Nothing helps soothe the soul, relax the mind or provides an escape from the cement sidewalks and concrete buildings better than spending some time surrounded by nature. Fortunately, you don’t need to drive miles, plan for weeks or fill a backpack to enjoy the peaceful sounds of wind through the trees and a gentle running stream. Pasadena’s Lower Arroyo Seco Nature Park is the perfect oasis for a temporary reprieve from the urban hustle and bustle.
So… Day 131 of 365 Things To Do In Pasadena brings us to this peaceful park.
The tranquil Arroyo Seco, which literally means “dry creek” offers an almost continuous stretch of open space from the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains to it’s confluence with the Los Angeles river near Elysian Park and Downtown LA. About 8 miles of the 22-mile Arroyo Seco corridor pass through the western portion of Pasadena. It is the City’s largest natural open space going through three distinct geographical areas: Hahamongna Watershed Park, Central Arroyo, and Lower Arroyo.
Pasadena’s Lower Arroyo Nature Park runs from the area immediately south of the Colorado Street Bridge to the border of South Pasadena. It spans about 150 acres and contains a and archery range. Rubble walls retain the slopes and help define paths. It’s perfect for nature lovers and a great spot to walk your dog. Joggers, hikers and walkers alike enjoy the natural, rustic canyon setting shaded by oaks, sycamores, maples and countless white alders. Parking in the lot of Pasadena’s Lower Arroyo Nature Park, I like to go north and walk under the magnificent Colorado Street Bridge. The scenery is gorgeous and the trail criss-crosses a pretty seasonal stream that pools in spots making a nice place for your dog to “take a dip”. This is a fairly mild jaunt and takes about an hour. You can also head south towards South Pasadena. Here the streambed is contained in a concrete channel however the surrounding area is a gorgeous deep canyon. This path takes you under several bridges and by the site of the old Busch Gardens.
The parking lot for the Lower Arroyo Nature Park is accessible from Arroyo Blvd (just south of Norwood Drive). An easy way to get there is to take Orange Grove Blvd to California Blvd. Head West on California to Arroyo Blvd and turn right. The park entrance will be on your left. Drive down the road to the parking lot, which will be on your left.
UPDATE – Hike Date March 19, 2011:
REAL TRAIL NAME: Lower Arroyo Seco
HIKE DATE: Saturday, March 19, 2011
HIKE LEAD: Patricia De Leon
HIKE LEVEL: Level 1
MEETING TIME: 9:00 AM (Please be there on time)
221 San Pasqual Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030
LENGTH: 3 Miles (Round trip)
HIKE DURATION: 2 Hours (approx)
DOG-FRIENDLY?: Yes, but on keep them on a leash.
RECOMMENDED: Large Water Bottle (at least 1 liter), comfortable shoes, sun block.
HIKE WALKTHROUGH: From the horse stables we will walk towards the trail head and hike along the right hand side of the Arroyo Seco. We will pass underneath historical bridges, pass the archery range where we will cross to the other side of the arroyo (via overpass) and head back. The ground on this trail is flat but if we get a group of adventurous beginner hikers we can take a detour for a slight incline and extend the distance by about .75 miles and head back where this trail ends at Brookside Park.
For more information, please visit http://latrailhikers.com/hikes/lower-arroyo-seco/
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