After conquering Santiago Peak and enjoying the wonderful views of the San Gabriels we decided that our next hike would be somewhere in the San Gabriel Mountains. Initially we had planned on doing Baldy but a winter storm caused us to change our plans. So reaching Mt. Lowe(5,603ft) became our new objective.
Parking is located on residential streets anywhere near the Cobb Estate. Parking is free and it does get crowded so arrive early. We started at 7am and had no problem with parking.
From the entrance of the Cobb Estate you will continue on the paved road for 100 yards or so until the road turns to the left, from here go straight and continue on a dirt trail until you reach two trail markers. You are looking for the Sam Merrill Trail which is the trail on the right. This trail drops down to the wash and soon begins You will be on this trail for 2.7 miles until you reach the junction. Make a right and continue to the end of the trail to the ruins of White City on Echo Mountain. The views from here are worth the 2.7 miles but if solitude+views is what you are after then the hike up to Mt. Lowe is definitely worth the extra effort.
Return onto the Trail and look for the Castle Canyon Trail it will be on the right. This is a 2 mile trail that takes you deep into the the canyon and provides some much needed shade on those sunny days.
After 2 miles on the the Castle Rock Trail you will come to the end of the trail and be at Inspiration Point. This is a great spot for a quick snack and makes an excellent spot for take some pictures. There are a lot of viewfinders here that point to many So Cal locations.
By now you have traveled at least 4.7 miles and would definitely be an awesome hike all in it’s own, but if you came all this way what is 2 more miles.. Facing away from Inspiration Point make a left(north) and continue on the fire road for a short distance. The sign, on your right hand side, is kind of hard to see but it reads “East Trail to Mt Lowe” Take this trail and Continue up to Mt Lowe for Amazing views of The Pacific , Catalina, Los Angeles, Santiago Peak as well as close up views of Mt. Wilson, San Gabriel Peak, and even a glimpse of Mt Baldy
- 5,603 ft summit
- elevation gain 3,800 ft
- 13.5-15 miles round-trip
- difficulty – strenuous
- free parking
- great views
- dog friendly