Distance 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2800 +
Directions and Trail Head:
Trail Head: The hike begins to the right of the stone gateway on the east side of the street
From the I-210 Foothill Freeway in Pasadena, exit at Lake Avenue. Drive north for 3.4 miles to the end of Lake Avenue (where it intersects with the terminus of Loma Alta Drive running east and west).
Park along the street.
About the hike:
We will meet at the stone gateway at the north end of Lake Avenue, and then walk east about .2 miles to the marked beginning of the Sam Merrill Trail. After a short decent into the creek bed, the trail climbs steadily up the east slope of Los Flores Canyon. Just short of a half mile past the two-mile marker you will reach the old rail bed of the Mount Lowe Railway. Turn right (south) and follow the rail route about 100 yards to the Echo Mountain site. Plan to spend some time exploring the ruins, reading the historical plaques, and enjoying the views.
After a break at Echo we will continue on the Castle Canyon Trail to Inspiration Point: This trail starts at the junction near the entrance to the Echo Mountain area and ascends northeast into the upper reaches of Rubio Canyon to meet the creek, then contours back around to head east up the north wall of Castle Canyon to reach Inspiration Point in 2 miles. walking the first 1.2 miles of this trail and thoroughly loved it. It provides some superb views down into Rubio Canyon and back toward Echo Mountain. The dramatic scenery of Castle Canyon is stunning. The viewing ramada at Inspiration Point has been restored in recent years and makes a splendid destination. And from Inspiration Point, here's two more options that Schad describes (I have not hiked these yet): 1) You can climb to the 4714-foot peaklet just west of Inspiration Point. 2) You can turn right (south) and walk the 1 mile along the flat fire road going out to Panorama Point. In the old days, visitors could travel this stretch on a mule-pushed observation car that rolled along narrow-gauge rails — known as the O.M.& M. Railroad (One Man and a Mule). Schad writes that the views of the L.A. Basin from Panorama Point "are more fantastic (in my experience) than from any other land-based vantage point
Links of Interest (History of the site)
Thing to know:
PLEASE - Know your limits and abilities. Bring and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Dogs, well behaved and picked up after would be fine on this one. Watching out for snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while carrying on a conversation with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun. Tortoises should be left home as they will slow the group down.
Carry the ten essential:
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you're taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any you are your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.