There will actually be 2 start times (for those who want to hike up with someone) so most hikers can be at the top to see the Sunset. Linus will lead the Posted 4:00PM group - expected to reach the top in about 60 to 70 minutes. I (Lee) will lead a group starting at 3:30PM for those who need a little more time - expected to reach the top in 75 to 90 minutes. If you are new and fall behind - don't worry - once you begin the trek up the east side of Las Flores Canyon, the trail is easy to follow - there are signs posted at the top, but you just need to remember to stay to the right - do not make any left turns - you will reach the steps (our destination is at the top of the steps)in about 200 yards. If you are new and do not start up with a group, please read the "First Timers" section thoroughly.
Tonight's hike will be in the same fashion as the traditional Wednesday night hike to hopefully accommodate those who cannot get there on Wednesdays or have to get up early on Thursdays (and, of course, all of those fantastic hikers who do get up there on Wednesdays that want do it again on the weekend.) The posted start time is 4:00PM, but hikers head up at different times depending on when they can get there and their hiking ability.
DO NOT PARK ON LAKE ! ! ! . Parking enforcement has been hit and miss - don't take a chance! For this hike it is recommended to not park on Loma Alta (unless you are certain you will be down before 10PM). You can park (unrestricted) on Monterosa, Marengo or further down Loma Alta - watch for the parking restriction signs.
Many hikers take about 55 to 75 minutes to get to the top ( a few less and a few more). The Sun will set at 5:13PM and the Full Moon will rise at 5:16PM, but we probably won't see it until almost 6PM!
Happy Hour Backpacking proudly boasts almost 8 years of a traditional Wednesday night hike up to Echo Mountain missing only a few days when circumstances would not permit a safe and pleasant hike. Many people have ventured up to join the "Happy Hour potluck" (Hike #400 was on the last Wednesday of 2015!)
Join us for this Saturday edition of the Wednesday night hike!
Please R.S.V.P if you believe you will be joining this hike and post what time you are planning to start - it encourages others to join. Seeing as we do not meet as a group at the beginning of the hike- it is best to try to find others who can hike up at the same time so no one hikes alone. If you are meeting someone - we usually meet at the gate at the end of Lake Ave. Hikers usually head back down in two or three different groups anywhere between about 8 and 9PM -some stay later.
First Timers - Please read the "First Timers" section, CAREFULLY !
Around the turn of the century things were a little different on Echo Mountain and Mt. Lowe:
Here is a little more history of the area you are about to visit:
There is no trash collection at the top of Echo Mountain. Please help to keep the area clean by taking some down - there are trash bins at the gate. It is not fair to burden the last hikers heading down with all the trash.
Newcomers - please read "First Timers" and "What to bring" sections below so you don't wind up on the wrong trail. We do not gather and hike up as a group due to different hiking abilities and arrival times. Many people post their anticipated start time making it easy to form smaller groups for the trip up. You can use the comments section to communicate.
The Sun will set at 5:13 PM with about another 25 minutes of twilight.The Full Moon will rise at 5:16PM Hikers go up at different times, depending on when they can get to the trailhead.
Evening temperatures are pretty chilly to downright cold at this time of year -many folks bring a dry top to change into for comfort. Gloves, hat and a warm jacket are a plus!
The Hike: We follow the (lower)Sam Merrill Trail up the East wall of Las Flores Canyon to Echo Mountain and ruins of the former White City. This is a moderate hike of about 2.6 miles up with about a 1400 ft. elevation gain and 2.6 miles down on a very well maintained trail. This is not a hike for beginners. This is a "go at your own pace hike" so almost anyone with some hiking experience can make it. Post your anticipated time to start - this gives people the opportunity to form groups to hike up together. Most people bring up something to share such as cheese, crackers, chips, dips, spreads, deli meats, fruit, etc. etc. Some hikers have been very creative and others have brought homemade items/ Just remember - not everything travels well in a backpack. You couldn't meet a nicer group of people! The warm, friendly atmosphere at the top has become a mid-week highlight to our weekly routines for many! So if you are into great company, tasty refreshments, historic hotel ruins and fantastic views then come on up for this Saturday night version, you will love it.!!!!
First timers: You may locate the trailhead on Google Maps by entering 3388 Lake Ave. Altadena, Ca. 91001. If you are not hiking with someone who is familiar with the trail, please read this carefully. As you reach the top of the paved road where it turns to the left, DO NOT TURN - there is a sign that says "Trail" with an arrow pointing to the right - follow this and you will pass a stone water fountain on your left. Continue to the edge of the canyon and take the trail to the left - DO NOT descend into the canyon here - follow the trail around the edge of the canyon, descending behind the debris dam and up the far side following the trail to the left. As you ascend, you want to be able to look across Los Flores Canyon towards where the sun set (or is setting). You are about 1/2 way as you pass under the power towers. When you reach the junction after about 2.5 miles, go to the right - slightly downhill a few hundred feet to the Echo Mountain House ruins.
What to bring: Out of concern for the environment, please bring a reusable cup or non-breakable glass for your beverage, comfortable hiking shoes, water , some folks bring something dry to change into (it is best to layer). Also, something to share for the pot luck, and a HEADLIGHT OR FLASHLIGHT for the hike down, even when there is moonlight, there are areas of the trail that are in the shadows. In windy conditions, we gather at the "picnic grounds" on the left side of the trail just before the Echo Mountain House ruins.
Directions: Take the I-210 towards Pasadena, get off on Lake Ave., go North until Lake Ave. ends. On the right side where it ends is the gate to the former Cobb Estate and the road leading to the trailhead. The best parking is when you turn left at the end of Lake onto Loma Alta Dr. Park on Loma Alta as the unrestricted parking is to 10 PM You will get a ticket on Lake parking is only until 8pm. Parking off Loma Alta on Monterosa or Marengo is unrestricted.
Post what time you'd like to go up and form your own groups. Everyone be safe and try to hike with someone.
The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the event. Each person who signs up for an event 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.