Arroyo Seco Trail is a 20 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Mostly shade with crossing of small streams!
The description above states that this is a 20 mile moderate hike. However, the group I went with today took the cutoff to Paul Little camp ground and the trail ended at a man made dam/waterfall, which is less than half that distance round trip, and it is an easy fairly level trail.
After years of being a couch potato, I started hiking again only about a month ago, and have bad knees and bad back, so the group pace was a bit fast for me. The furthest I had gone previously was 5 miles, so I thought the touted 7 mile round trip would be a sizable jump for me. However, it turned out that from my car in the middle of the lot till I got back to it exactly 4 hours later is, according to my pedometer app, 9.7 miles, which was a huge jump for me. Granted that towards the end my steps were probably getting a bit shorter, but I still guesstimate that the distance was probably between 9 and 9.5 miles. Probably closer to 9.5. I figure that I was at least 20 minutes behind the group, since I got a text about 15 minutes before I got to the car, from one of my carpoolers that they were taking Uber.
I highly recommend this trail for beginning hikers and those like me who have injuries. I also recommend that they go at their own pace rather than trying to keep up with a group of people, unless that group consists of equally slow hikers. I wish I could find a group like that.
Rocky in places, but so beautiful. It was so refreshing to see, hear, & smell the wetness of the streams. Glad I brought water for my husband, myself & for the dogs. Dogs love the hike. We are in our 70's & felt it was mostly an easy hike. We go usually on the week days. Much less crowded.
Challenging if you forget to bring water, and some snacks.
nice... good for bikes as well...definitely will go back. love the river, not so much water but beautiful sound..
Cool hike that I didn't find to be too crowded. my son enjoyed it, and the scenery changed enough that it was diverse enough. We actually backpacked into Golden Mesa, setup there and hiked to the "waterfall". it was pretty nasty... the kids all ran under it, but it looked like it was just a runoff and the whole cement wall was covered in algae.
Not very scenic, and as a hiker you have to be very alert and aware of bikers coming fast down this narrow, windy trail. I probably wouldn't do this one again.
fun easy dog hike, lots of stream crossings
Heavy rain day, but that was fun, this trail has everything. 4 stars.
I did the arroyo seco hike in Altadena on 3/29/15. I didn't begin from the trailhead at Windsor and Ventura st because it was already late in the afternoon and I didn't want to run out of daylight. So I took a small shortcut and started further north of the trailhead at Altadena dr. around 5pm. At first you start on a very wide paved road and JPL is on your left. But soon the asphalt ends at it begins to feel like you're leaving the city behind and entering the wilderness. This trail has a very slight incline throughout so it's perfect for beginners. There are three campgrounds along the route, a few bridges, several stream crossings and a waterfall at the end of the trail. The waterfall is not natural, it is man made. I would still recommend that you hike to the waterfall for pictures and for the sense of accomplishment. All in all it is a beautiful trail that is close to the city and merits a visit. I gave it 4 stars out of 5 because it lacks views of the city and because of it's slight elevation gain.
I did this hike yesterday 11/1/2014, although I was drunk the night before and woke up with a hangover. The hike is very easy so I would suggest to go all the way to the end , the waterfall, in order to make it challenging. It's around 9 miles going and coming back, and should take 3 to 4 hours in case you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery , take photos or watch the amazing wood peckers and other birds. The trail offers beautiful scenery and has no inclination. The waterfall is a bit disappointing as it is water sliding over a large cement wall and not a natural waterfall, I will post it's image , but the trails is worth it. One strange point is that this is the only trail In all of san Gabriel (I have even climbed mount Whitney and never found such hikers) where I passed by other hikers and they don't say hi or even reply to yours.