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Sunset Ridge to Inspiration Point, return via Echo Mtn
This is a 5 1/2 hour round trip walk from the parking area at Sunset Ridge to Inspiration Point on Mt. Lowe with a return via Echo Mountain. Elevation gain is 2400'.
The trip by and large follows the path of the old Mt. Lowe railroad that brought tourists from Pasadena to Echo Mountain and then on to the Alpine Tavern in the early 1900's. The railway is long gone, as is the Alpine Tavern, but many ruins remain particularly at Echo Mtn. BTW, bring lots of water.
Most of the effort comes in the first hour. After reaching the Sunset Ridge/Echo Mtn Juncture, the angle of ascent decreases and walking becomes easier.
A shorter hike is from Sunset Ridge to Echo Mountain which is less than three hours round trip, with only the first hour being a vertical effort. It takes one hour to the juncture and just half an hour over a horizontal trail to Echo Mtn. Maximum elevation gain is about 1350'.
DIRECTIONS: Exit 210 Freeway in Pasadena, exit on Lake Ave going north to the mountains. Lake Ave eventually turns left and become Loma Alta Drive. Turn right on Chaney Trail and go about one mile. The entrance is marked by a gate and you can park along the side of the road. If you come to a parking lot, then you have come to far, so go back up to the fireroad gate.
1/4 mile from the entrace is the Sunset Ridge Trail which ascends (as in up and up) for one hour to the juncture to Echo Mtn. Continue on the Mt. Lowe trail until you come to the Alpine Tavern campground. After a brief rest, continue on to Inspiration Point. Decend to Echo Mountain trail and return via the Echo Mountain/Mt. Lowe connector.