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Mt. Lowe Railway & Inspiration Point with an option

  • Mar 16, 2013 · 8:00 AM
  • Top of Lake Street


This is a moderate hike which includes the historic Mt. Lowe Railway, "Ye Alpine Tavern", Inspiration Point and the famed Echo Mountain. We will meet at the top of Lake St. in Altadena at 7:50 AM to begin our hike up the Sam Merrill Trail at 8:00. The Sam Merrill Trail switchbacks up the east wall of Las Flores Canyon about 2.5 miles to the intersection of the Echo Mountain Trail - the beginning of the loop - where we will turn left and follow the old rail bed of the Mount Lowe Railway to the former site of “Ye Alpine Tavern” for a brief stop and restroom break. From there we will follow the fire road to the pavilion at Inspiration Point where we can enjoy the view while having a lunch break. From Inspiration Point we will take Castle Canyon Trail about 2 miles down to Echo Mountain for a short break to visit this historic site in the daylight (H.H. Backpackers are used to seeing this at night on Wednesdays). Those who do not want to stop at Echo Mountain may continue back down the Sam Merrill trail to the Cobb Estate at the top of Lake where we started.

The last time I posted this hike was in March 20th 2010

Short version option: Organize a sub-group to hike to Echo Mountain only. Sub-group may be organized via comments section and/or e-mails.

 Directions: Take the 210 Freeway towards Pasadena, get off on Lake St., go North until Lake St. ends and meets with Loma Alta Dr. On the right side where it ends is the gate to the trail head where we will meet.

Things to bring: Comfortable hiking shoes (this is a long hike), ample water, Sun screen, some type of nutrition bar (or similar) for the hike up and something for lunch at Inspiration Point.  

Stats: 11.4 miles – 5 miles to/from the loop and 6.4 loop miles. 2800’ elevation gain/loss Total time expected to be about 6 hours.

 Liability: The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/meetup/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts of this Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

Questions: Any questions about this hike, please contact me at [masked]

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  • Lee T.

    Great hike - Liz and Julie did the short version while Tim and I did the long version. I think Tim and I would agree, we probably should have worked up to this one a little more - we were both feeling the long hike by the time we got back to Echo and then we still had to get back to our cars. But I am still glad we did this before it got too hot. Nice to see Liz again and to meet Julie and I really enjoyed Tim's company on this hike

    1 · March 17, 2013

  • Monique

    Can't go after all, family stuff. See you at the full moon hike

    March 16, 2013

  • Monique

    Can't go after all, family stuff. See you on the full moon hike :)

    March 16, 2013

  • Lee T.

    We have 3 more hikers from Earlybird Hiking joining us on this hike (so far).

    March 15, 2013

  • Elizabeth W.

    Hi Lee,
    My girlfriend Julie and I will just go up to Echo Mountain and back down....we don't have time to go all the way to Inspiration Point this time as we plan to go to breakfast after the hike. We will meet you at the Gate at 8! Thanks Lee for organizing!

    March 14, 2013

  • kevin (The One and O.

    :-) Lee, I will join next time if after 10 am on Saturdays or anytime on Sundays. Those weekend hikes are very memorable.

    March 14, 2013

  • Lee T.

    The pace for the first 2.5 miles will be slightly slower - if you are a fast hiker and know the trail, you may want to start about 8:20 to 8:30 and meet us on the trail or at the first junction where we will take a short break before turning left to follow the Mt. Lowe Railway. Please let me know your intent.

    March 14, 2013

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