Summary: Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe's mountain railway and resort was Southern California's must-visit attraction, drawing more than three million visitors from1896 to 1936. Echo Mountain (3207'), known as "The White City," was the heart of the resort with its elegant Echo Mountain House hotel, chalet, observatory, and small zoo. It has all since vanished, but this fascinating hike takes you to the ruins of this official historic landmark.
From the stone gateway at the north end of Lake Avenue, walk east about .2 mile 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.
Trailhead: 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. The hike begins to the left of the stone gateway on the east side of the street. (Lat:34.20406 Lon:-118.13054)
Trail Guides for Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail:
Trails of the Angeles
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles River Ranger district: 626-574-1613.
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Dan Simpson, who has posted 4 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 16 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Ljm on 4/29/2013
Great workout and fun exploring. Please bring water for yourself and your furry friends if you bring them! It is very exposed
Reviewed by Chris Alarcon on 3/4/2013
I finally found that damn Mine! The first time I attempted this hike I never found the damn mine. It sadden me and my soul was not content. 1 year later i finally found it! My best friend and I took the Sunset Ridge Trail all the way up to Cape of Good hope, continued to Devils Saddle and took it down a sketchy trail ( shows closed ), Keep descending down, some of trail is washed out. The mine is behind a rock near the pulley ( left of it) Hiked 1/18/2013 Dawn Mine Pictures Here
Reviewed by Jeff on 8/28/2012
Great Hike! The hotel "ruins" not so great. follow the paved road straight in and keep right to just hit the trail up the mountain.
Reviewed by BigQuiche on 4/21/2012
I blogged about this one, and posted some photos... http://tomkiesche.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/mt-echo-a-hike/ Basically I think it's fine. It's a good workout trail with good payoff at the end. Pick a day it's not so hot and air is clear. Wish I could rate it a 3.5! It was pleasant, and I'd consider doing again under the right circumstances.
Reviewed by Delia on 2/19/2012
I will definitely be back to this hiking trail. It was my first time doing this particular trail and I must say I loved the work out and challenge that it brought. I am not super fit or an avid hiker but I was able to do this hike in 2hrs and 30 minutes- which included resting time taking in the beautiful views, breathing in the cool crisp air and noseying around the ruins. I highly recommend this trail. I plan to go to the Inspiration Point next time, which is an additional 7 miles. Except next time, packing a backpack with goodies to eat at the picnic tables and also to free up my hands! :) Happy Trailing guys!
Reviewed by LEM on 10/3/2011
10-3-11 My wife and I did the hike today. It took us two hours to the ruins and 1 1/4 back. The trails were amazing! If you have vertigo do not do this hike.Nothing tricky, but the trails get narrow in some places and you climb pretty quick. I heard that on weekends are pretty crowded, so..........! The trail at the start is through scrub oak,past large cactus,up a winding switch-back trail, through tunnel-like bushes,trails past sand stone and shale. Up into the forest, stay to the right to find the ruins of Mount Lowe Railway. walking around the ruins (tennis court/picnic areas)it was a little weird, I thought I could hear voices near me but..?And on the main house stairway there was "corner of the eye" stuff,and weird mists.
Reviewed by Paul V on 8/22/2011
My 7 year old son and I hiked this trail last Friday. We found the trail in very good condition with lots of friendly people. It took us about 2 1/4 hours up and 1 1/2 down. We stopped often to admire the view, take pictures and drink water. The ruins of the old resort are interesting and we spent about an hour exploring and having a picnic (there are a couple of nice shaded picnic tables at the top) The echo megaphone is amazing, your voice comes back several seconds later almost as loud as it went out. The 1400 foot elevation change and 2.7 miles each way are a bit challenging. We have been hiking in the Whittier/La Puente hills all summer which prepared us for this hike (many similar but shorter hikes). Nice Hike.
Reviewed by Dave F. on 6/19/2011
Did this hike today. Didn't get to see great views due to the marine layer, but this hike is a good workout due to the elevation gain. I worked up a pretty good sweat. The remnants of the white city are pretty amazing and worth checking out. We heard water below in the canyon, but never saw it, maybe it's on the 11 mile loop (we only went up to Echo Mtn and back down. We'll do this one again.
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