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Arroyo Seco Trail is a 19.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, California 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.

Distance: 19.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,979 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly




horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips


bike touring

bird watching



partially paved




wild flowers


over grown


13 hours ago

over grown
9 days ago

this trail is perfect for all types of hikers. mainly flat at the beginning but harder as you go! Also it's gorgeous

12 days ago

Some overgrowth and a couple of landslides, but great trail otherwise. Second time I’ve done this part, and it’s much better when there’s water along the route.

7 months ago

Awesomeness great running trail with a. Moderate uphill rolling hills beautiful scenery I absolutely loved it. Will be back this is my new got to run!

10 months ago

The trail was very rocky past 3 miles in.

Sat Jul 06 2019

The trail is actually 29.7 miles long! You'll get a bit of everything. Many stream crossings, lots of ups and downs. Many parts with shade as well as without.

mountain biking
Fri May 17 2019

You should bring a helmet when going down the single track it was the most rewarding thing after having pedaled up the mountain; it is very technical With sharp turns but definitely very fun if your an adrenaline junkie loves bikes and heights. Awesome trail loved it. Conquered.

Mon Jan 28 2019

Amazing hi like my kids

Sat Jan 12 2019

Great trail with lots of wildlife. Have spotted bobcat and coyote and high variety of birds. It’s dog friendly!

Sun Dec 30 2018

Mostly paved, by an unattractive road. Does have an open view that is pretty at sunset, but not great if you want a quick hike in the wilderness. Fine for a leisurely walk though.

Sun Oct 28 2018

my happy place

Sun Apr 29 2018

So far is one of my favorite hiking trails around LA, great views, nice walk, birds, people,dogs, little lizards, squirrels, picnics areas, camping places so good, and the arroyo is not dry at all

Mon Jan 22 2018

01.22.18 We did ~12 miles total of the Arroyo Seco. It was a little boring scenery-wise but our hiking group was fun. Started at the first parking lot and hiked a rocky dirt road to another parking lot. We continued through that lot onto a trail with very small stream crossings. This 2nd trail had old grandmas walking with canes and a guy wearing a crispy white hat with nary a dirt speckle on it. I would rank this part of the trail as very easy. We turned around at a sign reading Switzer Falls 1.5 miles.

Sat Jan 13 2018

This trail needs to be closed to mtn bikes Riders are not staying on the trail causing bad erosion Riders are not yielding right of way to pedestrians or equestrians Save the arroyo Ban the bike

Mon Oct 30 2017

We went there this Sunday morning to hike the shady trails. There were a lot of mountain bikers out. We were warned to beware of the fast moving mountain bikers that race down that shady portion of the trail. Beware - A section of that path is very narrow and having a cyclist and pedestrian there at the same time is trouble. We turned back and headed up another path. Of course that was the sunny side. No big deal though. The views are beautiful and it’s always better to be outdoors enjoying nature.

Sun Oct 22 2017

Landed on this trail due to the closures of several Pasadena hikes today. We hiked the first 3.5 Miles, then headed back (which seemed to be a common turnaround for many). The trail actually extends 10 Miles to the Switzer Falls area. The first half mile is less than beautiful due to the proximity of JPL, but after that, you dip into the wilderness for what is a gorgeous, shaded, very EASY hike (more like a walk in the woods) that offers several stream crossings, wooded areas, and looming canyon walls. The air was at least 10 degrees cooler in the canyon, which was very refreshing. There are a few campgrounds along the way. This hike is good for most skill levels, is suitable for dogs, bikes and joggers,. The trail is a mix of single track and walk-and-talk. .

Sat Aug 19 2017

I loved listening to the water stream while we hiked, so relaxing.

Fri Jul 07 2017

nice refreshing stream, clean water and very green terrain

Mon Jul 03 2017

Easy hike with lots of shade.

Sun Apr 02 2017

The first 2 miles are not very nice and very crowded. Stick with it, the trail becomes lovely after that. Loved crisscrossing the creek. Be prepared for wet feet. :)

Mon Mar 06 2017

One of my favorite trails. There is so much to explore here and great for beginners!

Thu Feb 16 2017

Amazing hike with great views. Much easier than anticipated.

Thu Feb 02 2017

Fun and dog friendly. Good water flow in Creek right now Jan 29, 2017

Mon Jan 30 2017

it is hard to find shaded trails in southern California. this is one of them. Be prepared to cross streams with water. A great trail to experience wilderness within 2 miles of starting on this trail. limited parking near trailhead but plenty on the street. if hiking with kids, consider doing a short distance. many picnic benches on the route .

Mon Jan 23 2017

My family and I did about 2 miles of this, ages 8 & 9 and grandmother. Easy walk by a stream, however, we went after the rain and it was like a river. The river actually made it impossible to pass at the 2 mile mark without getting wet up your knees. So we turned around. Can't wait to come back

Tue Dec 27 2016

My 4 kids and I went up with our mountain bikes and had a blast. Definitely loved the terrain. Water streams strong and high thanks to all the rain. So be ready to get wet and push through.

Thu Nov 24 2016


Mon Jun 27 2016

Mostly shade with crossing of small streams!

Mon May 30 2016

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.

Mon Apr 25 2016

Nice walk.

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