The Center of It All
The San Gabriel Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop and recreational opportunities at Pomona College.
Whichever direction you choose to head out from Pomona College, you’ll find both pleasant escapes and, sites and environs that provide in-the-field learning opportunities for students. Just a few minutes north—close enough to bike to—you’ll find the San Gabriel Mountains. Head south to Orange County for a slice of beach life, and keep going to reach San Diego, the ninth largest city in the U.S. and one chock full of history, and Mexico. To the east is the desert; our students especially love Joshua Tree National park, an oasis for camping, hiking and rock climbing. And, of course, Los Angeles is our neighbor to the west, easily accessible by car or train.
Immediately north of Pomona College are the other five members of The Claremont Colleges consortium. Just a few miles further, you find roads winding into the San Gabriel Mountains that form a dramatic backdrop to the local landscape. They're so close that the nearest ski resort on Mt. San Antonio—better known locally as “Mt. Baldy”—is only 12 miles away from campus. Ascending that rugged 10,064-foot peak is only one of many hiking options in the national forest.
Drive about an hour and a half east from the Pomona campus and you’ll come to Joshua Tree National Park, where the Mojave Desert meets the Sonoran Desert. J-Tree, as many here call it, is known for its jagged rock formations and starkly beautiful scenery, and is a favorite place for students to camp, hike, rock-climb and catch a fiery sunset. It’s become so popular among students that some have dubbed it “Pomona’s backyard.”
But it’s not the only site to see in the desert. Within just a few hours of campus, you can visit Palm Springs, view the eerie ruins at Salton Sea, or attend the annual Coachella Music Festival in Indio. Make sure to stop off at the giant dinosaurs in Cabazon, made famous by Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
Just over 40 miles south of the Pomona College campus are the well-known Orange County beaches, from Laguna to Newport to Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City. Another hour's drive brings you to the city of San Diego, with its perfect coastal climate, theme parks and multiple museums housed in beautiful Balboa Park. Just a few miles further on is the Mexican border, gateway to all of Latin America.
About 35 miles west of Pomona by car or train is one of the world’s greatest and most culturally diverse metropolitan areas. The City of Los Angeles is not only the center of the entertainment business, but also home to great museums and ethnic eateries, arts districts and professional sports teams. From Little Tokyo to Hollywood, there's always something new to explore. A bit further west, you’ll find the beautiful and interesting beaches of Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice. It’s also a prime location for internship opportunities.
To learn more about local recreation and learning opportunities—from sports teams and theatre to museums and beaches—visit our Campus and Beyond page.