El Prieto Loop is a fantastic trail for late evening, after-work biking, or morning workouts, as it has a diverse terrain.
The El Prieto Loop is a network of multi-use trails frequented by bikers, hikers, joggers, and equestrians. It is rated difficult because of its multiple technical sections. If you have little biking experience, you may have difficulty overcoming some of the challenges on the trail network. We recommend the biking adventure on the El Prieto loop to more experienced or advanced riders who need a dopamine jack-up. Some of the tricky sections on the loop are extremely high blind corners that may require you to use a bell for the safety of other trail users.
We started the ride from the Windsor parking lot. Ride north of the parking lot, past a fire danger sign and a yellow gate. The first mile is smooth and fast flowing. You will pass the Jet Propulsion lab campus before entering Angeles National Forest.
Keep right and follow the El Prieto trail and Fern truck trail signs. The El Prieto trail ends right after a creek crossing and a short climb. Keep left on the fire road and brace yourself for a tough 2.5-mile climb on the Fern Truck trail.
Fern Truck Trail is pretty flat on its last quarter mile. Ride past the hitching post onto the saddle. From saddle, you can see the upper and lower parts of the famous Brown Mountain Rd. You can also stop and take in the city’s view.
Get on Brown Mountain RD and ride for about a mile until you see the El Prieto sign on your right. The El Prieto Trail will give you the ultimate singletrack experience. Its challenges include extreme height exposure, mandatory descents, 180 degrees switchbacks, rock gardens, and stream crossings. If you are a beginner biker with less experience, we recommend walking through some of the technical sections. An advanced or experienced rider will be able to ride the entire trail.
You may find the El Prieto Loop a bit confusing as it has been re-routed thrice. It has two spur trails from the canyon to Brown Mountain Rd’s trailhead. To avoid confusion, stick to the original trail on the right, which will take you to the bottom of the Fern Truck Trail.
The El Prieto Loop is fun to ride and has amazing, rewarding views. When you ride to the end of Fern Truck Trail, at the saddle, you can stop and take in the beautiful views of Los Angeles.
The loop’s sections running through the forest offer great tranquility, a good break from the city’s noise and crowds. The oak-lined canyon is also a stunning view but beware of poison oak on the entire trail.