“A very popular trail; at Echo Mountain's summit, multiple trails branch out that extend your run.”
— Alison Kelly
This is a great little out-and-back run. Novice runners, tourists and families will enjoy the wonderful views (I've seen to Long Beach from here before!) and exciting ruins at the top of Echo Mountain. Experienced runners will enjoy the opportunity to expand the run via spurs to Mt. Lowe, Inspiration Point, and others at the summit of Echo Mountain. Expect lots of switchbacks with some steep sections at the beginning, but the trail becomes more mellow and somewhat sheltered by scrub brush with altitude.
Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Need to Know
Bring water! The first portion with switchbacks is steep, dusty, and exposed. Beware of poison oak - it can be found along the sides of the trail for its duration.
This is a very popular route for trail runners, but beware the busy hours (8am-2pm weekends), as the trail is narrow with limited opportunities to pass and there are often large groups with dogs, kids, novice hikers, etc.
Street parking only; be considerate of neighborhood signs noting restrictions in different areas. I like to park down the hill on Lake Avenue by the rec center; this does add another .5 mile or so in each direction, but there is reliable parking there.
The first portion of the trail is a series of mostly exposed, dusty switchbacks which rise rapidly with some steep sections. There are steep drop-offs, so novice runners may get nervous. On clear days you'll be able to see the ocean out towards Santa Monica and clear views of downtown Los Angeles very readily on this section, so take all the breaks you need!
The middle section is wooded with scrub and live oak stands. Beware of copious poison oak along the trail, mostly in this middle and upper portion of the trail. Another good reason to keep your dog leashed!
At the top, the trail levels and broadens as you head the last 0.25 mile to the ruins. Note the multiple spurs along this section with signage and mileage to destinations such as Mt. Lowe, Mr. Lowe railway, and Inspiration Point.
The overlook at the apex of the Echo Mountain Trail is the ruins of a turn of the century tourist destination lodge and restaurant. The views are fantastic and there are fun things to do like shout into the "Echo" apparatus that really does echo wonderfully against Mt. Lowe. This is a great place to have a lunch.
Flora & Fauna
Great bird watching!
History & Background
There are ruins of a turn of the century lodge and restaurant, as well as remnants of the Mt. Lowe cog railroad which once reached the lodge (separate trails follow the former railway path).