Explore the most popular mountain biking 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 we want to go back soon

The elevation gain posted here is correct but not the mileage...it is at least 1 mile longer than the posted 9 miles if you do the loop...definitely recommend getting there early to avoid the heat and the crowds that come later...I usually try to start around 6 am. Hiking poles aren’t needed but could be useful for some people. Depending on the weather conditions when you do this hike, I think 2-3 liters of water should be fine.
From the Cobb Estate gate it is about 2.5 miles up to Echo Mtn. From there you can either start with the San Merrill trail or the Castle Canyon to get to Inspiration Point and use whichever one you didn’t take up to get back down to Echo. My GPS measured Castle Canyon to be about 1 mile shorter.
Distance- 10.1 miles
Duration- 4-6 hrs
Difficulty- hard

*easy to find street parking and no Adventure Pass needed

Great hike last nite and way to step into my birthday..As I keep doing this hike weekly, I definitely feel a positive difference in my body and mind and its conditioning me to level up with ease onto longer and higher altitude trails.

Yes it’s been so hot this summer!! BUT this trail is nice and shady if you start as early as 6am. You would definitely need all terrain/hiking shoes. WATER and snack as well. Too many mountain bikers so Earphones headphones is not a good idea. Due to recent fires the view wasn’t as good but will definitely comeback!! Really liked the trail and if you’ve never hiked be ready for a great uphill downhill leg workout! :))

Great hike. I was tempted to take a star off for the amount of fellow hikers. My friend and I were slow, so we were constantly moving to the side to let others pass (our problem, not theirs). However, the hike itself is worth five stars. The "destination" at the end was fun and the views were great. We started at about 6:45 am and were in shade most of the time, which was wonderful in the SoCal summer.

This is a definite "share the road" experience. Equal numbers of hikers and mountain bikers. Most bikers were considerate (had bells and let us know how many were still coming) and friendly. However, there were one or two that flew around the corner and nearly mowed us down. One guy said "My bad" as he flew past us--if he had a bell, we would have heard him coming--get a bell, dude! My friend and I started at about 6:45 on a Saturday morning. We actually went counterclockwise, not on purpose, and only did about the first 4 miles, then turned around. It was a great hike and we will do it again, for sure. (Next time going clockwise, so we can actually see the stream.) There are a couple of places where the trail narrows or has a recent scree pile to navigate over, but all-in-all, a lovely hike. About 50% has cover and is cool. The steam on the side we went was a trickle and dry in many places--but it's august, so..

really good hike.
I actually did 12.4 mile total.
I started from Sam Trailway worked my way up to Inspiration
( I took the longer way) I liked the challenge. Came back down the same way I went up. You definitely need at least 3 or 4 liters of water in a hot day. Took a sandwich and orange and u survived lol.

Yes this hike is recommended for advanced hikers.

Virtual Hike: https://youtu.be/pZEPeV_vT2w

We met up slightly after the sunrise for a relatively cool hike, despite the season. The mountain ridges on the way up shielded us from the sun for the most of the ascent, and a bit cloud cover was an extra gift as well. The views on the way up are unparalleled, both of the San Gabriel Valley, JPL, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Once at the top, there sits the ruins of an old resort, the Echo Mountain House. There is a super cool Echo Phone towards the end of the ruins, past the water basin, which has some bright color graffiti. There’s a lot to see up here, not to mention the panoramic views of the Los Angeles area. The whole hike took about 3 hours for us, with a break at the top. I highly recommend this one. It’s a medium difficulty trail, because of the ascent, but probably a good transition for beginner to intermediate hikers. I’m definitely coming back, but I want to try some of the longer routes, possibly from the Sunset Ridge Loop Trail.

Hope you enjoy!

Playlist for the trail: https://sptfy.com/17U8

went back 2nite..lost my car keys (nissan) n house key..Argh!!! Most likely at Echo Mountain point ..still love this hike..if u find them plz contact....9 20am update..someone found my keys n my note..thanks to the d lady who found them and Paul who saw my note and called...will be back this weekend for another hike..Happy Trails

Attempted my 1st nite hike ever at 10pm last night. Facing the city lights ,
one foot in front of the other, headlights on , hiking backpack equipped with 6bottles H20, snacks , battery pack and cell phone charger. I trailed with hiking poles the scenic switchbacks. I recommend to focus light on ur step ahead as you may trip or step on a innocent tarantula. Take breaks to bring your heart at a cool beat and breath in and breath out slowly when needed... Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate..once u make it to the top , u can reward yourself with a cold one

Leisurely hike with not a lot of foot traffic for a weekend. There are a good amount of mountian bikers though which can get hectic. What's nice is that you can hike along a creek and easily find wildlife like tree frogs and toads.

Variety of birds as well. Lots of poison oak so be aware.

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.

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

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.

1 month 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.

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

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

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