05 June 2011

Arroyo Seco

Pasadena Front Country

Locate the trailhead.

Arroyo Seco is open again and the hikethegeek types planned a trip up it, so I joined up with them to see how it is now. The group was quite large, including a few dogs. It took a while for them all to gather and once gathered, they filled the road. Quite a force to be reckoned with. They also weren't moving very fast.

We got to the stream and the water was clear again. Hooray! Once entering the forest, just after the Forest Service buildings as we really enter the canyon, the stream no longer comes all the way to the cliff. Instead it has been pushed back to allow a road worth of gravel for walking on. Some of the group wasn't happy with not getting into the stream and went down to it anyway. Everyone else followed, but I stayed high, I'd walked down there last time and it was enough for me.

The bottom of the canyon is still very clear of any growth, but there have been efforts to restore the crossings, at least in the lower section. After the footbridge where crossings are old fords, there was rarely anything to help nearby, but there often wasn't before. One took a bit of walking to find a suitable crossing point, but soon it is likely that the trail will do that too, or something will be built up closer to the ford.

power lines holding up the poles
A broken power line pole I photographed before. It seems to have sunk far enough to touch the ground now. It still looks very silly.

big stalk of purple flowers
A burst of color from some sort of slightly mugwort looking stuff that apparently will send you into a world of misery for a week or two if you go touching it.


There were once many cabins along the canyon, as along all the canyons too close to LA. With the vegetation so cleared out, a few of the old sites were very clear. The first was across the stream from the first campground, but the rest don't have a good way to place them.

cabin site with stairs
Here we have a nice little place to stay. That's a good, sturdy set of stairs.

cabin site, nice and shady
Another nice little place to stay. The roof is gone, but it's still plenty shady.

lilies in a cabin site
A third nice little place to stay. This one has a collection of nice flowers.

The group decided to turn around before the end, though. They had gotten so close! I decided to continue on and one came along with me. We were moving much faster once the group left, partly because he had a deadline to finish up. Checking the picnic area, it looked about the same. A post was placed at the bottom of the trail up to Oakwild from the picnic ground marking it as closed. It seems people aren't going up there. We continued up.

built 1942
Water coming over the debris dam. That's quite a lot of water.

looking back from the dam
There's a lot of ripped up vegetation leading on down from the dam. It looks a bit like some wicked fortifications.

We headed on back to the start. As slow as the group was, we weren't able to catch up with them.





©2011 Valerie Norton
Posted 9 July 2011
Updated 3 October 2011

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