1.6 miles
Distance
9 ft
Climb
-726 ft
Descent
00:15:06
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of El Prieto Trail

  • USFS
    Land Manager

El Prieto Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
  • Riding Area
    Brown Mountain
    Altadena, California
  • AKA
    El Prieto
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Voted Difficulty
    Black Diamond (6 votes)
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Moderate
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • Season
    Jan - Dec
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Drop, Rock Garden, Skinny
  • Global Ranking
    #1294 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • #7970 in Trail Running
    • #32965 in Hiking
  • Local Popularity
    100 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 100 in Trail Running
    • 85 in Hiking
    • 5 in Horseback

El Prieto is definitely one of the best single track experiences in Southern California. Extreme exposure, tight switch backs, fun turns, stream crossings, and rock gardens all within a ~2 mile descent through a oak lined canyon. This is classic mountain biking with a challenge for everyone.

Beginning riders may walk many of the technical sections but the trail is definitely rideable from beginning to end by experienced riders. Beware of poison oak along this trail as its pretty much around all year.

El Prieto is generally accessed by climbing up Brown Mountain to the first saddle and then descending the Fern Truck Trail to the upper El Prieto entrance. As you ascend Brown, you will see the downhill exit of El Prieto at the log. Do be aware that plenty of hikers visit El Prieto and using a bell is highly advised, especially on weekends.

Access Info

Park at the parking lot overlooking JPL or in the upper neighborhoods if you’re leery of your car getting broken into during less crowded hours.

Local Trail Association
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for El Prieto Trail bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -717 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,301 ft
  • Altitude max
    2,018 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,018 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,302 ft
  • Grade
    -8.7%
  • Grade max
    -42.8%
  • Grade min
    4.9%
  • Distance climb
    266 ft
  • Distance down
    1 mile
  • Distance flat
    489 ft
  • Avg time
    00:15:06
  • Avg reverse time
    00:46:00
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Jul 3, 2022
Dry
Avg: 4.55 (32 votes)
Your vote: 0

view (8,359)
close
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
inches

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
Trails are shown in grey.
disable
Only show trails with NO bikes.
enable

Save the current map location and zoom level as your default home location whenever this page is loaded.

Save
      Directions to el-prieto-trail trailhead (34.220300, -118.155160)
      update trails status or condition

      El Prieto Trail Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Jul 3, 2022 @ 6:28pm
      13 hours
      MWBA cleaned the down tree after the first switchback after the berms.
      Jul 3, 2022 @ 6:26pm
      13 hours
      MWBA cleaned up the down tree that was after the first switchback after the berms.
      Jul 1, 2022 @ 3:59pm
      3 days
      Tree down about halfway down the trail that needs to be cleared.
      Jun 25, 2022 @ 7:36am
      Jun 25, 2022
      Trail is a bit rutted in the upper section but still fun. Lots of hikers/bikers, a bell helps going both directions.
      May 22, 2022 @ 6:03am
      May 22, 2022
      No issues, saw poison oak scattered throughout trail. Hikers early Sunday morning so use bell
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 31 rides
      • 11 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 1,166 rides
      • 11 miles avg distance
      All
      • 7,609 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      42 |
      Apr 9, 2022 @ 11:51pm
      Apr 9, 2022
      61 |
      Dec 16, 2021 @ 2:44pm
      Dec 16, 2021
      101 |
      Aug 2, 2021 @ 10:56pm
      Aug 2, 2021
      99 |
      Aug 2, 2021 @ 10:56pm
      Aug 2, 2021

      Trail Lists

      Routes with this trail

      more »
      titledistance
      El Prieto6 miles
      Mt Lowe, Sam Merril, sunset, EP13 miles
      El Prieto Loop5 miles
      Mt. Wilson Mega25 miles

      8 Reviews & Comments

      • + 1
      llindsey (Nov 4, 2017 at 7:27)
       Rode El P 4 times last weekend and was terrific. Parts of lower trail are were sandy due to lack of moisture. Enjoy.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      lco007 (Aug 1, 2019 at 9:40)
       August 1,2019

      Trail has somewhat been cleared from overgrowth

      Still dry and a lot of patches of sand

      ebikes enforcement nonexistent
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      Dogl0rd (Jun 25, 2020 at 21:03)
       Friggin great trail.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      cogsci (Mar 8, 2021 at 10:50)
       LA County has closed access to Eaton Canyon which has lead a large influx of hikers to these trails. Make sure to bring bell.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      thechrisfr (Apr 26, 2021 at 17:36)
       Very technical trail but a lot of fun!
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      benjamin-s (Dec 6, 2021 at 13:31)
       The trail description says that beginners can walk some spots, and although that is true, would say this trail is definitely not for beginners.
      [Reply]
      • + 1
      mhogan1 (Dec 12, 2021 at 14:42)
       Feeling nice after the rain a few days ago
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      6daysofslay (May 4, 2022 at 14:55)
       One of the more fun trails in the area definitely down hill only. Would not ride up it.
      [Reply]





      Videos

      more »
      youtuber El Prieto Trail - Mt. Wilson - Altadena, CA
      10:25 | 1134 | Oct 8, 2018 , Altadena
      El Prieto - 07.28.21
      13:24 | 137 | Dec 12, 2021 , Altadena
      youtuber Los Angeles pt3 : MTB Trail Ride
      9:52 | 85 | Nov 3, 2021 , Altadena
      MT. WILSON  Altadena - Old Mt. Lowe Railroad...
      6:16 | 81 | Jul 25, 2021 , Altadena
      • subscribe
      • flag
      • login to download gpx or kml files.