Arroyo Seco Trail

MODERATE 122 reviews

Arroyo Seco Trail is a 19.1 mile moderately 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.

19.1 miles
2,979 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



4 months ago

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

8 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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. .

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

Friday, July 07, 2017

nice refreshing stream, clean water and very green terrain

Monday, July 03, 2017

Easy hike with lots of shade.

Sunday, April 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. :)

Monday, March 06, 2017

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

Thursday, February 02, 2017

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

Monday, January 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 .

Monday, January 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

Tuesday, December 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.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Monday, June 27, 2016

Mostly shade with crossing of small streams!

Monday, 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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nice walk.

Friday, April 22, 2016

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.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Challenging if you forget to bring water, and some snacks.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

nice... good for bikes as well...definitely will go back. love the river, not so much water but beautiful sound..

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

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.

Monday, December 07, 2015


Saturday, November 28, 2015

fun easy dog hike, lots of stream crossings

Monday, July 27, 2015

Great area

Monday, July 20, 2015

Heavy rain day, but that was fun, this trail has everything. 4 stars.

Monday, March 30, 2015

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.

Monday, November 03, 2014

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 to 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.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Great hike especially if you make it all the way to the waterfall. Dog friendly but watch out for other people with not so friendly dogs off leash. Tons of poison oak during summer so keep to the trail.

mountain biking
Monday, March 31, 2014

I have been mountain biking for a few years now, so I would not call myself a beginner. This trail however was very challenging to me, with lots of rocks and bike pushing. I am a little confused why people would call this a beginner trail for mountain bikers, in my mind beginner would be a trail where I don't have to get off my bike at all. If this is a beginner, what would be hard then? Carrying my bike above head the whole way? Anyways, this was a fun trail for me, I enjoyed it very much, I would just not ever call it beginner. Someone has mentioned the trail has changed because of the storms recently, Im not sure, all I know that I biked 8 miles round-trip and it tired me out. At other "beginner" trails I can easily bike 14-15 miles and I don't get this tired.

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