Sam Merrill Trail to Mt. Lowe

Trailhead: Cobb Estate Trailhead

Note: Trailhead is not directly connected to parking area.  See trailhead page for directions

Cobb Estate Trailhead for Lower Sam Merrill Trail

Trail: Sam Merrill Trail to Mt. Lowe

Stats: From Cobb Estate to Mt. Lowe: 6.9 miles, 3802′ gain.  From Mt. Lowe to Cobb Estate: 6.9 miles, 3802′ loss.  Round Trip: 13.8 miles, 3802′ gain and loss

Options to Shorten: 

Cobb Estate to Echo Mountain to Inspiration Point via Castle Canyon: 9.2 miles, 1709′ gain and loss

Cobb Estate To Echo Mountain: 5.2 miles, 1399′ gain and loss.

Last Hiked: 3-28-12

Trail Segments:  Take the Lower Sam Merrill Trail  up to the JCT near Echo Mountain and  take the Middle Sam Merrill Trail up to Lowe Saddle.  From Lowe Saddle take Mt. Lowe Road up to the Upper Sam Merrill Trail.  Take the Upper Sam Merrill Trail to the Junction with the East Mt. Lowe Trail and continue up to Mt. Lowe

Peaks: Mt. Lowe

Photos: Lower Sam Merrill Trail, Middle Sam Merrill Trail, Upper Sam Merrill Trail

The Lower Sam Merrill Trail is mostly without shade and the views are outward to the city.  This makes for a great winter hike or morning/dawn hike during other seasons.  It’s a popular trail where you will find people traversing at night.  On a clear day, Catalina Island can be easily seen.

The Middle Sam Merrill Trail goes around Inspiration Peak from the south, west, and north.  This yields three different ecotones.  From the trailhead up to the junction with the Inspiration Peak Trail is mostly chaparral  along the southern side of the mountain without much shade.  From that junction to Sunset Point is essentially along the western side of the mountain through a burn area.  Both above parts of the trail have excellent views of the city.  From Sunset Point to Lowe Saddle is along the north side of the mountain and is shady throughout with excellent views of Mt. Lowe and Grand Canyon.

The Upper Sam Merrill Trail goes around Mt. Lowe similar to how the Middle Sam Merrill Trail goes around Inspiration Peak.  From the south, there are great views of the city and Inspiration Peak.  As the trail moves west, the views are out toward Mt. Lukens and down Grand Canyon.  On the north side there are excellent views of Mt. Disappointment, San Gabriel Peak, and Mt. Markham.  This portion of the trail goes mostly through burn areas, so shade is sporadic.

View toward Catalina Island from Mt. Lowe

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