Arroyo Pescadero Trail

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Morning on the Arroyo Pescadero trail

Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

Arroyo Pescadero Trail

  • Location: 7531 Colima Road, Whittier.  From the south, take I-605 to Florence Ave.  Take a left onto Studebaker Road and the first right onto Florence.  Go 5.2 miles (Florence becomes Mills on the way) to Whittier Blvd.  Take a right on Whittier, go 0.3 miles and take a left onto Colima.  Go 1.1 miles to the trailhead which is on the left side of the road, just past the little league fields.
  • Agency: Habitat Authority
  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 200 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: G
  • Suggested time: 1 hour
  • Best season: All year
  • USGS topo maps: “Whittier”
  • More information: here
  • Rating: 4

This enjoyable little hike is typical of the many short trails in the Puente Hills, providing residents of north Orange County, Long Beach, Whittier, Downey and the surrounding areas a quick and convenient getaway into nature.  The Arroyo Pescadero and Deer Trails are surprisingly quiet, and on clear days, they offer views of Catalina Island and downtown L.A. Purists may be put off by the fact that a lot of trail is paved, but that also makes it a good introductory trip for people without a whole lot of hiking experience.

From the lot, head up a staircase to access the trail.  The loop can be done in either direction, but this description will assume you’re heading right.  After a short distance, you turn left on the Arroyo Pescadero trail, while the San Miguel continues straight.  A clearing on the left gives you nice views of the L.A. basin.

The trail curves around the side of a ridge, stays level for about half an hour and then makes a hairpin turn and begins to descend.  You pass by willows, sycamores and oaks, and after 1.4 miles, look for the Deer Trail.  Complete this 0.8 mile loop (go in either direction).  After returning to the Arroyo Pescadero trail, you climb out of the canyon on a big “S” curve.  The last stretch parallels Colima Road, and soon you are back at the parking lot.  If you enjoyed this hike, be sure to check out some of the others that are maintained by the Habitat Authority.

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