Sitting in the San Gabriel Mountains is a So Cal hiking bucket-lister. Inspiration Point provides views of pretty much everything in Southern California (on a clear day, you can see Russia). On our way to the summit, we’ll take a break at one of the true marvels in our area- the fabled White City.
The White City was a resort of several hotels, a casino, an observatory, a small zoo, and a few other buildings along the Mount Lowe Railway, atop Echo Mountain. The resort was doomed almost from the start. Crippled by high costs and scant revenues due to its location, a series of fires and floods between 1900 and 1938 wiped it out. The ruins stand as a concrete playground and rest stop for weary hikers.
We’ll be taking the Sam Merrill Trail up the mountain along a network of switchbacks to the White City, continue on the Merrill Trail up to Inspiration Point, then head down the wooded Castle Canyon Trail to Merrill again and back the way we came up. The grounds at the base of the mountain were once owned by the Marx Brothers, who wanted to turn it into a cemetery (all humor comes from pain).
We’ll take a break at the White City to poke around the remnants, plaques, and laminated photos, and one at Inspiration Point to catch our breaths and enjoy the view before making our way back down to the cars.
10 miles, 3000 ft. of elevation. Will you work for the views and history? You sure will. Are they worth it? They sure are.
We’ll be out a little longer than normal, so plan accordingly. Watch the weather report- much of the ascent is out in the open, and it can be windy and chilly at the top.
Note the later start to afford time to get to Altadena. Because we're starting later than normal, and this will take longer than our regular hikes, we will get moving on time. If you're late, follow the Sam Merrill Trail up and turn right at the T toward the White City- you can catch us there.
Exit the 210 Fwy at Lake Ave. in Pasadena and head north 3.4 miles until it dead ends at Loma Alta Dr. Park on the street and meet at the stone trailhead gate.
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IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
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