Inspiration Point via Lake Ave

Inspiration Point in the snowThis is the classic hike. The fall back plan that never fails. This is a good route that lets you keep a moderate pace and gives a good workout.

This trail starts at the top of Lake Ave in Altadena where the gate of the Cobb estate is located. The first trail (Sam Merrill trail) takes you up 2.5 miles up to Echo Mtn. This trail is well maintained and is really popular among the locals. But this also means that aside from being crowded at times, it gets very hot during the summer. During the summer and sometimes fall months, the best time to head up is before 9am. This way the eastern sun stays behind the mountain and offers you some shade for the ascent.


The first major stop is Echo Mtn. By this time, you would have gained about 1400′ in those 2.5 miles. A nice workout already. The picture below left sums up how the Sam Merrill trail is like all the way up. Below right is some kids hanging out and enjoying the view at Echo Mtn.

Sam Merrill trailHanging out

Once at Echo Mtn., you can do some exploring of this historical site and check out what was left of the old resort.

After you’ve explored a bit, head back the way you came for about 100 yards. The trail you’re looking for is Castle Canyon. If you take the Sunset trail, you’ll immediately start ascending. This is not the path. Castle Canyon actually is level for a little bit until you reach the other side of a small creek. Here is where the elevation gain begins.

The Castle Canyon trail is composed mostly of switchbacks and at parts is exposed to a slight drop off. But it’s nothing too much to worry about. As you near the top, the trail makes a sharp right and you’re greeted with the picture below.

The first site

From this point, it’s about 200 yards. But if it’s hot, this will the toughest section of the day. This portion is nothing but exposed, and the rocks along the trail just radiates the heat back up. But if you can, finish it strong. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Once you’re done relaxing here, head back the same way. Getting back shouldn’t pose too much of a problem unless you’ve run out of water and the temperature is 100+. Otherwise, its easy.

Total gain is roughly 2700′ at about 9 miles.

The "telescopes"Looking from Inspiration PeakThe LA haze
The roofInspiration Point and PeakThe trail back

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 12:40 am and is filed under Trail Information. 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.

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