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Arroyo Seco

Intermediate
 4.2 (17) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A scenic, shady trail following Arroyo Seco to the Brown Mountain Barrier Dam.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

Out and Back

1,657' 505 m

High

1,156' 352 m

Low

541' 165 m

Up

542' 165 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This out and back is pretty flat and pretty fun. After a bit more than 4 miles and a number of stream crossings, you reach the Brown Mountain Barrier Dam, which often has a waterfall running down it. Head back the way you came and enjoy the gentle downhill.

Need to Know

Many creek crossing that get a bit tricky after rain, but not dangerous.

Description

Park in the parking lot on Windsor Avenue, on the east side of JPL. The trail will start out paved but after about a mile, the tread becomes dirt. Eventually the way becomes rocky, with many stream crossings.

After about 4 miles the trail ends at a debris dam which often has a decent waterfall. This makes an excellent place to stop for a break, and enjoy the scenery! The trail used to continue on the east side of the canyon past the dam and went up to Switzer Falls, but there is a section that is now closed. Recently the trail closed sign has been removed and the trail may be open up to the junction with the Ken Burton trail.

Overall, there's not too much elevation gain and the trail feels fairly remote.

Contacts

Shared By:

Justin Jasper with improvements by Rob P

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 17 votes

#1

in Pasadena

#945

Overall
  4.2 from 17 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
65%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Pasadena

#155

in California

#945

Overall
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14,117 Since Dec 15, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

It's all about balance...
Mar 13, 2019 near La Caña…, CA
Lots of water after the rain!
Mar 13, 2019 near La Caña…, CA
Arroyo Seco
Mar 13, 2019 near La Caña…, CA
Beautiful canopy on the Gabrielino Trail heading towards the Arroyo.
Mar 13, 2019 near La Caña…, CA
Intersection of Gabrielleno Trail (straight) and Fern Truck Trail/El Prieto (right).
Dec 18, 2015 near La Caña…, CA

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Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2021
Elizabeth Rios
It's closed due to extreme risk of fire
Jun 24, 2021
Adrian Alarcon
8.3mi
Jan 30, 2021
Elizabeth Rios
Dec 27, 2020
Amy Hartman
Great hike, good for late afternoon into evening. 8.3mi — 3h 30m
Jul 2, 2020
Michael Vu
Jan 10, 2020
Nick Petito
Dec 24, 2019
Cassie Rivkin
Jun 23, 2019
Braxton S
Fairly flat, fun river crossings, lots of shade. Started climbing the mountain switchback trails but turned around due to wasp nest 9.6mi — 5h 00m