Home > Hiking > Past Hikes > Mount Lowe Historic Railway

Mount Lowe Historic Railway, Angeles National Forest

Brigid, David, Esa, and Jagy participated on this hike.

Esa also has pictures located on Flickr.

The Mt. Lowe Historic Railway and Echo Mountain hike was likely the most dangerous hike to date. Brigid drove. The fall-offs were steep. Bikers careened down the narrow mountain paths. The temperatures dropped as the altitude increased. There were likely pumas tracking our progress and waiting to pounce at any sign of weakness. In spite of these perilous conditions, four brave hikers emerged from the clouds just after 2:00 pm having conquered yet another Los Angeles-area peak.

David, Esa, and Brigid left Westwood at 7:00 and picked up Jagy (father-in-law of Brandi) in Pasadena and drove through the small town to the base of the mountain. Upon parking, we heard loud calls from nearby birds and looked up to see several parrots! We started up the mountain and, after 2.5 miles, our trail allowed us to explore the ruins of the resort that once sat atop Echo Mountain. Signs indicated where tennis courts and a dance hall once stood. Remnants of the railway that once scaled the mountain could be seen. We looked around, and then continued up. The path became steeper, rockier, and narrower. The overcast sky obscured our view of Los Angeles, but gave the mountain a misty grandeur. We reached the top of the mountain, a point marked by a small shelter and labeled "Inspiration Point," just after 11:00. On a clear day, carefully positioned viewfinders would have allowed us to locate areas of Los Angeles. But this was not a clear day. We snacked and snapped photos and then commenced our downward trek.

The trip down the mountain was smooth, despite a missed path and a small detour. We walked the path that was once traveled by a local railway that shuttled tourists through the mountains in the early decades of the 20th century. The conversation was light and pleasant. We greeted other hikers, stopped to read the occasional plaque about the railway, and enjoyed the relative ease of walking downhill. By the time we returned to the car, all were tired. It had been an 11 mile hike and a day of firsts: our first run-in with parrots, our first encounter with snow (a small patch was discovered on the way down), and our first non-student hiker. We dropped off our fellow hiker and new friend Jagy and returned to Westwood for some afternoon naps.

Summary composed by Brigid.