Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail

MODERATE 881 reviews
#4 of 191 trails in

Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, California 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.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1404 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

14 hours ago

Great views in all directions! The trails are steep and narrow at times, but very well kept. Echo mountain is a cool historic site, but I chose to walk back to the junction about 50 yards and continue on to Inspiration point which added about an
hour, but certainly worth it. Prepare for little shade along the entire trail.
Parking is free from 6am-8pm on the street adjacent to the trailhead

hiking
19 hours ago

The views from this trail are amazing! Like others have mentioned, the trail itself is quite narrow. When you pass other hikers, you have to stand to the side because of this, but it’s general hiking etiquette anyways. I passed almost 20 other people on the trail on a Friday morning, so I can imagine weekends get crowded. There were quite a few benches on the way up, and lots of picnic tables at the top of Echo Mountain.
Parking was manageable even though I came later on a Friday morning. There are no restrooms at the trailhead, so take care of that before you arrive. I’m a medium paced hiker and it took me about 2 hours to complete (including taking pictures and taking a short rest at the top). I’ll definitely be back with friends!

13 days ago

Very nice !!! Excellent views
Too busy in the weekends

hiking
15 days ago

Breathtaking views!!!!!!!

hiking
19 days ago

This trailhead was pretty easy to find. The path was straightforward, there wasn’t anywhere to get confused...all options had signage. It was a beautiful day and didn’t seem too crowded...at first. The number of people grew as the day progressed. There were a lot of runners to move over for and dogs on leashes...all nice things for a more social type of walk. If you are looking for solitude this might not be THAT hike, but if you need to practice for THAT hike, this one’s perfect. The hike had a gradual but steady incline...it wasn’t horrible. I enjoyed my day outside and the views over Los Angeles.

hiking
28 days ago

Fun hike, lots of history... nice lil picnic area at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Shirt and sweet. Good training hike for Wilson.

1 month ago

Great hike this weekend. Right before the storm. After Echo MT. We decided to continue on up to Inspiration Point. What a great decision. Amazing view. But was freezing cold up there. Will definitely do both hikes again.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great training trail. It's long enough and difficult enough for a good workout. Very nice views as well. Just be sure to start early when it's hot because there's not much cover from the sun.

1 month ago

Sadly our group wasn’t able to get to the top but i enjoyed this hike.. great workout and beautiful views! Can’t wait to go back! We also took a different trail starting the hike, that had a type of water fountain and also felt spooky.

hiking
1 month ago

Didn’t make it all the way to Echo Mountain, but will be going back tomorrow, so another review to come soon.

So far, this place is pretty cool. The views are amazing all around, and the bits of history about the old railway is delightful. Can’t wait to go back!

1 month ago

once u get to the top. is amazing

hiking
1 month ago

The day was nice and crisp, some breezes blowing and good sushine. The trail is pretty well maintained. Being a holiday it was heavily trafficked. Next time will be during the week when the trail traffic is lighter.
It is pretty though, and a good hike.

1 month ago

Amazing... will be back

hiking
2 months ago

Not a bad hike...it’s pretty neat at the top seeing the historical sites and the trail is easy to follow. Feeling extra active? Continue on up to Inspiration Point! No restroom along the trail though, so plan ahead!

2 months ago

I frequently do this hike with my dog. The uphill is great along with the view and the ruins. Great run down. Great workout.

I would not recommend going on a weekend. Unless you like a scene, a line of people, and people playing music from speakers for everyone to hear (who started that btw?). Put some headphones on.

hiking
2 months ago

Very narrow path for how heavily trafficked it is. No trees until you get to the top. If you want a foresty scenic trail don’t do this one. Seeing the casino and train ruins were cool though. Not my cup of tea for a hike, but it’s great for trail running and even some mountain biking.

2 months ago

Uphill the whole way, but not too hard. Still a good workout, great views.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hit this trail at about 7am on a Saturday. Already somewhat busy, but moreso as I was coming down. I wouldn't hike up any later than 7am. I'm a relative n00b, so I didn't make it all the way to the top. Ran into two bikers and lots of larger groups (5+ people plus their equipment). Rare to find any shade covering, and the trail itself it reinforced well. Watch out for rebar-type reinforcements sticking up out of the middle of the trail, especially if you're on a bike. Great photo opportunities of the entirety of L.A. and surrounding cities.

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve done this hike several times and every time is as challenging. When this weekend which was a bit windy. Usually traffic in the morning but you can easily pass people by if running. There’s lots of sun to soak up so prepare accordingly with water and sunscreen. Mostly uphill so a great workout. It also connects to inspiration point.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice short hike beautiful views the entire way and historical sights at the summit but very busy during the weekends. I have done this hike at least 20-30 times (mostly in 2009 & 2010). Unfortunately, there is graffiti in some areas now and mountain bikers were frequent (8-10 in 2 hrs) this morning. I would rate it a 3.5 or 3.75 out of 5 but it's not possible on this site.

hiking
2 months ago

To be done early morning to stay away from the crowd.

hiking
2 months ago

The switchbacks can be killer but you're rewarded with gorgeous views and lots of history! I'm a sucker for ruins and this did not disappoint.

3 months ago

A nice hike with great views the whole time. The climb is uphill all the way to the top. The trail is narrow so watch for mountain bikes, dogs, and other hikers.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty steady ascend. Very beautiful view!

3 months ago

It’s good trail, long an healthy

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is all uphill and very narrow. Please be mindful while passing through. Wear hiking shoes and bring plenty of water as the trail has a lot of loose rocks and the weather can get hot depending on when you go. Great view of Pasadena, DTLA, and the ocean from the top. Happy Hiking!

hiking
3 months ago

it's a good work out I'll tell you what not much to see but if u want to get a good work out it's not to bad of a place.

hiking
3 months ago

it's a good work out I'll tell you what not much to see but if u want to get a good work out it's not to bad of a place

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