Echo Mtn Trail via Cobb Estate

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

At a Glance:

Distance: 5.4 miles (8.7 km)
Time: 2.5 Hours (Total Time)
Difficulty: Hard
Total Climbing: 1,500 feet (457m)
Highest Elevation: 3,207 feet (978m)

What to Expect

The Echo Mountain hike, touted by USA Today as one of the “10 Great North American Hikes” and Sunset Magazine as a "Top 45 Hike in the West," is a must on any hiker's "bucket list." Hikers start the 5.4-mile hike at the 1918-built Cobb Estate (Donated to the Forest Service in 1971) in Altadena, CA near Pasadena. As you travel the Sam Merrill trail, you will see remnants of the 1893 Mt. Lowe Railway. Considered a modern marvel of its time, it was the only electric mountain railway built in the United States. Upon reaching the Echo Mountain summit, ruins from the Echo Mountain House Resort can be seen. Colloquially named, "the White City," the resort branded itself as a full-service resort "a mile high in the sky" consisting of a hotel, fine-dining restaurant, tavern, observatory with a million candlepower spotlight, and now-famous echo-phones, which you still can use today.  

After a great flood in 1938, the resort shuddered its doors for good. Afterward, Sam Merrill, who lived with John Muir as a young man and was active in the Sierra Club, restored and maintained the trails to Echo Mountain. When he died in 1948, the Sierra Club named the trail after him.


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  Area/Length : 
1.0 miles