Sunday, January 12, 2014

An inspiration and a pair of jello legs.


Not even three hours of sleep the night before will stop me from finally hiking to Mt. Lowe.  I have hiked to Henninger Flats, Idlehour, and around Eaton Canyon but for some reason, Mt. Lowe just never seemed to agree to my schedule for some time.

When this trip got scheduled, I made sure to clear my weekend just so I won't have to miss another opportunity to hike this section...and I once again, I almost missed it.  Coming home late Friday night (or early Saturday morning) almost prevented me from going.  Luckily, it did not.  I was determined to do this hike.

Arriving at the trail head having only slept for three hours, I relied on my supplements to get me through the hike...and I am so glad it did.  After meeting everyone at the trail head, we depart shortly after and begin our hike.

The first part of this trail before arriving at Echo Mountain is really a well-used trail.  The traffic here is very similar to the traffic at Chantry Flats and Icehouse Canyon.  Despite the number of people, this was still a nice hike that treats you with wonderful views and photo-ops at almost every turn.

Less than an hour into the hike, we arrive at the intersection close to Echo Mountain.  I've seen many photos of this place and it feels good that I now get to scratch this off my list.  I've read and even watched a movie about this area at Henninger Flats but it's nice to have finally made it here.

Having taken a quick stop to tour the area, we press on and continue.  We take the old railroad to our main destination, Mt. Lowe Campground.  Taking this trail instead of instead of Sam Merrill or Castle Canyon, offers a gentler approach and the elevation gain from this side is not as severe as the aforementioned two.  However, taking the old railway will add additional mileage to your hike - I didn't mind additional was a treat to hike this section there was just so many things to see.

Three hours later and close to 7 miles hiked, we arrive at Mt. Lowe Trail Camp and relax.  This was a fun trail that offered a lot of history and beautiful vistas.  I almost took 500 photos on this trip was nice.  Aside from the views, the photographs, it was also treat to see so many Cuben Fiber shelters and packs on this trip...felt like an Ultralight Convention! A gear junkie like me, I felt like a kid at a candy store.

ZPacks and Lighthear Gear represented at camp
It's good to be out on the trail and this would be my second trip for this month so far.  After having lunch and catching up with backpackers who I haven't seen in some time, we head to Inspiration Point to complete our hikes for the afternoon.

Not satisfied with the hike to Inspiration Point, my buddy Pete decided to push my legs a little further and tempts me with glorious evening views over by Panorama Point.  Luckily, it was all flat and once we got there, he wasn't kidding.  Just around the bend from the trail heading to Muir Peak, the city lights greet you and I sure wish I had a better camera to capture what my eyes could see.

Heading back to camp, I look forward to dinner and stories around the campfire.  It's been a wonderful trip so far seriously, nothing beats a night in the woods...

The following morning, sad to leave but back to reality we all must go.  We eat our breakfasts and pack up our gear, we soon leave to head back to our cars.  For the trip back down, we decide to take the Sam Merrill trail to form a small loop.  We only came across a handful of people on this trail and this was good since this trail was mostly narrow with steep drop-offs.  An overcast sky throughout our hike down which was good since this section would have been sun-baked and that would've have made a miserable walk.

We all make quick work of the hike down and soon we arrive back from where we started.  Tired and hungry, we all say our goodbyes and I know we will all be hiking together again soon.

So till the next adventure, thanks for reading...see you on the trails.

For more information on the history of this area, please go to:


  1. Excellent as always my friend. Almost seems better in your descriptions than being there.

    1. Thanks Pete :) You're too nice brother!

  2. Looks like fun. Good seeing you get out 2 times this year already. Hoping my schedule is different soon so I can get out. Got my eyes on a lot of San G stuff... And a trip up the mountain named after my family :)

    1. That sounds like a plan! Just be careful out's a dry season :(

    2. Yeah just went up to Monrovia falls after work on Friday, and boy was it dry. Terrible. Im on the north side here in the desert and I cant see much snow anywhere. :(