So Cal Happy Hour Backpacking
So Cal Happy Hour Backpacking
Public group

Every week on Wednesday

Location image of event venue


Please be advised - as a co-organizer of Happy Hour Backpacking and organizer of this hike, I am not soliciting funds. Meetup has added the "Chip in" button and receives a percentage of any monies contributed. As a co-organizer, I do not have the option to remove it.
Flashlight or headlamp recommended for the hike up and the hike down!

We proudly boast almost 12 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"

DO NOT PARK ON LAKE ! ! ! If you don't think you will be down before 10PM park on Monterosa (off of Loma Alta) or further west. Mind the posted parking restrictions - parking enforcement has been hit and miss - don't take a chance!

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 meet at the gate at the end of Lake Ave. Hikers usually head back down in two or three different groups - The "Linus Train" departs at 8:00PM other leave between 8:30 and 10PM (a few a little earlier and some a little later depending on the weather). 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:

And it you want the complete tour of the railway:

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 to leave the top 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 or be left in the dark. 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 7:48 PM with about another 25 minutes of twilight. It has been setting later each week for a few weeks now. The tiny 5% sliver of the Moon will set at ?:??PM, probably before anyone - even the earliest of hikers, starts up. Evening temperatures have been getting chilly - many folks bring a dry top to change into for comfort. It is that time of year where you may want to a hat, gloves and jacket - depending on how sensitive you are to temperatures in the 50s (or lower).

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 2.7 miles up with about a little over 1300 ft. elevation gain and 2.7 miles down on a very well maintained trail. This is not a hike for beginners. We do this hike every week weather permitting and it just keeps getting better. People start out at different times between about 5:30 and 6:30 (some even start earlier). Average time up is about 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours (slower hikers may take 90 minutes - almost everyone makes it back down in about an hour)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, 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. an aerial view map is located in our files and may be downloaded from:

As you reach the top of the paved road where it turns, DO NOT TURN - there is a sign that says "Trail" with an arrow pointing to the right - follow this and you will pass a 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 2.6 miles, go to the right - slightly downhill for 250 yards 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, ample water, something dry to change into will add to your comfort - particularly on a chilly night - it is best to layer. Also, something to share for the potluck, and a HEADLIGHT OR FLASHLIGHT for the hike up and 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 activi