Mount Lowe Railway Loop

MODERATE 105 reviews
#12 of 141 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
10.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2962 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Fascinating historic railway, great views, pine trees, deep canyons This is a 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.

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5 days ago

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19 days ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

I rode up mt Lowe rd from the top of Chaney trail. it is a steep climb till you pass the Trail from echo mountain. after that it is a more manageable grade, as it follows the old railway. I took it to mt Lowe trail camp, site of the old alpine Tavern. it's a short bit further to inspiration point. at this point I returned the way I came. I'm slow, it took me about 3 hours round trip.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail honestly should not be rated as moderate. It will absolutely kick your ass if you are not conditioned for steep long distance hiking. It is a steep incline for more of the trail. There is very little coverage, so you are exposed to the sun most of the trail, which on a hot day can be very dangerous. BRING LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!!!
The bugs were awful. I was eaten alive by bitting flies. Bug spray is a must this time of year.
Be prepared for the hike back down to your car. Since it is very steep, it can really do a number on your knees and feet.

2 months ago

If you were to go in early spring when it's cool out I can understand this trail having a "moderate" rating but when it's anywhere above 85 degrees outside this trail is BRUTAL. You are very exposed through most of the trail. The incline isn't bad but all of the reviews and articles I've read about this trail greatly underestimate how much of it is uphill. The first half is pretty but the scenery stays pretty much the same all the way to Inspiration Point. The portion of the trail between Inspiration Point and Echo Mountain is an easy and comfortable descent and it is easily the most beautiful and interesting portion in the hike. Once you finish exploring Echo Mountain the path splits into like five different trails. Be careful; it can be very confusing. Once you finally find the right trail prepare yourself for yet another daunting uphill climb, followed by a knee busting descent back down the concrete road you came up at the start of the trail.

Also....cyclists.....cyclists everywhere.

2 months ago

2 months ago

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

Beautiful hike, lots of wildflowers. There are lots of alternate ways to do this hike. We went up the creek in Millard Canyon, and it was a great choice.. a little longer and a steep climb up, but beautiful.

6 months ago

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6 months ago

This was the first hike I did this year on Jan 2nd. Great hike.

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6 months ago

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7 months ago

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7 months ago