Top 8 Hiking And Trekking Spots In Pasadena, California - Updated 2024

hiking in pasadena
Ryan Joshua
Ryan Joshua 
| 4 min read

The quaint city of Pasadena in California is surrounded by lush forests and natural attractions. Apart from hotels with pools in Pasadena, there are lots of different accommodations in the city. You can book an Airbnb vacation rental in Pasadena or other vacation rentals that would suit your taste. Furthermore, the city is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains, making it the perfect place to start your hikes and walks. As you hike and walk through the mountains of Pasadena, you will be amazed at the sparkling swimming holes, ancient ruins, and breathtaking lookout views of Pasadena and other nearby cities. You can also see the flourishing wildlife and flora and fauna of California during your hike. You deserve to take a break from all those work and enjoy the beauty of nature all by yourself by adding the best hiking and trekking spots in Pasadena, California, to your list.

1. Lower Arroyo Park

Lower Arroyo Seco Park, Pasadena, California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user TheCatalyst31 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You don’t have to travel far just for a hike as this trail can be found right at the heart of the city. The Lower Arroyo Nature Park in Pasadena is located at the southern tip of Colorado Street Bridge near the border of South Pasadena. It has a total land area of 150 acres (60.70 hectares) and features a fly-casting pond and an archery range. It is truly perfect for nature lovers and also the perfect place to walk or jog with your dog. You will surely fall in love with the natural and rustic setting of the park that is lined up with oaks, sycamores, maples and white alders which also gives shade to everyone. This is a perfect place to take a relaxing tour in Pasadena.

Lower Arroyo Park

Address: Pasadena, CA 91105, United States

Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)

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2. Hahamongna Watershed Park

Hahamongna Watershed Park, Altadena, Pasadena area, Los Angeles, California 06
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Levi Clancy used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located between Angeles National Park and Devil’s Gate Dam in Pasadena lies the 1,300-acre (5.26-square kilometer) wide Hahamongna Watershed Park. It also serves as the stream drainage of Arroyo Seco while it departs the San Gabriel Mountains and flows through Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Highland Park down to the Los Angeles River. It is originally where Hahamongna established a settlement. It is a vast open space that offers spectacular views of the San Gabriel Mountains and has five unique habitat zones for an even enjoyable hike. On your way here, you can stop by some restaurants in Pasadena to have a meal.

Hahamongna Watershed Park

Address: 4550 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

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3. Henninger Trailhead

Editor’s Note: Hiking area is permanently closed

Another great hiking and walking trail along the San Gabriel Mountains is Henninger Trailhead. It is one of the newest trail camps in the area that is set in a very picturesque and calming location lined with pine trees. Nature lovers will also be amazed by the tree nursery that is operated by Los Angeles County Fire Department. Henninger Trailhead is located on a landing above the steep slopes of the mountain, offering hikers a shaded area with breathtaking views of San Gabriel Valley’s east end. You will wish there is a cozy cafe nearby, so you can enjoy the view with a cup of coffee.

Henninger Trailhead

Address: 2202-2248 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, United States

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4. Eaton Canyon Nature Center

31 The Highest Place I Reached That Day. No Time To Go Further.
Source: Photo by Flickr user The Fun Chronicles used under CC0

Are you done with visiting art museums in Pasadena? Try another activity that would bring out the adventurous side in you. Visit this 190-acre (76.89-hectare) zoological, botanical, and geological nature preserve located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. The hiking trails can be easily accessed from the nature center. There are a lot of hiking trails in the area, two of which are Eaton Canyon Falls Trail where it is cooler and ends up with a wading pool and a waterfall for you to relax after a tiring day of hiking. The other path is Lower Falls Trail, where you end up in an area that is very family-friendly.

Eaton Canyon Nature Center

Address: 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, United States

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

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5. Walnut Canyon Trailhead

Mount Wilson Trail
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Crishazzard used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another great hiking trail in Pasadena is Walnut Canyon Trailhead. It is an equestrian trail that is known to everyone because of its steep, narrow, dusty, shadeless and winding path. Just continue the path of the hiking trail and you will end up at Henninger Flats and Mount Wilson. The Walnut Canyon is currently undergoing development to make your hiking experience in the area even better and more enjoyable.

Walnut Canyon Trailhead

Address: Pasadena, CA 91107, United States

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6. Brookside Park

Brookside Park, Rose Bowl in background, Pasadena, California
Source: Photo by Flickr user Boston Public Lib... used under CC BY 2.0

Brookside Park is a 62-acre (25.09-hectare) park located at the southern end of Arroyo Seco. The park provides plenty of lush, open spaces to run, walk, jog and play. There’s also a fitness trail around the park, although you can do your routines anywhere you like. Aside from that, there is also a multipurpose sports field, a pirate-themed playground, a golf course, an aquatic center, and Kidspace Children’s Museum inside the park premises. On the way home, fill your stomach with a delicious meal from rooftop restaurants nearby.

Brookside Park

Address: 360 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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Nearby hiking spots

7. The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail

Eagle Rock Canyon Trail Trailhead
Source: Photo by Flickr user Andy Walker used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Get to see amazing views of the Santa Monica Mountains as you hike through Eagle Rock Canyon Trail. This well-maintained trail in Topanga State Park offers a perfect trail to everyone, especially those that hike in groups. The Eagle Rock Canyon itself is a one-of-a-kind natural formation that provides a breathtaking view of the whole Santa Monica. You can even see Catalina Islands and Palos Verdes Peninsula during a clear, sunny day. Wildlife also teems around the trail, so don’t be surprised if you catch sight of one during your hike.

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail

Address: 5499 Eagle Rock View Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90041, United States

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8. El Prieto Canyon Trail

Gabrielino Trail, Altadena, Pasadena area, California 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Levi Clancy used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in Altadena is the fine El Prieto Canyon Trail. It is a very enjoyable loop that offers a great hiking experience and great views and establishes a feeling of isolation. In fact, it is perfect for a half-day adventure for families. It can also be a training hike if you are an athlete or a fitness enthusiast. Along the trail are big oak trees that provide shade as you hike, jog, run or walk. There’s also a lot of pit and rest stops along the trail. There is even a picnic area where you can have longer water or food breaks.

El Prieto Canyon Trail

Address: Altadena, CA 91001, USA

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Go hike and explore the natural beauty of Pasadena

With the business and hecticness of life in the city of Pasadena, you would surely love to go out once in a while and practice hiking or running through the picturesque nature trails around the city. People from nearby Altadena and Los Angeles are also welcome to the city for a hike and its multitude of activities. So, tie your hiking shoes, get ready, and hike these amazing trails in Pasadena, California, USA.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Ryan is a Computer Engineer with a heart for traveling and writing. Born in Pasay City, Philippines, and raised in Melbourne, Australia, he is now based in the Philippines' City of Smiles, Bacolod...Read more

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