Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,330.00 ft (710.18 m)
Trail type
14.10 mi (22.69 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This version of a fan favorite offers a variation by utilizing El Prieto Canyon. The Brown Mountain Frontside Loop, known locally by many names (including The Loop) offers a wonderful hiking/running adventure in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. This loop is made up of the Gabrielino/Arroyo Seco Trail, Ken Burton Trail, Brown Mountain Road, Fern Truck Trail, and El Prieto Trail. The route can be done in either direction, but a counterclockwise direction might be advised in late winter/early spring for the following reason: after rains, the trail’s numerous crossings of Arroyo Seco will force one to wet their feet (sometimes up to the knees), which might be preferred closer to the route’s end than the beginning. 

The sections of this route along both the El Prieto and Gabrielino/Arroyo Seco Trails pass through extremely lush riparian corridors, with an incredible array of bird and plant life (including abundant poison oak!). The route’s upper reaches near the top of Brown Mountain Road present teasing views of the higher peaks of the San Gabriels, including Strawberry and Josephine Peaks. The best views of the granite mountains are perhaps along the higher end of the Ken Burton Trail. Note that mountain bikes frequent the Fern Truck Trail and Brown Mountain Road sections, especially on weekends. Also note that these sections are quite exposed, so be well-prepared with water and weather protection. 

The route passes the Paul Little Picnic Area, where, slightly off the trail, one can visit a waterfall created by Brown Mountain Dam. Gould Mesa Campground, located 1 mile from Paul Little, has a few vault toilets and a number of camping spots. 

Free parking is available in a small lot at the junction of Windsor Ave. and Mountain View St., along with ample parking in neighborhood streets.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Wildlife. Scenic vistas. Riparian corridor.


Exposed. Mountain bikes allowed.

Trailhead Elevation

1,170.00 ft (356.62 m)

Highest point

2,943.00 ft (897.03 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Vault toilet
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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