Features: Birding — River/Creek — Waterfall — Wildflowers
Many rough sections. Trail closed for a few miles between the debris dam and near Switzer Camp.
From near JPL (on Windsor Ave.), 1.25 miles of paved trail leads to another ~3 miles of nice dirt single and doubletrack following the Arroyo Secco, with only a modest vertical gain. At this point the trail used to leave the stream to go above a debris dam (nice waterfall), but the Forest Service has closed the trail beyond this point. Nonetheless, the 8 mile out and back is an excellent, accessible run.
The trail can be accessed again at Switzer Camp on Hwy 2. From here, the Arroyo Secco stream can be followed west, towards JPL, but after about a mile you reach the closed section of trail. Headed east parallels Hwy 2 to Red Box. This section is OK, but better as a connector than a destination run (e.g., for a loop around Strawberry Peak).
East from Redbox the trail runs above the West Fork of the San Gabriel River through shaded, mostly downhill terrain. It is possible to loop back on the other side of the river along a fire road, making a nice 6-10 mile loop. Alternatively, a few trails lead up the north side of Mt. Wilson.
This section is still recovering from fires and has many stream crossings. From Newcomb Pass, enjoy the first thousand-foot descent to Devore Campground when a gradual climb begins again. This nearly 7-mile climb approaches Red Box Gap between San Gabriel Peak and Mt. Lawlor. A number of different trails can be accessed from this point.
After meeting with the Mt. Zion Trail
at Strutevant Camp, the trail follows the Santa Anita along a fast section past the popular Sturtevant Falls
, reaching Chantry Flats and the end of the trail.
Starting from Chantry Flats, this trail offers a number of nice loops with surrounding trails.
Lots of plants, birds, deer, coyotes.