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Coyote Creek

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Tracing the Los Angeles/Orange County Border

Coyote Creek

Coyote Creek joins the San Gabriel about six miles from the ocean, in the northeast corner of Long Beach. Tho’ the view from the bike path is mostly concrete, it’s still a pleasant ride; keep heading north, even tho’ it looks as though the path is ending – it goes a lot further than you think. When it finally does terminate, you’ll be in a dismal industrial area – but you’re only a few blocks from the City of La Mirada, and its friendly bikepath, to the northeast.

At the southern end of Coyote Creek, the path, like the creek, joins the San Gabriel. See the Mid San Gabriel Trail page on this web site. Thomas Guide, pages 737, 767, 796.

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bridge

Very few cyclists ever send in comments about this path — it’s surprising, too, because it’s one of the most traveled routes listed on this web site (at least it always has a lot of riders whenever I visit it). Maybe we want to keep it to ourselves!

The Coyote Creek Path seems to be the choice of serious riders — anyway, it has lots of groups with matching shirts and lots of colorful gear. Plus long, straight stretches with few distractions.

Coyote Creek bike trail has allowed me to commute from Brea to CAl State Long Beach. I take Imperial Hwy West, South on Beach Blvd, West on Rosecrans and South on the river trail. This makes for a nice 22 mile ride to and from work.

For a long loop, i have taken the same path and then South on PCH to the Santa Ana River Trail North back to Brea with the help of a couple side streets and a grueling climb over State College and Bastanchuery.

This ends up being about a 58 mile loop. Watch out for the cars on Imperial. –  Kevin

The path does offer some extremes — parts are peaceful and serene, near the northern end it gets pretty ugly (i.e., industrial), and in between runs the gamut from well-kept backyards to green spaces to light commercial areas.

Like its neighbor, the San Gabriel River, Coyote Creek has a number of parks lining its banks. On the right is a nice one: Cerritos Regional Sports Park.

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28 Comments

  1. Suzy Kees

    I live near Bolsa Chica and Hail in Huntington Beach and work in Cerritos near the Civic Center. I ride this path twice a week, sometimes three times. Although it is a few miles longer then street surface and I have head winds riding home, it is far better then fighting traffic and traffic lights. One of my favorite sections is looking over at the “605 Parking Lot” in the morning riding to work and in the evening riding home…I love riding my bike.

    Reply
    • Denise

      H Suzy, Do you feel safe riding alone?

      Reply
  2. TrailBear

    Coyote Creek – not a bad ride at all. I enjoyed the section above Cerritos Park. Fine pavement, sweeping curves, a Brutalist flood control channel, few distractions – aside from a stiff headwind coming donw.

    For the most recent and correct trail info, check out the corrected map, my review and photo set at:

    The upper trail end is on Foster St. in SFS. It’s about 5 miles down and another 5 miles up from Cerritos Park.

    Hook the upper end to the Whittier Greenway, and that to the SGRT and you have a large loop ride.

    TrailBear 11.7.2010

    Reply
    • Scott

      my review and photo set at:

      where?

      Reply
  3. Jim

    I ride the San Gabriel river trail two to three times a week and one of the disgusting parts of this trail is the morons who are riding the motorbikes, motor scooters etc. on the trail, I am working with some of the local officials to get rid of these clowns, one of the reasons I ride the river trails is to get away from all the vehicle pollution, any help any of the bicycle riders can give would be appreciated, we need to keep bicycle trails for bicycles, thanks Jim

    Reply
    • jhon doe

      It’s a public trail don’t worry about other people hater

      Reply
      • JM

        So does that apply to public restrooms? Anything goes inside? Any deviant, moronic activity? STFU.

        Reply
      • RichM

        It’s a public trail, but motor vehicles are prohibited (except for authorized government vehicles). Also, it’s a health and safety issue.

        Reply
  4. jwm

    I live in the Whittier/La Habra area. This trail is something that we dreamed about when I was a kid- a bike path all the way to the beach with no cars. My wife and I have ridden the Coyote Creek trail several times. The trip from Foster Road in La Mirada to Seal Beach takes right around two hours for us, a couple of *ahem* mature riders on comfort bikes. What makes it sweeter, is that the trail ends right at that little restaurant by the Seal Beach jetty. It’s a perfect Sunday trip- down to the beach, lunch at the cafe, and home with tons of time left in the day.

    JWM

    Reply
  5. Howard

    I rode this path today from La palma ave to Seal Beach and back. Its a little rough at first but then it gets better. I especially like the part down by 7th street in long beach. Here the cement bottom of the river stops and the rest looks like a real river. In fact there are lots of birds likes ducks and cranes.. Some birds diving for fish. So many birds you have to stop and look.

    Reply
  6. BG

    Trail head is very near Frontier Park in La Mirada (Foster Road & Marquardt) and near Biola University Campus and La Mirada Creek Trail.

    Reply
  7. Robert

    I ride Coyote Creek and the SGRT regularly. I live near the entrance to CC on Orangethorpe. It’s 20 miles round-trip to Seal Beach and back. I have noticed an increase in the number of homeless pitching camp on the CC trail. I’ve been riding it for 10 years and have never had a problem with safety.

    Reply
  8. Jim

    Walk from Katella to the 91two three times a week, great walk except for the homless/bumms throwing all of their empty bottles and trash all over. Otherwise great on a nice summer day..

    Reply
  9. Mac

    Trail has detour just south of Foster/Marquardt entrance.

    For a full trail ride, you currently have to start at Artesia and head south.

    No details were posted as to how long the detour would be in effect. The detour requires a lot of surface street riding in fairly tricky areas as far as traffic. I would not recommend it for riders who are not fully comfortable with street riding.

    Reply
    • gil

      is open now it just need a little sweeping (a bit os sand nothing major)
      Rosecrans to seal great ride

      Reply
  10. Free

    Mac, the detour shown by signs at Rosecrans is long and rough, and no cyclists like it. I recommend staying on the path until Alondra, going out through the gate at the swap meet, then up to the right over the freeway on Alondra and quickly left at the light. Then left on 166th, follow that road around to the right, and get back on the trail again at Artesia. It is minimum traffic and much better road surface. I agree that street riding experience is needed, especially for that narrow bridge over the I-5, but that route beats the given detour or Valley View, hands down!

    I suspect the bridge and freeway widening project blocking the bike trail will take at least the rest of this year, sadly. Please let me know if you learn differently.

    Happy riding!

    Reply
  11. Mac

    Free, I took mostly the same routs as you, but with one difference. After the left off of Alondra (after crossing to West side of freeway) to Marquardt, you can make an immediate left on Firestone and get right back to the trail. At least, that worked about two weeks ago.

    That point, which has a RV dealer on the west bank of the river and a BBQ’s Galore on the East Bank, is the northern-most part of the contiguous trail to the beach. For anyone looking for a “pure” trail ride, that is the place I would park and head south from.

    I’ve also heard that the freeway project may be ongoing for a couple of years- with the trail blocked the whole time- which would be a real downer. I don’t know that for sure, but it’s the story I’ve heard in a couple of places.

    Reply
  12. Free

    The entire freeway project there at Alondra is slated to last until the end of 2015, but I am hoping the trail can be opened before the lanes above are done.

    Reply
  13. Cindy

    I’ve recently commuted from Cerritos to Cal State Long Beach by bike at least 4 times a week this month in the morning and afternoon. I am a student of CSULB. Most of the trail is fun to ride through, a bit bumpy some places, but overall ok. I fell off my bike and skidded a bit onto the road after hitting a small trench in the bike path. It was a bad fall with half my face scraped, both knees scraped, and both hands scraped. Not to mention my green glasses frame broke. Unfortunately I didn’t have gloves. BUT on the bright side a good helmet that saved me from head trauma. My fall scared my parents quiet a lot. This accident will not deter me from commuting in the future, but it will remind me to slow down near the trench and hopefully contact somoene to fix the trench in the middle of the bike lane. I can pinpoint roughly the area. Its at the TOP of one of those downhill and uphill sections. Somewhere between the Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries sign and Wardlow Rd. I love biking! but I don’t like falling off my bike! I am very thankful for the biker that stopped to help me bandage my hands and fix the chain on my bike after the fall. I always carry first aid kit with me wherever I go biking.

    Reply
  14. Jackie

    The bridge over Alondra has been closed for several months now, so to go from Foster Rd, the northern terminus of the Coyote Creek bike trail, you need to detour and cross the freeway on Carmenita. This bridge is not that great, minimal shoulder for riding, lots of debris, and tons of cars because so many bridge closures over the 5 freeway in that area. But there really is no other closer way to get over the 5 freeway and back to the river bed. Once over the Carmenita there are a variety of ways to go east to get to the Coyote Creek river trail. Overall this path is enjoyable to ride, I feel very safe when riding it alone. The further south you go, the worse the bike trail surface gets until it merges with the newer trail surface of the San Gabriel river bed bike path.

    Reply
    • Scott

      Thanks very much for this update!

      Reply
  15. Robert

    The trail is still closed from Artesia to Rosecrans and will be at least through the end of 2014.

    I ride the southbound CC from Cerritos to the link with the SGR path in Long Beach several times a week. Headwind down to Seal Beach and tailwind back in the evening makes for a nice 20-mile out and back.

    The condition of the path from Crescent Ave. to Willow/Katella Ave. has deteriorated. The cities of Cypress and Los Alamitos do not seem to care about the condition of the path and perform no maintenance. Whatever agency or agencies that are in charge of the CC path from Cerritos to Long Beach is doing a horrible job as there is no maintenance.

    Be careful on the weekends near Cerritos Regional Park. There are a lot of walkers and joggers who walk/jog in tandem, blocking the path in both directions. Even when I call out “left” or “behind” many are wearing earbuds so they don’t hear or even when they do, they are not courteous and move right and single file. Be careful and alert because many of the pedestrians using the path are not.

    Reply
  16. Ranae

    Can anyone tell me if there is a good place to park to access this trail (or the San Gabriel trail). Anywhere from La Palma south…Thanks!

    Reply
  17. Susannah

    I am looking for a safe ride to and from work. I live in Buena Park and travel by car up Beach Blvd. heading north to La Habra Heights. I don’t want to ride on Beach Blvd. due to safety. Does any one know whether this trail would be a good alternate route?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Christopher

      From where you are I would strongly suggest going up Western. Coyote Creek will leave you too far west, even after they re-open the section under I-5.

      I’d suggest Western all the way to Commonwealth and then up and over Gilbert.

      Reply
  18. Thomas

    The Coyote Creek trail is now open again continuously from one end to the other. The tunnel under the I-5 is has been reopened for several months.

    Reply
    • Noel

      Thanks for the update! The trail seemed like it would never be open under the I-5.

      Reply
  19. R Russell

    This trail goes up to Foster Road, and from there you can take Carmenita up to the Whittier Greenbelt Trail, where you can reconnect to the San Gabriel River.

    Reply

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