Smokey’s Birthday Party

Smokey’s Birthday Party will be held August 10, 2024, at Big Pines Visitor Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Come celebrate with Smokey, USFS, and the Volunteers of the Angeles National Forest.  Smokey, FS Fire crew, cake, arts and crafts, tours and more.


Located in a historical stonework building, the visitor center is located at the intersection of Hwy 2 and N-4, four miles west of the town of Wrightwood.

Staffing the visitor center on Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., VANF members are here to help with hiking, camping, and other suggestions; Adventure Passes are for sale.

Couched within this 1920’s facility, are a selection of great interpretive items – including a taxidermied mountain lion and bear.

Forest Status

Big Pines Visitor Center – The visitor center is open Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Come in to see our displays – including taxidermied bear, mountain lion, and other animals and items from our area, and get information regarding hiking, camping, and the forest.  It’s free, and the building is heated!

Weather: Winter has arrived. Days are cold and nights are freezing. Dress in layers – shirts, sweaters, and jackets, wear gloves and hats, waterproof shoes…

Road conditions and status: contact CalTrans at 800-427-7623 or their website for the latest on State Route 2, and check LA County’s Road Conditions website for the latest on N-4, aka Big Pines Hwy. Always watch for rock and debris. Parking: park legally! – follow posted signage; do not park car over foglines/infringing on roadways.

Camping:  USFS-managed: Blue Ridge, Guffy, and Lupine Campgrounds (first come, first served requiring the Adventure Pass or an Interagency Federal Pass) are open.  All 3 campsites are hike-in only during the winter season. They are not maintained, so it is a pack-in/pack-out situation now through April. is the concessionaire managing all other campsites, picnic areas, and parking lots in the Big Pines Area.

Trash: When there are no trash cans or they are full, please take your trash home with you!  

Fire Restrictions: Check ANF website for current fire level status – including campfire prohibitions.

Clarification: the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center is closed. The Volunteers of the Angeles National Forest, who staffed the GH center, moved their displays and volunteers to this center, the Big Pines Visitor Center.

Have fun, and Thank you for protecting our forest.


The Volunteers of the Angeles National Forest are staffing the Big Pines Visitor Center – located 4 miles west of Wrightwood – on Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While answering questions about hiking and camping, and selling Adventure Passes, they invite visitors to enjoy their historic building including displays of local animals and birds, maps, and pictures of the area. ( In addition, VANF members hope to resume running a school/youth group fieldtrip program and a summer interpretive program in the future.)

As a volunteer,  when working at the center, you are committing to one weekend day a month and attending a monthly membership meeting.

Initial training is provided and ongoing training occurs at the monthly membership meeting at 7pm on the 4th Tuesday of each month in Wrightwood.

We welcome volunteers 18 years and older.

If you would like to join our team or would like more information, please email .  


School Field Trips are on hold until ? (Why: The Volunteers of the Angeles National Forest, having provided fieldtrip opportunities at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center for over a decade, were requested to move 2 miles east to the historical Big Pines Information Center.  We have moved our displays and are open to serve the public on Saturdays and Sundays, and some holidays, from 10-4 pm. We will be rebuilding our membership and adapting our fieldtrip program to the Big Pines setting as soon as possible.)

To see what is included in a school visit

To schedule a school field trip contact us through our general email


Bears and other animals live in our forest and trash pick up is minimal or non-existent. Please use bear trashcans and dumpsters, or take your trash home with you.

Carry in, carry out.