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Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail

Los Angeles Metro Area, California

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Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail

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  • Trailhead for Echo Mountain/Inspiration Point at the old Cobb Estate gate.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • A short section of trail on the old Cobb Estate Road.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Coastal prickly pear (Opuntia littoralis) en route to Echo Mountain.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Coastal prickly pear (Opuntia littoralis) en route to Echo Mountain.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • View over Pasadena with downtown Los Angeles in the distance.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Hike up to Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Hike up to Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • Viewpoint along the Sam Merrill Trail en route to Echo Mountain.- Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
  • - Echo Mountain Hike via Sam Merrill Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Mount Lowe Railway ruins. Panoramic views over LA metro area.
Cons: 
Very heavily used on weekends. Limited parking.
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Region:
Los Angeles Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.20 mi (6.76 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,810.00 ft (551.69 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Steeped in history and privy to sweeping views over Los Angeles, this hike earns high marks. Echo Mountain itself is the site of the ruins of the Echo Mountain House, and the remnants of it enhance the already excellent hike.

Built by Thaddeus Lowe in the 1800’s, there were no roads or paths up to the hotel save for a twisted series of incline railways—The Mt. Lowe Railway—that once climbed over 1,000 feet, transporting tourists to the famous lodging. In the mid 1900’s, a massive fire razed the building, leaving nothing save for few remnants of the grandeur of the hotel and the railway. Railway mechanisms and foundations of old buildings still scar the summit’s landscape.

Soon after its destruction, Sam Merrill began work to build and maintain a hiking trail to the ruins in an effort to honor the work of John Muir who Merrill met in his younger years. This hike—moderate in both gradient and length—is to this day extremely popular, and very well traveled. Be prepared for heavy traffic on the weekends. Insider tip: sunrise can be spectacular from the summit.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(79 within a 30 mile radius)

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