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 Bryan on 9/14/2014
Hiked on a Sunday morning. Started on the trail around 730am which was fine, but I'd like to start even earlier. You get a fair amount of traffic on the trail, including runners and even a few mountain bikers. The temp got into the high 90's today, but because you hike up the western aspect of the mountain you're in the shade for the first few hours of the morning. At least until 9 or 9:30. There is some shade, but you'll get a lot of direct sun so be prepared. Great views of the city as you climb up the mountain, and the old resort grounds are great. This hike isn't easy, but it's not difficult if you're in moderate condition.
Reviewed by Jg on 1/4/2014
We have hiked thus trail twice. The trail winds upward to the White hotel ruins. Plan to take plenty of water and light snacks fir when you reach the top. Spectacular view of the San Gabriel valley. Disappointed that the parks had not taken better care to preserve thus historical place. I would support conservation of this part of history. A must see in your lifetime. What a treasure of the past,
Reviewed by Pasadena Hiker on 7/16/2013
The trail and the White City ruins are great. What I don't like about this trail is the sheer number of people and dogs off leash. If you want peach and quiet, I would definitely not recommend this trail. Also, it is exposed the entire way. I wouldn't recommend this trail on a hot day, unless you are well conditioned for heat and have a lot of water.
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!
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