The Rose Bowl Loop Trail is a very popular hiking and fitness loop around the famous Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The loop is on pavement the entire time, and encompasses both the stadium and the nearby golf course. This trail can be done year round and is busy 7 days a week and at all hours of the day as a popular workout loop for hikers, bikers and dog-walkers while providing lovely views of the nearby San Gabriel Mountains.
Street parking — and the trailhead for this hike — can be found at many different points around the loop, including on Seco St, along West Dr, and along Rosemont Ave.
If you’re starting the hike on Seco St, you’ll instantly be greeted by the iconic front view of the Rose Bowl Stadium. The Rose Bowl will be celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2022, and is a venue known to many as one of the greatest stadiums in college football. Keep up to date with the many planned activities and events throughout the year, culminating in the “Party of The Year” celebration occurring on July 30th, 2022.
This legendary stadium has hosted five Super Bowls, gold medal matches for two Summer Olympics, two FIFA World Cup Finals, superstar concerts and the annual Rose Bowl Game for which it’s named.
Rose Bowl Stadium was built in 1922 and is recognized as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark. The stadium was designed by architect Myron Hunt, who also designed the Ambassador Hotel and Henry Huntington’s house, which later became the main gallery of the Huntington Library.
After enjoying the historic front view of the stadium, You can begin the loop in either direction to the east or west. If headed to the east, you’ll quickly make the first turn off the loop onto Rosemont Ave. The beginning of this stretch on Rosemont Ave is exposed with no shade cover but provides additional peeks of the stadium while you walk along palm trees and entrance gates to park at the stadium.
At 0.5 mile, the Rose Bowl Stadium starts to be obscured as the view is replaced by the Brookside Golf Club. While the entire club is private and fenced in from the public, there are plenty of trees and greenery to enjoy from afar along this stretch of trail.
After completing the long stretch along Rosemont Ave, the loop turns on to W Washington Blvd. At this corner of the trail is a small parking area that can fit 20-25 cars, and provides another potential starting point to change things up.
In the middle of the short section on W Washington Blvd, the trail passes over the Arroyo Seco, a major tributary of the Los Angeles River. The Arroyo Seco is just under 25 miles long and drains an area of the western San Gabriel Mountains — often very quickly during rain events. While the water may be very low flowing or non-existent in Summer and Fall, you will likely see more flow in Spring and Winter. You can also explore more natural sections of the Arroyo Seco further upstream at the Hahamonga Watershed Park and Bear Canyon. At 1.5 miles, there is a public restroom available for those who may need it.
You’ll make the next turn of the loop onto West Dr at 1.6 miles. There is significant street parking available on this whole stretch of road in case there is difficulty finding parking elsewhere.
Depending on the time of day, this section of the trail can get significant shade coverage due to the trees and buildings that overhang on West Dr. This section of the loop also heads slightly downhill and provides great opportunities to enjoy more views of the foliage within the golf course.
At 2.5 miles, the Rose Bowl Stadium will start to come back into view. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting on the second Sunday of the month, the entire parking lot and parking along West Dr will be filled due to the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market, which brings more than 20,000 visitors every month.
Rounding the last corner back onto Seco St at 2.9 miles, you’ll pass over Arroyo Seco for the second time in this loop before seeing the iconic Rose Bowl Drive sign. Make the final 0.3 mile push back to your car, or take another loop around the Rose Bowl Stadium if one loop wasn’t enough!
Tags: dog-friendly, Hiking, Historic Site, history, Los Angeles, nature, outdoors, Rose Bowl