Location: Arroyo Seco Trail, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
Features: hiking, biking, walking, dog friendly
About the Arroyo Seco Trail in Los Angeles
The Arroyo Seco trail in souther California offers a wonderful array of experiences for walkers and hikers. From the get-away-from-it-all ruggedness of the mountain watershed to gritty urban adventures alongside freeways, there is a rich variety of experiences to be had.
The Arroyo Seco trail begins at Red Box near Mount Wilson near the San Gabriel Mountains and continues through the steep mountain canyons for about eleven miles until it enters the more densely populated region of Southern California at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Arroyo Seco stream, situated south of Devil’s Gate Dam, proceeds for eleven miles mostly through Pasadena, via South Pasadena and Northeast Los Angeles to the confluence with the Los Angeles River near Elysian Park, Chinatown and downtown Los Angeles.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks For Arroyo Seco Trail
1) Best Time to Visit Is Early In The Morning
If you are hiking, especially in the summer, I like to hike this one early, around 6 am. The first 3-5 miles are moderately trafficked by mountain bikers, more so in the early morning. The trail, at least the early portions are heavily trafficked towards the late morning/afternoon pretty much year round. When you get to Paul Little you can take a right which will keep you on the path toward Switzer Falls. Also, if you don’t like using nature as your toilet, there are bathrooms at the Gould Mesa campground a few miles into the hiking trail.
2) Wear Proper Clothing
This is great trail, especially if you’re training for a longer hike or just enjoy long distance hikes. The trail is fairly shaded for the first 3 miles and the final 2 miles but in between is a bit more exposed for the most part. The miles in the middle of the trail are much less trafficked, so many parts tend to overgrow by mid summer. If you lose sight of the trail when you get to the dry creek bed, just follow the creek bed and you’ll find the trail again. The trail is mostly flat with a solid push at the end. Beautiful hike but warm in the summer.
There was poison oak, last time we went, so long hiking pants, or at the very least long socks are highly recommended. Also, the summer can get quite hot here, so an authentic shemagh is a must to protect from the sun, and absorb some sweat.
3) Equally Loved By Mountain Bikers and Hikers
Something I noticed, was that for every hiker, I saw a mountain biker. The bikers here were super friendly, always said hello, and shared the trail. It was good vibes all day. The trail is also has an abundance of wildlife. We spotted a bobcat, coyote and a hawk catch a snake all in a single hike.