Gabrielino Trail: Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the USFS Dam

MODERATE 7 reviews

Gabrielino Trail: Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the USFS Dam is a 8.4 mile out and back trail located near Pasadena, California that features a great forest setting. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.4 miles
620 feet
Out & Back



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips



17 days ago

This trail has a little bit of everything. I didn't go all the way out - about 5.5 miles out before heading back - but I am really, really glad I did this hike. The terrain goes from paved to tamped dirt to loose, deep, silty sand, to very rocky, to very wet. I am definitely glad I wore my Danners because they kept my feet dry even when my feet were partially submerged. A few of the stream crossings were no biggie - logs the whole way across. But this time of year even the crossings which only have large rocks to step across on are pretty tame. I went out early - started right before sunrise - so most of the hikers/bikers/dogs I saw were encountered on the way back. Lots of runners, also. If you hit this trail before 7 you will have a pretty quiet time.
There are several campgrounds & picnic areas along the way. The second campground (the first one within the bounds of the Natl. Forest land) seems to be in need of more frequent visits by the rangers. The dumpsters were overflowing with trash, which doesn't seem very good for the wildlife, and it's an eyesore to boot. I would say this is an easy walk for the first 5 miles or so, save for the streams. This trail doesn't become truly moderate until the first incline.
I will be back next weekend with my stepson. The first few miles are great for even little kids!

25 days ago

We hiked this trail all the way to the dam. Took us about 3 1/2 hours with no stops. It was a great trail. Stream water was low but still high enough to have to jump on rocks to get across. Eventually shoes just end up getting wet. Recommend bringing an extra set of shoes and socks to have in the car when you get back. Lots of bikers, runners. People hiking and dogs. Most off leash but it was fine. Trail was moderately busy until the camp. Looks like most people don’t continue after the camp to the remaining 2 miles to the dam. There’s a bathroom half way at the camp if you need it. Overall it was a great hike.

trail running
1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail, and great for trail running, as it’s a gradual climb, and then a quick return downhill. Plenty of people, but not too many on a Sunday morning to make it crowded. Be sure to hit it before the rainy season, because you cross the creek about ten times and if the water was any higher you wouldn’t get very far! This is also one way to get to a couple of camping spots that looked nice, under the trees and near the creek. The only reason I wouldn’t give this 5 stars is because there’s no view.

18 days ago

21 days ago

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3 months ago