From the west entrance, parking is available at a lot on the corner of N Windsor Avenue and Ventura Street. From the lot, follow the paved trail north for a mile and a half, staying left at the fork with Fern Truck Trail
and El Prieto. Continue along the canyon floor, past Gould Mesa Campground and Nino Picnic Area, to the Paul Little Picnic Area sign where the trail splits. Straight ahead, the trail detours to a dead-end at the base of the USFS 1938 debris dam. To the right, the Gabrielino continues steeply up the canyon wall and over the dam.
Above the dam, the trail can get lost in the ever-changing creek bed, but following the tire tracks should keep you on course. Eventually, the trail climbs out of the canyon floor to meet the bottom of the Ken Burton Trail
. The section between here and Commodore Camp/Switzer's Falls/Bear Canyon Tr. has been closed for almost 10 years, but was recently restored to service by MWBA, CORBA, USFS, and several other volunteer organizations. Though it continues to follow the bottom of the Arroyo Seco and then Long Canyon for several miles, the bench-cut trail is often narrow, height-exposed, and very remote.
After climbing out of Long Canyon, you'll enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the San Gabriels front range as you approach the Bear Canyon Tr. (Switzer Falls) junction. Stay on the Gabrielino (straight) as it drops down to Commodore Camp then climbs to Switzer Picnic area & eventually Red Box Gap.
Riding from either direction has positives and negatives, tough climbs and bomb downhills; but whichever way you choose, potable water can be scarce, so plan accordingly.