For equestrians and hikers who prefer low incline trails, the Descanso Trail may not be the right fit; but that is changing this year. The City of La Cañada Flintridge is paving a new route that will provide an alternative to the steep incline section at the beginning of the Descanso Trail.

The Descanso Trail, which connects people from north of Foothill to Cherry Canyon, includes steep switchbacks that begin near the trailhead. To ride on that section of the trail, equestrians must first dismount, and for some hikers the beginning incline portion can be challenging.

The new route named “Sister Cities Friendship Trail”, will begin at the same trailhead (located at Descanso Drive) and connect to the Descanso Trail beyond the steep switchbacks. The route will have an overall elevation increase of 120 feet with a gradual incline not exceeding an eight percent slope. In comparison, the existing Descanso Trail entrance has a fifteen percent incline along a narrow passage.

“The Descanso Trail is great for those who enjoy a challenging hike, but we want to make sure that the whole community has the opportunity to use it,” said Paddy Taber, Senior Management Analyst II with the City’s Public Works Department. “We expect that the new, easier trail will allow more people in the community access to Cherry Canyon.”

As a tribute to the City’s thriving relationship with its Sister City Villanueva de la Cañada in Spain, and any future Sister Cities, the new trail will be named the Sister Cities Friendship Trail.

The proposed trail project will be presented to the City Council as a Capital Improvement Council Consideration Item in the FY 2020-21 budget. If approved, the project is expected to be completed and dedicated in late spring 2021.