Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail

MODERATE 197 reviews
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Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, CA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.5 miles 1338 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


horseback riding




wild flowers



5 hours ago

HIked today with 100 F temp. Had to take many stops along the way under the small trees/cliff side. The view is always great especially when no one else is there besides yourself.

5 days ago

12 days ago

nice trail with nice views. now if only they could pickup after their dogs.

13 days ago

Great hike!

14 days ago

Love this hike! Great workout. I will definitely do it again.

15 days ago

With 1300 feet elevation gain in about 2.7 miles, this hike is a legit workout. The view at the top is one of the best of LA, but next time I'll go on a weekday (Sunday was busy).

20 days ago

Go all the way to Inspiration Point! It's worth it!

21 days ago

Start at Cobb Estate, take the Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain - 2.5 miles of switchbacks with a steady incline. I started at 8:30a and there were quite a few people there heading up. The trail is nicely maintained, with prominent trail markers along the way. Once you hit Echo Mountain you can rest and take in some of the history from the hotel that burned in early 1900's, and remnants of the Mt Lowe Railway. Once you've regained your momentum, you can go two ways to get to Inspiration Point: go to the far right trail for Castle Canyon (adds an additional 2.2 miles one way to your trip) or the Mt Lowe Railway Trail (additional 3.6 miles one way). There were a few areas of the trail that had trash (those that had to "go" left their used tissue on the trail) so please pack what you take. Overall, took me 6 hours, total of 12.2 miles. Not super hard, but not easy either, definitely a leg burner. Watch for mountain bikers on the narrow trail - most have bells so you can hear them coming.

22 days ago

Very nice trail, good workout! Just not stroller friendly oops lol

23 days ago

Surprisingly challenging, up up up!

23 days ago

it was hot in this day, but beautiful.

trail running
28 days ago

Start in the city...and end up in the pines! You can take the extension of this trail all the way to Inspiration Point (RT: ~10 mi, EG: ~2,800 ft.) for some truly inspiring views! Great hill trainer with a few technical spots & some steep drops-but the views are simply rewarding! You'll even run into a few pine trees & maybe some singing Blue Jays:D Just be sure you *start* adequately hydrated & of course "run with water" as this is a mostly southern face, exposed trail.

29 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Brutal in summer heat. One nalgene won't do it. Cool payoff at the top, but otherwise not an exciting hike via this route. Would recommend coming in from the North.

1 month ago

Good, a lil shady areas but not many.... Take water... Total was 7.8 miles... Def inclination will wear u out if yor not a current hiker... But once at the top its beautiful view of city...

1 month ago

1 month ago

Beautiful view, great hike ! Next time coming early to watch the sunrise !!!

1 month ago

Non stop uphill. Totally worth it

Great work out. Pretty view and picnic area at the top of the mountain. Bring water- not too much shade.