Saturday, January 28, 2012

SAM MERRILL TRAIL (Las Flores Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County, CA)

I have fond memories of the Sam Merrill Trail. I used to hike it regularly with my Aunt Sheri (or Sheri, as I used to call her, since I was only four years her junior) back in the day when we were both young and sprightly. It was, I recall, not an easy walk-in-the-park kind of trail: a lot of switchbacks, a few narrow, vertigo-inducing spots, and over 1,000' elevation gain/loss. The end game to this trail is the historic ruins of Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe's "White City" on Echo Mountain (Echo Mountain House & Chalet, observatory, zoo and incline tram). All were destroyed and/or closed by fire, windstorms, and the elements by the late 1930s. The views and ruins are totally worth the hike up. 

1995 Kim, Jaime, Bianca, and Elaine. Sam Merrill Trail.

1995 Kim, Jaime, Bianca, dudette, and moi. Sam Merrill Trail.

1995. Marker for the Echo Mountain House.

1995 Sam Merrill Trail.

1995 Elaine on the Sam Merrill Trail.

1995 Elaine, Jim, dude, Bianca, and dudette.

1995 Kim, Elaine & Jaime.

1995 Kim, Elaine, Bianca, Jaime & dudette at the trailhead.

1995 Picnic area at the trailhead.

1995 Picnic area at the trailhead.


Location: Las Flores Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains

County/State: Los Angeles County, CA

Closest Town: Altadena

Elevation: Echo Mountain 3,207'

Directions: Exit Lake Avenue on the 210 Freeway.  Go north about 3.5 miles to the end of Lake Avenue, where it intersects with Loma Alta Drive. Park along the street. 

Trail: Pass the stone gateway at the Cobb estate on the north end of Lake Street. There's a short drop to the creek bed before you start ascending Las Flores Canyon. About 5 miles round trip, 1,400' elevation gain. Plan on about 3 hours for the hike. There's no shade along the trail, so it's best to hike in winter-spring, or early morning. 

Pets: Dogs are allowed on the trail.

No comments:

Post a Comment