Resting in the San Gabriel Canyon north of Azusa, the Crystal Lake Recreation Area is one of the earliest outdoor recreation sites in the San Gabriels, if not Southern California, and it has a long and storied history. Actors and musical acts alike were early visitors at Crystal Lake, which once hosted a bustling resort site that attracted icons like Elvis Presley to play in its now defunct music hall. These days, Crystal Lake is one of the most accessible recreation areas near Los Angeles, and Angelenos take advantage of it regularly. The slopes of Mount Islip and Mount Hawkins are lined with ponderosa pine and madrone, and the rivers with groves of willow, cottonwood, sycamore, and alder. These woods are home to bobcats and mountain lions, a vast and interconnected web of hiking trails, rivers, and swimming holes. And all of it is within 50 miles of Los Angeles.