dining area great for social distancing.
12. The Yodeler
The Yodeler is centrally located in the Village. Its outdoor dining area lured us in, and we were lucky enough to be greeted with complimentary delicious spicy jalapeno poppers, which are amazing if you're a fan of spicy food (my husband and daughter aren't, so more for me!). The barbeque pizza here is a family favorite.
13. Evergreen Cafe
You might want to call ahead and make a reservation because this place is always packed, and there's a good reason for it (the food is amazing). I love the all-American diner feel and the lovely outdoor seating area. This is one of the local's favorite spots to eat.
Ice cream, anyone? Photo courtesy of the author
14. Applewood Court
It doesn't get any cuter and cozier than this. This is an ice cream, candy, and décor shop all in one. There is a huge selection of everything chocolate; needless to say, my kid always wants to come here first when we visit Wrightwood. The courtyard is absolutely charming and a great spot for the kids to play while you sit on a bench and enjoy a treat.
15. Village Grind
If you go to Wrightwood to unwind then you'll love this spot. Have a glass of wine (or two) while enjoying a delicious meal. Or try one of the specialty coffees accompanied by one of the signature jumbo donuts. It has a beautiful outdoor sitting area, ideal for enjoying the beautiful views Wrightwood has to offer.
Fresh, hot pizza is a treat any time. Photo courtesy of the author
16. Mile High Pizza
We love this pizza. It only offers delivery and takeout but it does have a cute outdoor sitting area where you can enjoy your freshly made pizza.
17. Mexico Lindo
If you're in the mood for good Mexican food, this is your spot. I love their taco and enchilada combo, it's really flavorful and their plates are fairly big so we enjoy coming here after a day in the snow. We like to sit outside, but it can get crowded, so you may want to call ahead to reserve a spot.
It's a wonderful, wintery stay. Photo courtesy of Grand Pine Cabins
18. Rent a cabin or a cozy room and live like a local for a day or two
Canyon Creek Inn is located right in front of the Hollis M. Stewart Children's Park, so it's very convenient if you have little ones.
Cedar Lodge is also located in the heart of the village, so it's easy to walk to all the shops and restaurants.
Wrightwood is home to the most breathtaking campgrounds in Southern California. Pro-tip for these local campgrounds: When we go camping with our five-year-old daughter we always bring a portable toilet, regardless of whether the campsite has toilets or not, we find it very convenient in the middle of the night. Also, make sure to pack plenty of water too, some campsites have running water but some don't, so you want to be prepared. Make sure to purchase an Adventure Pass ahead of time.
If you prefer sleeping in nature, Wrightwood offers up spectacular camping. Photo courtesy of the author
19. Apple Tree
Apple Tree is free and it's right off the highway. It's open all year round! All you have to do is display the Adventure Park ticket on your windshield, and you're good to go. There are plenty of snow-play areas where your kids can indulge during the Winter Season.
This campground is just 8 miles west of Wrightwood, and it's surrounded by pine and fir trees. It's open from late April to the last week of September, and you'll need to call ahead to make a reservation. This campsite is RV-friendly, too!
Located in the Angeles National Forest, Mountain Oak is a great destination to enjoy the great outdoors. It's about five miles away from Wrightwood, and it's perfect for camping and hiking. If you're lucky, you can get to see some of the beautiful fauna that inhabits this area. There is also a camp host on-site.
22. Lake Campground
You can find it right on the shores of Jackson Lake. Wake up to the sound of birds and a scenic view of the lake. There are plenty of picnic tables all over the site. Other amenities include storage lockers and toilets. Enjoy all the outdoor activities that Jackson Lake has to offer, such as fishing, canoeing, and hiking.
During the winter and spring months, the Blue Ridge Campground is only open for hiking, but if you visit between May and mid-November you can use any of the eight campsites and spend the night enjoying the wonders of nature. Located just a mere five miles from Wrightwood, in my opinion, this is a must-visit area. Remember to bring plenty of water for drinking and cooking as there is no water available on site. The sunset/sunrise views are amazing!
24. Guffy Campground
This is one of the smaller campsites in the area and if you want to wake up to stunning views of Pine Mountain and the adjacent canyons, this is the spot. We usually pack extra heating equipment for this one, because it gets very cold and windy as it sits at an altitude of 8225 feet. But the views make it worth braving the cold.
If you don't want to go too deep into the woods to find your campsite this one is ideal, as it's located right off the highway. Peavine is very close to Jackson Lake. There are 4 campsites and one of its perks is that it has running water, so you don't have to worry about bringing water. It's free, too—all you need is to display your Adventure Pass and you're set.