REVIEW: City of Pasadena Public Archery Range

The City of Pasadena Public Archery Range is the place where I get in the majority of my time behind my compound bow. This range feels like the closest I can get to shooting out in the wilderness during the week. When I come, early in the mornings before work, the entire range is quiet and empty except for the occasional dog-owner out for a morning stroll with their pooch. You'll see the occasional coyote running through the brush behind the targets, and there's even rumored to be a mountain lion that occasionally comes for a visit. Not to worry, though… In my entire time shooting there, I've never seen him.

The public range is located in Lower Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, which has quite the rich archery history. I tend to leave extra early so I can arrive just as it's light enough to see. That way, I can get in a good hour or two of shooting time before having to head back to go to work. Particularly during the fall and winter, it can get pretty chilly that early in the mornings. I've spent many a session watching my breath cloud up in front of my sights.

The range consists of over twenty hay bale target backers. However, if you want to shoot for that 10-ring, you'll have to bring your own bullseye. If you're feeling especially frugal, there's usually a few leftover, well-perforated targets still stuck in a couple of the bales. Upkeep and management are handled by the Pasadena Roving Archers (PRA), a private organization that provides free and inexpensive archery lessons early Saturday mornings. All of the equipment around the range is in decent, workable quality.

You'll find that some of the bales are a bit more in need of a changing than others. Often my arrow will discover a particularly soft spot in the hay and plow through to stick in the rubber backing (a nightmare to remove). There's plenty of seating around the different lanes as well as places to hang your bow if you don't bring your own stand.

You can visit the range pretty much any time of the week while the sun is up. But, keep in mind that Saturday and Sunday mornings until 2:30p, the range is reserved for classes and private events run by the PRA. If you're attending a PRA lesson, you'll want to arrive extra early to find parking. Otherwise, during the week, parking is rather plentiful in the lot.

All-in-all, the City of Pasadena Public Archery Range is a fantastic place to get in some time behind your bow… especially for those who enjoy the feeling of shooting in a more serene, natural environment.

  • Address: 415 S Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

  • Hours: Sun-Sat from Sunrise to Sundown

  • COST: FREE

Update

The City of Pasadena now requires that all archers carry a city-issued safety certification card while using the Lower Arroyo Archery Range. To obtain the certification card, the City of Pasadena requires archers to participate in a range safety course.

NOTE: The safety card is not required when participating in PRA's first-time or returning archer classes on Saturday mornings.