El Prieto

One of the most popular loops up into the mountains for Los Angeles-area mountain bikers.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
13 km
Ascent
431 m
Descent
431 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
348 m
High Point
731 m
Gradient
El Prieto Map

The El Prieto trail is a true gem for Los Angeles-area mountain bikers. Where many trails in the mountains just outside of LA are extremely steep and nearly unrideable, the pedal up Fern Truck Trail to access the top of El Prieto is steep, yes, but achievable. This creates an absolute gem of a lariat route when looped with the El Prieto descent that can be ridden from the Altadena area.

Description

While the ease of access helps boost El Prieto's popularity, unlike some routes in the area the quality of the singletrack lives up to the hype! The El Prieto trail itself drops into an uncharacteristically lush valley, following and crossing a stream that runs out of the mountains and into the city.

Small dams along the way block up the stream, providing interesting trail features, and small rock gardens and drops punctuate the flowy swoop of the singletrack.

The delectable descent is over all too soon, and it's back to the car... unless you decide to just keep riding laps of this absolutely excellent little trail!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area