Hike Echo Mountain and Inspiration Point

Echo Mountain Trailhead, Altadena, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    10.4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2740 Feet

Dog Friendly

Hike to the ruins of the Echo Mountain Resort before heading up to panoramic views at Inspiration Point.

The trail switchbacks up the mountain before reaching the first historic marker, in 3 miles. These are the remains of the Mount Lowe Railroad, which brought customers to Echo Mountain Resort, also in ruins, nearby. Explore the historic sites, then head up Castle Canyon Trail.

A steep climb will bring you to Inspiration Point, where telescopes give views of the area. To head back down, take the shady Sam Merrill Trail.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection
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Reviews

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The later you go, the more crowded it is. The Echo Mountain hike is considerably shorter than the Bridge to Nowhere (which can also get crowded depending on the time), but like Runyon Canyon this trail can get incredibly crowded if you start after 8 am. I'd say start by 7 if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet. Also, use your headphones if you're playing music. Nobody likes what you listen to when they have no choice but to hear it.

12 months ago
12 months ago

Magnificent

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Decided to do this trail on a whim, last Saturday morning. Definitely wasn't expecting such an incline, but it was worth it once you reach the top. There were a lot of people on the trail, but everyone was very polite and encouraging when passing. I only got to Echo Mountain, but plan on heading up to Inspiration Point soon!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Originally started the hike to Echo mountain at 7 am with my dog. It took us about 40 minutes - an hour to reach echo mountain. Once we were done relaxing at echo mountain we started our hike to Inspiration Point via Castle Canyon. It was amazingly shady but there were tons of bees and other flying insect which made the hike slightly unenjoyable for both my dog and I but hey that's nature for ya. For the Echo Mountain trail it was a pretty easy hike and for a Monday morning I felt was pretty busy with other hikers, but for the Castle Canyon trail there was literally no one in sight to the point where it felt like my dog and I were really lost in the woods. ALSO BE WARNED THERE ARE SNAKES ON THIS TRAIL!!!! Due to the trail being empty I decided to let my dog off leash as I usually do on empty hiking trails. Bad idea. My dog and I were playing fetch when out of no where I just hear an extremely loud hissing noise by my feet. I immediately knew i was going to see a snake so I quickly grabbed my dog and jumped on top of a huge rock. Luckily the snake didn't attack us or anything but ya never know so stay sharp!! It isn't until the last 1/4th mile of the hike where it stops being shady and you can finally see the inspiration point telescopes as you're hiking. I honestly almost gave up 3/4th of the way on the hike due to having ran out of water for my dog and I and having no idea when we were going to reach our destination. I'm extremely glad I didn't end up giving up though because the view was amazing. I would definitely do this 10 mile hike again but not in the summer time. Just remember to be careful about the bugs and snakes and bring extra water with you even if you think you might not need it!!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It's very well maintained trail all the way through. It can be a little crowded in the first leg up to echo mountain resort. After the ruins I only saw one other person in the 2.7 miles between there and Inspiration point. Definitely worth making the trek. Great views and a great work out. I'd definitely recommend bringing at least 2-3 liters of water. It gets pretty hot up there.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Beautiful views all along the way. Many trails to choose from, though I recommend going all the way to Inspiration Point. Went on a weekend and there were A LOT of people hiking (many with dogs), so if you like more low key/quieter areas, I don't recommend going on the weekend. If you're looking for a good trail to train on for a longer/more intense trip, This is a good starter!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Long beautiful hike with many other trails to go on along the way. Amazing views from inspiration point.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Charlie Jasper

Creator of Grubbing with Grizzly, a show on the YouTubes, slowly but surely, destined to make Californians rugged again.

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