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 trail, definitely will come back to run..

This is a 45m hard since the beginning, after that is moderated all the way to the top, closest to inspiration point, very good hiking

Three stars is because it’s so dusty. You couldn’t access the parking lot because the road was closed due to fire danger. So I parked along the side of the road walked up the hill a bit and found a place to enter. Once he and I had a Tonna fun and it wasn’t crowded at all then again it’s a Wednesday morning. Straight up I went and the rundown was very easy. If you got an hour and a half to kill go knock it out.

Not very much shade, but an amazing view at the top with the railway ruins! Bring yo’ sunscreen.

The waterfall (in November) was pretty small but the hike was nice, not a ton of people, and easy to get to, would recommend

Great hike with good LA history at the top. It’s all up hill with very little shade so plan accordingly with water and a hat. Also it’s street parking and it can get busy. Dog friendly

This hike begins in Altadena and ends up covering the entire length of the Dawn Mine trail. You then continue straight up and into the mountains. Be careful not to get lost at the trail splits, as the steep terrain makes backtracking very difficult. This trail takes less used routes, and you see very few people until the very end. You see rolling hills, granite cliffs, pine trees, rivers, mines, and in my case a bear. At the end you can continue up the road a few miles to Wilson observatory. Navigating this route is tricky and overgrown. I created this route and even we still got lost.

Fun and easy hike and the fall was beautiful. The parking lot was closed because of fire season. The incline from the parking area was the hardest part and added a mile to the hike. When the parking lot is open I would recommend for children.

Great trail. Good for dogs. Probably not kids, though. Very steep in places.

Definitely a great hike but get there early during the warm months to beat the heat and beat the crowd. I’d also suggest taking Castle Canyon to Inspiration Point and come down through the Sam Merril trail since Castle Canyon has a lot of rocks on steep inclines that might be dangerous to travel downward on. We got that tip from a stranger as we started heading back down Castle Canyon. Safer way to travel down is definitely Sam Merril. Great views.

Nice but a lot of up and down and much of it is heavily trafficked.

Distance:
5 miles to Echo Mountain (2.5 up and 2.5 down)
10 miles to Inspiration Point (5 miles and 5 miles down)

Hike through some unique LA history as you churn those legs upward to the Echo Mountain resort ruins. The trail has constant elevation and is a really solid workout. Once you get to the ruins (2.5 miles), take a break, explore the remains, and eat your lunch or snacks here. It is quite enjoyable yelling into the echo phone and hearing your voice reverberate through the mountains - it really carries through clearly!

Now if you want to make this hike special, I HIGHLY recommend going from the ruins and trekking all the way up to Inspiration Point via the Sam Merrill trail or the Castle Canyon (both these entrances are marked with plaques that look identical). This is where the trail gets more isolated, rugged, narrow, and is much steeper! The Sam Merrill trail once you get towards the top, brings you through the backside of mountain where you venture into the shaded wilderness of the woods - really loved this change in the landscape. The Castle Canyon trail ascends up much faster and steeper than its counterpart and is a major workout where you will be huffing and puffing until you get to the top. Be aware of potential mountain bikers trekking down these trails, I was pretty shocked to have 3 of them go by us as the trails were narrow, quite impressive honestly. Once at Inspiration point, soak in the views and lay down before heading back to the trailhead. They have these cool, hollow telescope tubes that are labeled by LA's neighborhoods (silverlake, venice, etc). These aren't actual telescopes but if you had one this would be the perfect time to use it. There are also a good amount of hawks or ravens up here so make sure to gaze and be amazed as they soar around you, I even saw one doing some tricks in the air!

A beautiful mountain hike that is not too far from the city!

Parking: There is free parking at the base of the trailhead.

Pretty good. The first several miles are tree lined and shaded then it gets out in the open. I didn't finish the whole thing but really enjoyed the first several miles because of the beautiful mountain scenery and tranquillity. I went out a sunday and it was quiet with not many people on the trail.

trail running
21 days ago

my happy place

really super for kids and dogs. wonderful hike

Very nice hiking! Beautiful view

very nice view.

So beautiful!!!

this was a really nice hike but it's a fire Road most of the way but the views from Inspiration Point are something special and it was 8 miles round-trip and we saw a bobcat

If you want a adventures hike take the Castle Canyon trail up to inspiration point. It was challenging but a shaded trail with great views. We took the Sam Merrill trail down. It was a nice trail covered by trees at first but then it was switchbacks and full sun exposure until the end of the trail.

As soon as you hit the trail you’re climbing switchbacks all the way up until you hit Echo Mountain point. Beautiful views as your climbing and at the top of Echo Mountain. We went up to Inspiration Point thru Castle canyon trail, it’s a challenging trail with plenty of shade and great views. We came down the Sam Merrill Trail from inspiration point, at first it was nice, lovely tress and shade but then it was switchbacks all the way down with full sun exposure and no shade. As challenging as castle canyon trail is I Would definitely do this hike again.

Seen a bear less than 1/4 mile from inspiration point telescopes.. it was less than a foot from me and another hiker eating some left over trash someone should have carried out with them.. non the less the bear was small and easy to scare off... cool hike liked the feeling of being above the clouds once to the top.

Great trail, especially late-afternoon when I did it. It took me 2 1/2 hours and I was booking it, so I would definitely allow yourself 3 for sure. I combined the Dawn Mine Trail, which takes you down into a thickly wooded ravine with lots of boulders and a lovely stream, with the Mount Lowe Railway Trail, which is paved but still really nice, on the return. It took me about 1-1 1/4 hours to get to the Dawn Mine area, and then you can turn left and head up the hillside and then return along the ridge, which gives you great views of Altadena all the way to Downtown LA. Highly recommended. Only say about 10 people the whole time. Can't wait to go again!

It is a little unkept and wild, but it was remote and not crowded which was nice and really rare for Los Angeles area. I would do it again, maybe in hiking boots.

Really nice area but the gate was locked and couldn’t get in, they replaced the fence AND. got stuck in the mud right before the gate. Geez bad day I’ll tell ya what.....

Good hike. But the first part (Sam Merrill Trail) to get to inspiration Pt is very highly trafficked. Inspiration Pt trail is super steep but a good workout. It was overcast so couldn’t really see much. Lots of rocks going up and down. Overall good one.

Loved it. Worth the hike to the top.

Great trail and workout!

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