Inspiration Point via Sam Merril Trail to Castle Canyon Trail

MODERATE 124 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Inspiration Point via Sam Merril Trail to Castle Canyon Trail is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, California that offers the chance to see wildlife 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.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2644 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

bugs

rocky

hiking
10 hours ago

The signs weren’t super clear (at least to us) and we ended up walking 5 extra miles for a total of 14, lol. Make sure you bring enough water since it is a long hike. The top is beautiful and hiking shoes are recommended for the downhill because it can be a little slippery.

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Great workout with an excellent view at the top, one of the best day hikes in LA. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the top!

Gorgeous yet strenuous trail. At the summit we took a left and went down Sam Merrill until we reached echo peak (half way point~). It was super cold today but the views were worth the windchill.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike with ruins, forest, and payoff at the top. I wouldn’t go if over 75-80 degrees as there is no shade on lower section, and sun is really intense here in SoCal.

hiking
1 month ago

Views are great !
Ps* do the trail early in the day. It does get warm out

1 month ago

10 mikes total if you don’t explore Echo Mountain. Beautiful hike! The way up is a little challenging but worth the views. Completed in just shy of 3.5 hours.

1 month ago

I’d say difficult... but worth it at the top - we clocked 12.99 miles from start to finish

1 month ago

Enjoyed the fake telescopes at the top of the trail. Good variety along the trail. Echo Mtn. is about the halfway point.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful view of the city of L.A. surrounded by the San Gabriel Mtns in Angeles Natl Forest. Once you get past the Echo mountain trail marker (about 2.3mi), you start feeling the steep incline as well as the elevation gain. Beautiful day to hike on a December!

1 month ago

Nice views along the trail. The last mile up to inspiration point is pretty steep but getting to the top is worth it and there are more trails from there.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

did this trail in early November, hard but worth it for the views.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Busy up to Echo Mountain, even on week days. Saw only one other person on the way to Inspiration Point. It was very hot and exposed to the sun, even in November.

2 months ago

Awesome trail. Obviously it's pretty heavy foot traffic going to the top of Echo Mountain but once you start hiking to Inspiration Point it's good. Peaceful and relaxing.

3 months ago

It is actually about 13 miles round trip I did the hike in 4:40 but allow time to rest and or eat at the top. View is ok. Interesting history about Lowe tavern and the trolley that once was built up there.

3 months ago

My very first hike! And let me tell you. Not advisable for beginners. But I completed. Barely! Lol

3 months ago

awesome trail! incredible views!

3 months ago

this is one of the best hiking trails the I ever done, really challenges you.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a pretty challenging loop, but it covers two absolutely wonderful canyons. You pass the ruins of the observatory first, then the views get better as you get higher. The upper part of middle Sam Merrill trail is in a heavily forested canyon, very quiet and lush. Castle canyon on the way back is steeper, so a little better for the downhill leg. Note the freshly restored monument to Sam.

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