El Prieto Canyon - La Canada Trailhead - #ElPrietoCanyon
El Prieto Canyon - La Canada - Los Angeles County - #ElPrietoCanyon
From the 210 freeway take the Windsor exit and head north. When the road takes a turn to the right, and just before the entrance to JPL, park in the small lot on the left.
Same access as Brown Mtn. Exit Arroyo/Windsor off the 210, go north about 1/2 mile, the road curves right, at the curve park in the lot on the left. From the parking lot, ride your bike north toward the gated road, continue on the asphalt/dirt until you get to the fork, go right about 100 yards El Prieto begins! If you're feeling strong, ride this UP! or continue left up the fire road to the saddle, go right/down hill about 3/4 mile. Look to your right and take this down (as most do)watch out for poison oak, it's everywhere! This trail is in great shape! Thomas Guide page Thomas Guide page 535 F5
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Trail Conditions
Latest On El P. - El Prieto is in the best condition it has been in since the Station Fire. However, there may be a hiking group making noises about petitioning the Forest Service to restrict mountain bikers on this trail because they do not give hikers right of way "and are rude".
The Forest Service knows that if it were not for many hundreds of hours of trail work by mountain bikers after the fire, this trail would not be open and they also know that it is mainly mountain bikers who maintain the trail, so any hiking group will have an uphill battle convincing them. (A perfect example of why all mountain bikers must volunteer to do trail work!)
However, hikers do have the right of way and there is no reason to be rude to them. Grant them right of way and be nice so that the Forest Service has no reason to even consider any such proposition.
Banner Moffat a 56 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Superfly 100 from La Crescenta
Posted on 04/07/12 Alert moderators of this post
ahhh, sweet prieto... - you're back. dusty as hell, but back. big thanks to all the trail workers.
Posted on 07/26/11 Alert moderators of this post
Back in Action - It's great to be riding here again. As other riders (writers) have posted, the dynamics of the trail have changed but it's still just as fun. The climb up Brown has turned from fire road to single track, so if you are coming back down that way you must excersice much caution because visibility is not as good as it once was. It'll be great if/when the climb to the Burton trailhead opens up again.
gojmoney a 40 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a DB V-Link from Altadena
Posted on 07/24/11 Alert moderators of this post
different but fun - when up via Brown. Sure needs some cut back. If coming down Brown watch the speed because it might be hard to see bikers/hikers/horses on the trail. El Prieto is rideable. Thanks to everyone whose invested time in bringing back the flow.
Posted on 07/11/11 Alert moderators of this post
This was the 1st ride since the fires and darn has the trail change. I did not even recognize the 1st part of the trail. I really miss the flow that the trail used to have. Over all it was not that bad. I only had to get off my bike only once during the ride. I'm sure the trail will come back with time.
a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek from San Gab's
Posted on 06/21/11 Alert moderators of this post
STILL A BLAST!-Yes, Blackie is not the same as it used to be. Still, the trial is fun to ride and so beautiful this time of year. COBRA and its volunteers, Banner and his volunteers and anyone else who volunteered their time did a great job bringing this trial back to life!
mtb geek a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a 2008 Giant Trance x2 from Los Angeles, CA
Posted on 06/17/11 Alert moderators of this post
Looking Better - Just went up today, the third time since it re-opened. It's looking better each time; an obvious work in progress. The nearly impossible drop off at the beginning has been turned into a smooth switch-back. There is really only one spot left that is completely unrideable because the trail is completely washed out. As for the conditions of the old fire trail, in my opinion, the ride down from the saddle has never been more fun!
Gary Walker a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc from Montrose, CA E-mail:this user
Posted on 06/07/11 Alert moderators of this post
Poison Oak Everywhere - Just make sure that you are somewhat covered up or just have a bucket of Technu ready after the ride. Poison oak is flourishing in the canyon. It's pretty unavoidable. Conditions are truely not that bad. You just need to use some common sense on what's really rideable. There is definately 1 hike a bike section on the trail. Enjoy and be safe!
a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Yeti ARC Hardtail from OC
Posted on 06/05/11 Alert moderators of this post
It's not that bad - The first run was a little freightning, but on the next approach with the seat lowered all the way down, it was just as fun as it's every been, just a greater penelty for failure. Check the go pro. Long travel shocks help (I'm running 203mm)
zburdz a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a IBEX
Posted on 06/05/11 Alert moderators of this post

It will NEVER be the same - Wow this trail has change so much . It is nothing like it it use to be. Which is a big disappointment. Brown is now single track and dangerous hikers and bikers.. El prieto has some very big sections that are very dangerous and are barely a foot wide (very sketchy). there is still alot of debris & tree obstructions This trail needs alot of work to be anything like it use to be. It is just so different. almost all of the old trails are gone. There is no flow to the trail anymore.

I will be up there for some trail work also. The trail will improve in due time.

Trek Special a Weekend Warrior
Posted on 06/01/11 Alert moderators of this post

Current Conditions - This trail is definitely open (confirmed by Forest Service). It is fun to ride though quite technical and the "fire road" down from the saddle is now equally technical singletrack. There are several hike-a-bikes and some overgrown areas on the trail, but much of it is great fun, especially the lower half. We are working hard to clear up those hike-a-bikes to return some "flow" to the trail (35 man hours on Labor Day weekend alone)and will continue to do so. There are some dangerous cliff edges that need to be re-built also.
Send me an e-mail if you want to help, especially if you are available Fridays. Work will be done some Sunday's too and this Saturday, June 4th is national "Trail Day". We'll be out there!
Banner Moffat a 55 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Superfly 100 from La Crescenta E-mail:this user
Posted on 05/30/11 Alert moderators of this post
El Prieto Canyon Danger! - Rode the loop up Brown Mountain trail and down El Preito yesterday evening. Brown is a mostly single track and El Prieto is just plane sketchy! There are maybe 5 spots where a fall to the wrong side could kill you and the trail is less that a foot wide. Ride with caution!
Zburdz a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a IBEX
Posted on 05/27/11 Alert moderators of this post
I also called the Angeles National Forestry office in Arcadia and I was told that El Prieto was closed. I decided to drive to the parking lot on Windsor and I noticed the closed trail sign posted next to the main gate was gone. I rode my bike to El Prieto and all the closed trail signs are gone. There are now new signs stating to be on the look out for for loose dirt and shrub. I don't know what to believe but it seems that El Prieto is now opened. Oh another thing the closed trail sign was posted at the main gate on Sunday May 15th.

wcmtbr a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast from Burbank, CA
Posted on 05/17/11 Alert moderators of this post
I just called the Angeles National Forestry office in Arcadia. It turns out that El Prieto is not part of the scheduled opening that's happening on Monday 5/16/11. Really...Tread at your own risk!
a 49 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Fuel Trek from South Pasadena, CA
Posted on 05/13/11 Alert moderators of this post
El P opening Monday 5/16/11 - Good news!!! ANF is finally opening about half the area still closed by the Station Fire. Cheack it out at
ajax247 a 56 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a TURNER 5-SPOT from Pasadena CA
Posted on 05/12/11 Alert moderators of this post
El Prieto closed until 6-11 - According to the Forest Service at a big public meeting a couple weeks ago they HOPE to open El Prieto, Brown Mt. Mt. Lowe and Strawberry Peak Memorial Day 2011. Until than you could get a citation so there is risk.
Michael L a 61 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Yeti ASR from Pasadena, Ca.
Posted on 04/19/11 Alert moderators of this post
CLosed or not? - I live near. by why is there so many people on the trail if its closed??? makes no sense are they enforce it that its closed.
riding a trek special
Posted on 04/03/11 Alert moderators of this post
surrounding area - how about the fire roads. Are they closed? ex. brown up to ken burton. Or Brown down to millard up sunset ridge to inspiration. None of these routes are single track.
Posted on 04/01/11 Alert moderators of this post
Don't tell me pal, tell it to post #271!
unigeezer a 55 year old
Posted on 04/01/11 Alert moderators of this post
YuP! - I told you so.
a Downhiller from La Canada
Posted on 04/01/11 Alert moderators of this post
I just called the ranger for this area and he stated quite emphatically, that el prieto is CLOSED!
unigeezer a 55 year old
Posted on 04/01/11 Alert moderators of this post
El P is wide open - Come one, come all. Everyone and anyone is riding it. Saw horses just starting up El P as my group was riding out. Rangers even waved and said hello to us on the way in and out.
Alan Johnson a 41 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Specialized Pitch from Montrose, CA
Posted on 03/27/11 Alert moderators of this post
Is the trail still CLOSED? - I drove by the there this past week and i saw several people coming out of the trail head hikers and bikers.

So i ask is this trail really closed?????
a Weekend Warrior riding a trek special
Posted on 03/01/11 Alert moderators of this post

El Prieto is still closed! - El Prieto is still off limits to everyone possibly until the fall. Please do not ruin the trail for everyone else. I definitely do not want a complete closure of the trail to bikes due to BOOTLEG riders!!! Please remember the trail is still off limits to everyone. That means everyone!!!
a 45 year old Racer riding a Nomad from Sierra Madre
Posted on 01/10/11 Alert moderators of this post
El Prieto Destroyed again - Before the december rains, el prieto had been restored very nicely, but i got up there this past weekend and the devestation is back. many of the areas got washed out. The water is now taking a new direction and carving out the hard work of many. Ash, sand and trees have been washed down from upstream. All of this is very impressive. Summer should be a great time to make some serious progress on this trail.

if you want to help
aguero78 a 32 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Prophet
Posted on 01/09/11 Alert moderators of this post

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