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Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail

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Angeles National Forest

Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail is a 5.4 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.

Length 5.4 mi Elevation gain 1,417 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Over grown

Rocky

No shade

Historic site

Description
Waypoints (0)

This trail is good for running but can be crowded. This route is the Lower San Merrill trail towards Lake. At the beginning, take the second trail further back towards mountain. At the top, turn right for Echo Mtn. Alternatively, turn left for Sierra Saddle (turn left again once you hit the paved road and the sign for Sierra Saddle should be on the right; you can take the paved road back up to backtrack to Echo Mtn after you reach the tables—adds on 4 miles).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (2829)
Photos (2184)
Recordings (2673)
Completed (5691)
Carlie Corbin
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HikingRocky

Great trail. Moderate incline and moderately trafficked.

View Carlie's Recording
Carol Pérez de Flores
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HikingRocky
View Carol's Recording
Kay Bee
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Hiking

This trail is 3 miles up and 3 down. There’s very little shade throughout. Beautiful open views of the city through the hike.

View Kay's Recording
Steffani Mahan
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Hiking

Good exercise hike. Lots of people. I saw too much trash. Remember people going uphill have the right of way. The trail is narrow and sketchy in a few places. Be careful.

View Steffani's Recording
Cesar Z
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Hiking

This is such a great hike. Beautiful views all the way up and down. It’s a trail you must do

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Chris User
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Hiking

Watch out for poison oak (leaves of three and red, orange, and green colors). Fantastic hike but bring lots of water. Enjoy!

View Chris's Recording
Danny Tran
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HikingNo shade

Hike was pretty good. A solid moderate hike, gets kind of crowded. It was pretty hot though with parts with no shade, so bring adequate water. Also, enjoy the view at the top!

Maria Vela
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Hiking

Amazing hiking day

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Jessie Pariseau
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Hiking

Hot with no shade. Go early like we did.

View Jessie's Recording
Maria J Montes De Oca
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Hiking

Love it

View Maria J's Recording
Ricardo Gonzalez
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HikingRocky

Great hike started at 8 a.m. 80% in shade moderate traffic and steady incline going up. Trial or hiking shoes/boots as well as a hat and sunglasses recommended.

View Ricardo's Recording
Crystal Murillo
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Hiking
View Crystal 's Recording
Melissa Muñoz
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Hiking

Got here at 6:40am on Thursday & plenty of parking still available. Not many people on the trail & all wearing masks as passing by. Fished the hike before 9am & then more people were just starting & now cars arrived.

View Melissa's Recording
Rami Cooper
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Hiking

Enjoyed the hike to the very nice summit of Echo mountain. Moderate is just about the right rating for the hike. All uphill but not too steep. Narrow path most of the way so you’ll be very near hikers coming the opposite direction, some wearing masks, some not. Fairly busy on a Wednesday morning, so I assume super busy on weekends. Up on top is a large area with lots of history. There were tennis courts up there, evidently in 1900! There are several tables and benches, so stay a while and enjoy the day.

Veronica Calixto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Went on this trail yesterday and took my 13 year old. She never done a hike before. There were some shady stops. So don’t forget sunscreen. Went up the mountain, small inclines but enough to feel it in your thighs. Went all the up and we found the casino/ house that was once up there. Only stairs and some of the bottom foundation remains. The city view was “so cool” as my daughter stated. 5.7 miles and took us 4 hours to go up and down. We took many brakes since was her first time.

View Veronica's Recording
Timothy Rosnick
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HikingGreat!

This is a great hike because it provides a good workout with constant elevation gain, but if you start early, nearly all of the hike is in the shade. The trail is in excellent condition, but those with knee problems should keep in mind the constant incline and there are some big steps. The Echo Mountain area itself is very interesting with foundations of the old buildings, some of equipment, and signs that provide some of the history. It also has great views given its modest elevation. Come early to get a good parking spot and to get to the top before you lose the fairly constant shade.

Zhicheng Xia
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HikingRocky
View Zhicheng's Recording
Mel Lauren
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Hiking

Went to this trail blindly not really knowing what to expect. Went on a Saturday afternoon around 2pm. Sun was out so it made the hike more challenging. Pretty gradual incline to the top at Echo Mountain picnic area. Had to stop several times to catch my breath. Very narrow trail and some rocky dirt areas. Mostly no shade, but had occasional shade along the hike. Nice overlooks to the city with benches to take a quick break. Saw lots of people jogging the trail. There's an old foundation of a hotel and some antique ruins of a train pulley at the top. About half way going back down the trail, we saw a BIG snake! It rattled just before we passed it so we waited several minutes until it crossed over the path. Bring lots of water.

Celeste Lara
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HikingBugsRocky

Beautiful hike! Would definitely go again and go earlier morning. Got there around 8:30 am. Wear longer leggings, hiking shoes, long socks, hat or sunglasses and sunscreen. Have fun!

Elias Naser
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Hiking

What goes up must come down

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Stephanie Ovalle
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Hiking

Great hike at anytime of the day . Beautiful view Takes me two hours there and back (if I don't stay at the top to long) Enough to get a sweat going

Yuliana Grajeda
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HikingBugsRocky

Great workout , more than half of the trail is incline . The earlier you can get to the trail the better .

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Devin Helmen
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Hiking

I only went for a few miles before my dog got tired. It had the potential to be a nice hike but I came across tons of really awful graffiti and a few places where people pooped right on the trail with used TP scattered around. I even came across a rotting cat. The narrow trails make it difficult to pass people. Most people wore face covers but for some reason trail runners don’t have to wear masks. One even came up right on my heels and ran in place a foot behind me until I notice he was there and moved out of his way. I did get a good workout though, and once again most people had masks. Might go again all the way through when it’s less hot.

Juliana Halpert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Always a beautiful trail at sunset but a bit crowded, even on a tuesday evening, for my taste. About 75% of people with face coverings of some sort, but hard to keep distance on the narrow trail. Walking down as it got dark was a lil magical.

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Noah Sauve
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020

It's unclear why the park service has not closed this trail, given the excessive number of hikers abusing their privileges here. Ditto recent reviews: hikers are not stepping to the side, but rather plowing right through. Saying "good morning" without a mask doesn't exonerate anyone. So much random behavior with complete disregard for public health. Angelenos are not known for being polite, but you'd think they might have read a few articles by now. Saw something on the news ... maybe. If you happen to find yourself in the midst of this public health disaster, I recommend doing a stage left to the Altadena Crest Trail. Great views for the first half mile or so, and barely a soul around.

Mac Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Trail was narrow and heavily crowded. Many people were not wearing masks and would not wait to the side to pass. There was also graffiti and trash everywhere along this hike. It was sad.

Miguel Santa Cruz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Hiked 10plus miles to Echo Mtn and then up to Inspiration Point via Sam Merrill Trail. First 2.6 miles to Echo Mtn are a warm up, doesn’t get easier after this point. Went up the east side of the loop which gets pretty tough the last 1.5 miles with lots of shade, came down the longer west side of the loop which is less steep but more exposed. Arrive early if you don’t want to add distance to your hike. I got there at 7am and park about .5 mile away.

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Tiffany Tharpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugs
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