Mount Lowe Railway Loop is a 10.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Altadena, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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.
Fascinating historic railway, great views, pine trees, deep canyons I really enjoyed this hike along the ruins of the Mt Lowe railway, Echo Mountain, and the Alpine Tavern. These locations were the most popular in Southern California in the late 1800's, before being destroyed by floods and fire. More than a dozen historical markers along the way tell the fascinating story of this railway. To top it off, the hike includes stunning views, pine forests, deep canyons, and lots of hiking. The first half of the hike, up to Alpine Tavern (now Mt Lowe Camp) and Inspiration Point, follows the Sunset Ridge Fire road to the top. The return leg is a bit more convoluted, but quite fun. A quarter mile down hill from Inspiration point, take the Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain and visit the ruins of the former Inn at this location. Next head right on Echo Mountain Trail back to the Sunset Ridge Fire road. A hundred yards down the fire road on the right, take the unmarked trailhead for Sunset Ridge Trail, which parallels the fire road, and will get you home.
We usually take this the opposite direction, starting up towards Echo Mountain, then on up to Inspiration Point via the Castle Canyon trail then back down the Sam Merrill trail rather than the fire road. The area is really beautiful. Keep your eyes/ears open for cyclists.
Great trail, it's well maintained for most of the hike and is pretty clearly marked. Just make sure you save the main turn points so you don't get confused! It's a hike and a history lesson! Took me around 4:30 for the whole trail having to park outside the gate to the road because it doesn't open til after 6am
such beautiful views! it's a steady incline which helps with the hike!