1.6 miles
Distance
177 ft
Climb
-915 ft
Descent
00:15:30
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of El Prieto Trail

  • USFS
    Land Manager

  • Alex

    since 2018
    Maintainer

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 (5 votes)
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • 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
    #875 in Mountain Biking
  • 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
    -738 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,294 ft
  • Altitude max
    2,032 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,032 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,294 ft
  • Grade max
    -48.772%
  • Grade min
    20.06%
  • Distance climb
    2,254 ft
  • Distance down
    1 mile
  • Distance flat
    318 ft
  • Avg time
    00:15:30
  • Avg reverse time
    00:36:38
  • view trail stats
Status:
on May 23, 2021
Ideal
Avg: 4.65 (28 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail 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%
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
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Radar Time
      Directions to el-prieto-trail trailhead (34.220300, -118.155160)
      update trails status or condition

      El Prieto Trail Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      May 23, 2021 @ 10:39am
      May 23, 2021
      Apr 25, 2021 @ 9:19pm
      Apr 25, 2021
      Apr 14, 2021 @ 1:08pm
      Apr 14, 2021
      Mar 21, 2021 @ 10:47am
      Mar 21, 2021
      The recent rains didn't have a major impact on the trail. A few puddles here and there. Chunky!
      Feb 13, 2021 @ 12:32pm
      Feb 13, 2021
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 57 rides
      • 11 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 1,167 rides
      • 12 miles avg distance
      All
      • 3,865 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      71 |
      Jul 10, 2020 @ 8:03pm
      Jul 10, 2020
      71 |
      Jun 1, 2020 @ 4:11pm
      Jun 1, 2020
      67 |
      Jun 1, 2020 @ 4:11pm
      Jun 1, 2020
      108 |
      May 17, 2020 @ 9:05pm
      May 17, 2020

      Trail Lists

      Routes with this trail

      more »
      titleratingdistance
      El Prieto
      6 miles
      Mt. Wilson shuttle
      14 miles
      Mt Lowe, Sam Merril, sunset, EP
      13 miles
      El Prieto Loop
      5 miles

      5 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]

      Post a Comment



      Videos

      more »
      youtuber El Prieto Trail - Mt. Wilson - Altadena, CA
      10:25 | 869 | Oct 8, 2018 , Altadena
      Brown Mountain To El Prieto Trail.
      23:17 | 29 | Apr 15, 2021 , Altadena
      Sunset Ridge to El Prieto downhill on a hardtail
      34:20 | 75 | Jan 28, 2021 , Altadena
      Brown Mountain - El Prieto Trail Guide
      12:02 | 269 | Jul 12, 2020 , Altadena
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