Echo Mountain

Altadena, California 91003

Echo Mountain

Echo Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Experience vistas of the Los Angeles metro area while ascending to the ruins of a historic Victorian chalet, and follow the trail of the only scenic mountain electric traction railroad ever built in the United States."

More Echo Mountain Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster)
John McKinney
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"Professor Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe’s Echo Mountain Resort area can be visited not only by retracing the tracks of his “Railway to the Clouds” but also by way of a fine urban edge trail that ascends from the outskirts of Altadena. This historic hike visits the ruins of the one-time “White City” atop Echo Mountain. From the steps of the old Echo Mountain House are great clear-day views of the megalopolis. Energetic hikers can join trails leading to Inspiration Point and Idlehour campground. Pasadena and Altadena citizens have been proud to share their fascination with the front range of the San Gabriels. This pride has extended to the trails ascending from these municipalities into the mountains." Read more
Mountain Bike! Los Angeles County (Menasha Ridge Press)
Charles Patterson
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"To be such a short route, the Echo Mountain/Sam Merrill loop really packs a technical and aerobic punch. With the perfect blend of scenery, vigorous climbing, vertigo-inspiring cliffs, and challenging switchbacks, this may be the perfect after-work ride because it can be finished in less than two hours. If it does become part of your post-clock-out regimen, don’t ever lose respect for the danger that this trail presents—complacency can cause severe injuries and even death on the Lower Sam Merrill Trail." Read more

Echo Mountain Reviews

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Very popular trail (super crowded), but so fun and beautiful. There are gorgeous views of San Gabriel valley and consistent elevation gain. Interesting history about the old railway. The trails are pretty steep and narrow at times, but very well maintained. Lots of picnic tables at the top.
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Make sure you get here early because this hike is super popular! You will have to park on the street and the later you arrive the further away you will have to park from the trailhead. It’s a lovely hike but it can get crowded and although the trail is well maintained it is a bit narrow. The summit is beautiful and also a has an interesting history. I hiked up to the hotel remains, which was interesting. It is totally worth the extra time to take the detour to Inspiration Point. All the while there was consistent elevation gain, and absolutely gorgeous views (I was lucky it wasn't too cloudy or smoggy). Prepare yourself for little shade along the entire trail. There were quite a few benches on the way up, and lots of picnic tables at the top of Echo Mountain for resting and snacking. It was a fulfilling mind and body experience and such a treat to look out over Los Angeles and the San Gabriel valley! I imagine this trek would be challenging for kids, but doable.

Echo Mountain Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Open year-round
USGS Mount Wilson, CA
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018