Echo Mtn via Rubio Canyon and the Great Incline

Looking down the Great InclineThis path up starts in a residential to the left of the house below. The casual passerby would probably pass this trail without a second thought. But this trail, terminating at Echo Mtn., is less traveled and in my opinion, more of a hike. The other path up to Echo, the Sam Merrill trail starting at Lake Ave is well traveled and popular among the non-hiking types too. This makes for congestion and a feeling that you’re in a park than on a rugged trail.

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Once you pass the houses, there’s a creek below right, to the left is the mountain, and straight ahead is a pretty well worn trail. Follow this trail until it almost dumps you off in the creek, but keep an eye to the left as the trail cuts upwards. This is the fun section. After some gain, you get to “switchback alley.” It’s about a 10′ wide lane with the switchbacks winding up about 100′ until you get to the first foundation of the old railway incline.

Once you’ve had a short breather at the top of the switchbacks, look to the left of the other foundations. There’s a rope tied around a branch which signals the way up. This does help assisting you up, but it can be negotiated without it. You would just have to use your hands.

Up switchback alleyLooking down on switchback alleyIn line to get up the rope section
Atop the rope section looking down into Rubio Canyon

Continue to follow the trail from this point on. It heads up along the ridge a little ways until it eventually starts to follow the contours of the mountain. This trail ends at the southeastern corner of Echo mountain.

If you’re in for some more adventure though, bypass the trail all together and stick to the ridge. There is a lot of scree here, and heading downhill is not advised. But going up is loads of fun. This part is steeper and there is no trail. So pick your routes and work your way up. This part of the trail will put you at the stairs at the south end of Echo Mtn.

Starting the climb upThe last of the switchbacks before the scramble beginsFurther up the ridge. Echo is up to the right.

I believe that this is the funner way up to Echo Mtn. It’s steepness, off trail ascent, and canyon overview makes this route up a pleasant challenge.

For some history, here’s an awesome article written about the old Great Incline. In it, are some rather spectacular photos. If you’re planning on doing this hike, then this is a highly recommended read.

Related posts:

Inspiration Point via Lake Ave
Josephine Peak, Strawberry Peak, Mt. Lawlor
Taking The Register Up to Baldy Once Again

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15th, 2009 at 1:19 am and is filed under Trail Information, Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Echo Mtn via Rubio Canyon and the Great Incline”

Paul Ayers

Paul Ayers March 22nd, 2009 at 6:08 am

Crazy George, Plain George and I built/restored this trail between 1994 and 2005. If you are interested in other unknown trails between the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon, including some that feed off this one, get in touch.


Rubio Canyon Trail | Los Angeles |

Rubio Canyon Trail | Los Angeles | May 2nd, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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Echo Mountain Trail | Los Angeles |

Echo Mountain Trail | Los Angeles | November 3rd, 2011 at 4:21 am

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