Explore the most popular forest trails near Altadena with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike starting at the ruins of the Cobb Estate, ending with the ruins of the historic Mt Lowe Railway and Echo Mountain, with spectacular views of Los Flores and Rubio Canyons, all the way to the ocean.

If you are a beginner looking for your first intermediate hike, this trail is for you: a well designed, well maintained, single track, easy to follow, friendly and popular, with a steady grade of about 12%.

One of my favorite hikes in the front range of the San Gabriels.

Great trail on a hot day. Lots of shade. Lots of water. Many cautious mountain bikers. Just a few bozos.

This is one of my favorite local hikes! It can be done as a lollipop loop using the Sam Merril Trail as the base. When you reach the top of the Sam Merril Trail you can take the Castle Canyon Trail (which is really awesome and wild but pretty strenuous the 2nd half). Or you can stay left and keep going up the mountain about 3/4 of a mile on the Sam Merril Trail until you hit Mt. Lowe rd. Then make a right and take that about 2 3/4 of a mile until you hit the Mt, Lowe Campground. And then only 1/3 of a mile more up to the right to Inspiration Point. Once there you can go back down the way you came or do it as a loop. The Mt. Lowe Rd. way is a little longer but not as steep. I like to do this hike as a sunset hike...the views are amazing. I usually make it back to the halfway point near the old hotel as night has fallen. The views of the city at night are breathtaking.

nice hike smooth trail beatiful view at the top

hiking
19 days ago

It's amazing how secluded this trail is given its location. It's also quite overgrown, so I recommend wearing pants, bringing a map, and giving yourself plenty of daylight. We decided to turn back about 0.8 miles in because we encountered a rattlesnake in the middle of the trail under some rocks. (We didn't want to deal with it on our way back down in the dark.)

hiking
20 days ago

Rubio Canyon is a lightly trafficked, hidden gem. The canyon is very steep, and within a hundred yards you go from suburbia to a rugged wilderness that is popular with canyoneers.

If you extend the hike a bit, you can reach a number of different waterfalls, one of them almost 80 feet high. Just be prepared for some bushwhacking and Class 3 scrambling. You definitely want hiking boots and long pants. You definitely don't want to bring your dog, and if you're afraid of heights, this is not your hike.

But the views are spectacular, and you pass some ruins of the historic Mt Lowe Railway. Very fun and very worth making this a destination hike.

Great hike! 4 hours with a lunch and some breaks in June. The trail was poorly marked but if you follow the river bed it will lead to the mine. An out and back just to the mine will save you a lot of elevation but the rest of the loop is very scenic (follow the river bed to the left of the first shack)! We saw two entrances to the mine, the lower was easy and the upper entrance was straight up a rock scramble about 25 feet. The top mine has a very deep visible tunnel. The river was very low and dry in some places.

Crowded and popular, yet fun social trail for quick half day hike near LA. Moderate and dog friendly. Nice views on clear days.

More bikes than hikers, fairly secluded, ends near a bench, ideal for lunch.

This was my first 10 mile hike with my 8yr old daughter. A lot of climbing but the views are amazing. Be careful with mountain bikers. The way we took this hike was heading left and loop around. Recommend it . . .

Nice challenging but easily doable trail for kids. Great view and opportunity to explore the ruins as reward at the end. Probably closer to 5.25 miles altogether. Heavily used on the weekend.

30 days ago

This was a good challenge. It is not at all easy, but it is doable. It is so peaceful as you branch off from Echo Mountain to hike to the point. About 10 minutes in, we felt like we were in a rainforest (California standards) listening to running water and singing birds. Go early if you want to enjoy the feeling of being in nature alone. We started at 4:50am and were back down by 9:20am.

I loved this hike! I took the Sam Merril trail to Echo Mountain and took the left turn onto the Inspiration Point trail. The signs are pretty easy to follow. The signs will tell you it’s 8.7 miles but I had a couple GPS trackers that told me I did a total of 10.6 miles.
The Echo Mountain portion of the trail is really busy, almost annoyingly so. Once you turn off to the Inspiration Point Trail the crowds die down dramatically. I think I passed 2 people the whole time. It was very cloudy and overcast once I got to the top and there was zero visibility but I still enjoyed watching the fog roll around the mountains.
There are picnic tables at the top so bring food and have a little picnic, it will be well deserved!
The little signs make for great photo ops too.
I definitely recommend this hike and will try it again when the sun is out to see how far I can see out.

1 month ago

Excellent hike with a lot of things to see and got a nice sunset view at the end.

wow, great hike. it took us 5 hours with breaks

A little challenging with the 5 y/o but the trooper made it! Proud of her. Other than that, great hike with family and friends. Not too much shade either so properly prepare for it

Don't be fooled. This is a hard hike. I recorded it at 12.4 miles, not 9.9. The beginning (Fern Truck Trail) and end (Sloan Saddle and down) is east to moderate, but the brown mountain section should be rated hard. There is a lot of steep sections with loose rock. There are also long, steep overgrown sections where staying on the trail is hard. The section across the top of the ridge, though there isn't any elevation gain has a lot of ups and down and is tough going. Otherwise, a beautiful hike. I didn't see anyone else, and there are great views 360 degrees.

Hiked this loop trail yesterday...weather in the canyon was perfect. Trail was in remarkably good shape compared to a couple of years ago after the station fire. If you hike in during summer start from the top and work your way down canyon where it will be much cooler. There was some water in the creek, some salamanders, and we only saw one other person as we were coming out of the canyon, which for a Saturday is amazing.

Tough hike, great views. The summit is beautiful and also a has an interesting history. A mind and body experience!

Easy hike, historic, interesting, good views, everyone should do this hike at least once.

Easy hike, historic, interesting, good views, everyone should do this hike at least once.

Awesome trail for hikers. Yet there are tons of bikers as well. Maybe ore bikers than hikers on this trail. Just be careful especially in the curve. Some bikers have manners, they carry bells and tell you how many people are coming behind them, but some bikers have no manners, don't carry bells and they come done the trail with full speed. If you are hiker, start hiking super early before 6am or after 10am, Bikers tend to start around 7am ish.

Went Sunday morning (5/26/18) and started at 7am. Not as crowded as I thought it would be and it was still cloudy and cool. Hiked to the hotel remains, then all the way up to Inspiration Point. This was my first hike of this distance, but the views of Los Angeles through clouds was well worth my complaining of how tired I was!! I see this page states that the hike is 4.9 miles out and back, but the tracking I used on my cell phone showed that it totaled 11 miles. Regardless, it was well worth it.

Did part of this hike yesterday. Made it up to MtLowe during a really cool foggy day. No way of judging most of the views due to the fog. Soon after the parking area you will come across a nice tunnel made in the 1940s. Once you reach the top there’s a few view finders that point out the surrounding peaks.

Love this trail. Such a beautiful end view. Vistas are 180> degrease at the too!

Great historical hike.
Heavy traffic on the weekends

hiking
1 month ago

I've done this a few times, both half way to the Lowe Railway Camp, which is about 5 miles round trip and all the way to Inspiration Point, which is 10 miles round trip. It's definitely worth it to go the entire way if you have time, the views are amazing at inspiration point and the trail is empty and quiet the second half of the way. It can be a bit confusing around the ruins on the way back, but if you have your app/maps then you'll be fine. I rate this as moderate not difficult as long as you're in halfway decent shape you should be fine.

Get there early. You will have to park on the street and the later you get there the further you will park from the trailhead. It’s a beautiful hike but it can get packed and the trail is well maintained but narrow. We hiked up to the hotel remains and I regret not taking the extra time to take the detour to inspiration point. Next time!

Was a really lovely walk. A little confusing on the way down but nothing the app or maps couldnt sort out!

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