Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

it was a nice little hike but not much water this time plenty of shade and friendly people

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.

A fun little trail with a few stream crossings that's easy to get to and easy to follow. The best part is that a majority of the trail is in the shade, perfect for a summer morning hike! Get there early because parking is quite limited and you need an adventure pass.

nice hike smooth trail beatiful view at the top

small trail that goes through campground to waterfall

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.)

on Millard Canyon Falls Trail

20 days ago

This is a nice low impact hike. Very kid friendly.

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 . . .

Short, beautiful, oak-shaded trail to a waterfall. Rated easy, but I would not wear flip flops or take my grandmother on this hike: uneven terrain, some uphill. But if you're somewhat prepared and in shape, well worth doing.

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.

Easy short trail.

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


1 month ago

Beautiful trail that I will definitely do again, but be more careful next time. I got started in the later afternoon, so I knew I didn’t have an over abundance of time. I got a little excited and missed the initial overgrown left path and marched straight into Rubio Canyon, by the time I realized my mistake, I decided to go ahead and take the tight switchbacks up to Echo Mountain. The overgrowth was significant on the narrow path, and ended up heading towards the foundations from the old rail lift, which was definitely not meant to be climbed. After some scrambling and significant exposure ahead, I made some tricky moves up and back and eventually found the trail again. I was pretty exhausted and a bit cut up after reaching the top, I decided to take the initial trail I was looking for back down and call it a day. Beautiful views along the way looking up to ridge line and the steep cliffs below. I’ll tackle this one in the morning next time.

Edit: I went back again yesterday, and generally took the shown loop. The hike up to Echo Mountain was pretty rough with the sun, but the path over to Inspiration Point was nicely shaded, though mosquito’s and bees were prominent. Steep climb near the end, but I was feeling good, and the trail was easily defined. It was then an easy hike over to Muir Peak with little elevation gain.

Heading back down was another story. The low shrubs and many rockslides, made it difficult to follow the trail. Used my map regularly to make sure I was on the right bearing and had to make a couple adjustments. The descent was very steep, I couldn’t imagine climbing up that way, and I started to fatigue pretty quickly. The rock was very loose and even with my hiking shoes there was a bit of sliding dangerously close to the ridge line. After a bit of the way down the trail dived into some cover in thicker woods with tall grasses and it was impossible to actually see the trail, other than a toppled tree giving you an idea to move towards the right. I nearly stepped on a Southern Pacific Rattler burrowed in the grass, but thankfully saw it just soon enough to avoid him, but not without upsetting him as well. I retreated a bit until it quieted down and then came back around the corner. He was still there laying across the grass, so I jumped the log blocking the only other direction, and rejoined the trail pretty quickly. Thankfully no more scares on the way down, but there was tons of cover for the snakes the rest of the way down with heavy bushes lining the trail, that it was pretty stressful keeping watch. Once finally down to Rubio Canyon, there is a bit of a climb back up to street level, but it felt good to be on the homestretch. I’d probably just double back down where I came next time, the decent was not fun at all, but overall a beautiful hike with amazing views.

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.

1 month ago

Really pretty trail with a wide variety of scenery and difficulty. Steep climb with beautiful views. Plus it’s very lightly traveled. I only saw 2 other people over 4 hours. I also lost the trail a few times because the vegetation is so dense right now. That can be taken either way—great bc it’s pristine or bad bc it can be tough finding your way. It’s not a trail for the faint of heart and not a quick loop, but great if you’re a good hiker looking to really get away from the crowds and into nature.

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.

fun and easy. Only mistake came on a holiday, to many dogs and people.
the falls were lovely.

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

Great fast and refreshing hike. Yellow desert vegetation up above, but a lush green garden in the canyon where you get to hike. And a great ending.

Highly recommend for any one looking for a quick, rewarding hike.

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