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Recommendation of a good trail in Pasadena?

1325 Views 19 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Funoutside
Hey All,

I'm meeting a friend somewhere in Pasadena in April for a mtn. bike ride. I'm picking Pasadena as it is basically equidistant to where we live (it will be ~1 hour drive for both of us).

I'm an avid mtn biker but my friend has been out of it for a long time. Point of this ride is to reconnect w/ him and hopefully get him jazzed to meet once a month to ride and connect. He hasn't ridden consistently in years but he did buy the Costco Intense full suspension bike a few months back. We're both in our 50's.

Can you recommend a ride in Pasadena that will be worth the drive? In my preliminary search, it seems I've found really easy rides that are ~5 miles and then some really challenging rides that are all up and then down. Ideally, I'd like to select a 10-15 mile ride that is moderate. I feel maybe 1k' of climbing would be bearable to him.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Post on imtbtrails, local to socal and helpful individuals (I'm in OC, so haven't ridden there).
Post on imtbtrails, local to socal and helpful individuals (I'm in OC, so haven't ridden there).
Thank you. Is that a forum here or another site?
You'll have a tough time getting in that kind of mileage with only 1k elevation in that area. Even a mild grade trail like Monroe Truck Trail climbs 1k in 3mi.

Where are you both coming from... perhaps there's a better area to meet?
I'll echo what @EatsDirt said above. Pasadena (and surrounding areas are STEEP). A fun trail would be Cherry Canyon in LaCanada: Cherry Canyon Mountain Bike Trail, La Cañada Flintridge, California its not the longest loop (4.2 miles) buy its only about 750ft of elevation and you could probably do it twice.

Millard Canyon loop is longer (9 miles)and about 1500ft of climbing.. Its also a lot of fun... but go early as there are a TON of hikers and foot traffic... it is pretty cool to get a peek at NASA/JPL's labs from the trail: Millard Canyon Loop Mountain Bike Trail, La Cañada Flintridge, California

Gabrielino Trail is also in the JPL area.... Same issue with foot traffic and the trail being generally busy. but very scenic and not too difficult: Gabrielino Trail: JPL to the USFS Dam Mountain Bike Trail, La Cañada Flintridge, California
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Great stuff everyone, thank you for posting!

Yea, I'm beginning to think that Pasadena isn't an option... My friend lives in Riverside and I live in Thousand Oaks (Ventura County)...
Not helpful for your reconnection. But if you want to get him back in shape, tell him to start putting in miles at Sycamore in Riverside.
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Sounds like you need to find something like Cheseboro... but closer to a midway point. Wish I could help.
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Post on imtbtrails, local to socal and helpful individuals (I'm in OC, so haven't ridden there).
That forum sucks. I made an account, got instantly banned 5 minutes later for "spam" (no idea why, didn't even log in) and wasn't able to contact the admin.

Rip STR
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John G Bonelli Park in San Dimas might be what you’re looking for. I have family in Duarte and have been eyeing that park as a place to take the family if we bring our bikes when we visit (I live in NorCal). Trailforks shows several loops in the 8-10 mile/1000-1400 foot range. It’s only a little further drive for you.
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I have not ridden there, but Marshall Canyon gets good reviews and does not look too technical:
Marshall Canyon Mountain Bike Trail, La Verne, California

Riding up the Gabrieleno Tr from JPL could be mellow, just not on a weekend otherwise it is too crowded

Up Fern Truck and Brown Mtn. Trail to the saddle is a mellow ride if you do it out and back, going down El Prieto is probably too spicy for your friend at this point.
Brown Mountain Mountain Bike Trail, La Cañada Flintridge, California

There are options for chill fire road climbs at Verdugo hills, but might be too boring
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That forum sucks. I made an account, got instantly banned 5 minutes later for "spam" (no idea why, didn't even log in) and wasn't able to contact the admin.

Rip STR
What username did you create? I will contact the site admin.

It is a very small forum.
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Really appreciate all the input here everyone! Very helpful!
Some good advice here. Definitely agree on Cherry Canyon, Gabrielino to the dam and back, and Marshall Canyon as choices that generally fit your criteria. I've added some Strava activity links below. They will probably only work if you have a Strava account and are logged in, otherwise they'll likely just default to my account profile. If you're interested in getting the GPX files to use with the navigation gadget of your choice, please PM me here and we'll figure out a way for me to send them to you.

Flint Canyon to Cherry Canyon from Hahamongna Park:
Shady Trails on a Hot Day | Ride | Strava

Gabrielino to the dam and back from Hahamongna Park:
Arroyo Canyon Hiker Highway | Ride | Strava

Marshall Canyon from Oak Mesa Park:
Super Crowded Marshall Canyon | Ride | Strava

Best of luck getting your friend back into mountain biking!
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I used to live in that area, Laverne/ Claremont. Marshall canyon and Bonelli where my regular local rides, but did the trails all over the San Gabriels. MC is probably the most tame of these, but the last few times I've ridden there in a span of a few years, MC is horribly overcrowded. Bonelli is okay but has lots of short steep climbs.
Chino Hills State Park could be another option.
What username did you create? I will contact the site admin.

It is a very small forum.
Username was: office

I used the 'contact the admin' function but never heard back
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I don't personally like Marshal at all. I will go there on occasion with my GF for a run, but otherwise avoid it. I find nothing redeeming about it except for it being a long, boring climb and DH (last time I rode it was on my gravel bike). Sorry MC lovers.

But it is MASSIVELY popular, which is also a reason I don't like it :ROFLMAO:
Cherry Canyon for minimal climbing and fun, short ST sections.
That forum sucks. I made an account, got instantly banned 5 minutes later for "spam" (no idea why, didn't even log in) and wasn't able to contact the admin.

Rip STR
They were friendly, courteous and accommodating to me when I joined, and I'd wager will be to the OP too based on others who have joined to ask questions about riding various locales around here.
I did some of trails in Marshall the other day on a 29er(2.1) gravel bike & it was nice. Generally riding Santa Monica & Verdugo areas I liked the water crossings, nice change from what I ride. The trails I rode felt more like an XC trail than AM or enduro ride, which I like.
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