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12E

Mount Lowe

5603'

Location: Los Angeles County, about 3 miles north of Altadena, 31 miles from Los Angeles

Maps

Auto Club: Los Angeles and Vicinity
Forest Service: Angeles National Forest
USGS Topo: Mount Wilson 7½, Pasadena 7½
HPS: Route(s), waypoints and explanation of usage

Nearby Peaks: Mount Markham, San Gabriel Peak

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 1

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 3 miles round trip on road and trail
Gain: 500'
Time: 1 1/2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy
Navigation: Easy
Leader Rating: "O", normal conditions

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, February 1968

DRIVING ROUTE 1

  • From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2), drive north on Angeles Crest Highway 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Keep straight.
  • Continue about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station. Turn right.
  • Drive 2.3 miles to the saddle (commonly called Eaton Saddle) between San Gabriel Peak and Occidental Peak. There is a parking area and a permanently closed gate on the right. Park here without blocking the gate.

HIKING ROUTE 1

  • From the parking area (5100'), pass the gate and hike up the road, through a tunnel built in 1942, about 1/2 mile to a saddle (commonly called Markham Saddle). This is the turnoff for San Gabriel Peak.
  • From Markham Saddle take a trail (12W14) on the left. Follow it to a saddle between Mount Markham and Mount Lowe. This is the turnoff for Mount Markham.
  • Continue south on the trail about 200 yards to a trail junction.
  • Turn right (northwest) and follow this trail up to the summit where you will find a bench and an equestrian hitching-rack.

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 2

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 13 miles round trip on trail and road
Gain: 3800'
Time: 7-8 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Navigation: Easy
Leader Rating: "O", normal conditions

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, February 1968

DRIVING ROUTE 2

  • From the intersection of I-210 and Lake Avenue in Pasadena, drive north on Lake Avenue to its end at Loma Alta Drive. Park on the right. Note the gate for the Cobb Estate on the east side of Lake Avenue at Loma Alta Drive.

HIKING ROUTE 2

  • From the front of the gate to the Cobb Estate (1800'), walk about 200 yards east alongside a fence to the actual trailhead for the Sam Merrill Trail on your left.
  • Hike up the Sam Merrill Trail (12W14) 2.7 miles to Echo Mountain (3207').
  • Head southeasterly along the old trolley right-of-way for about 100 yards to a signed junction. At the junction are signed trailheads for the continuation of the Sam Merrill Trail to Inspiration Point and for the Castle Canyon Trailhead to Inspiration Point.
  • Continue
    north on the Sam Merrill trail about 2 1/2 miles to a 3-way dirt road intersection. The rightmost fork (east) will take you to Inspiration Point (4500'), about 500 yards. The left fork (west) will take you to the Mount Lowe Campground.
  • Continue on the middle fork of the road straight ahead in a northerly direction for about 200 yards to a signed trail marker on the right for the Mount Lowe Campground and Mount Lowe (12W14).
  • Turn right. After a short distance, the trail forks again, with the left fork going to the Mount Lowe Campground and the site of the remains of the Alpine Tavern.
  • Follow the signed right fork for Mount Lowe up to the last trail junction described in Route 1.
  • Keep left at this junction and follow this trail up to the summit where you will find a bench and an equestrian hitching-rack.

ALTERNATE ROUTES

The Castle Canyon Trail goes from Echo Mountain to Inspiration Point. It can be used as a variation for the middle segment of Route 2.


NOTES

This peak was named for Thaddeus Lowe by his companions on the first horseback ascent, September 24, 1892. It was originally called Brown's Peak (a name now transferred to Brown Mountain) and then Oak Mountain.

Mount Lowe was also the site of the Mount Lowe Railway, which enabled one to ride from Altadena to Mount Lowe Hotel and Resort (now the site of Mount Lowe Campground). The lower portion of the trip was up a tramway to Echo Mountain, where you can still see massive gears and other machinery, and the foundation of a hotel. A short distance from the top of the tram there is also the foundation of Professor Lowe's own house. At Echo Mountain, passengers shifted to a cog railway and rode west at a slight grade to the present Mount Lowe Truck Trail (2N50) which proceeds with many twists and turns to the site of the old hotel. The railroad never reached the summit of Mount Lowe.

In 1996 a local historical group reconstructed the pagoda at Inspiration Point and erected signs with historical information at the Mount Echo site.

The road from Markham Saddle continues west to the turnoff for Brown Mountain, a common HPS destination on the Lower Peaks List.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 24-December-2005
© 1998-2003 - All Rights Reserved