Segment: This is a faint hiker’s trail along the ridge from Inspiration Point to Inspiration Peak and down to the Sam Merrill Trail about halfway between Inspiration Point and Echo Mountain. Currently (2-26-2018), the hiker’s trail is obscured in several spots due to the growth of vegetation. The vegetation isn’t tall enough yet to make this path a bushwack. However, it may feel a little more cross-country than faint hiker’s trail for those that don’t already know the route. There is also some decomposing granite to hike through. Note: This trail isn’t on any map or documentation I have. Thus, the name isn’t official.
Stats: From Inspiration Point to JCT Sam Merrill Trail: 1 mile, 180′ gain, 300′ loss; From JCT Sam Merrill Trail to Inspiration Point, 1 mile, 300′ gain, 180′ loss; round trip: 2 miles 480′ gain and loss.
Last Hiked: 2-26-2018
From Inspiration Point, follow a faint hiker’s trail up the ridge to the left in the photo below. Note: the trail on the right leads to the 5 points area and the way around Inspiration Peak via the Sam Merrill trail.
There are two major bumps along this ridge. The first is a short distance up from Inspiration Point and the trail is still easy to see and follow up to reaching that point where there is an old rusting steel framework for a large sign, nice views looking down on Inspiration Point and a nice 360-degree view. After the first bump, follow the ridge. If you lose the trail, stay on the ridge and you will eventually see it again. After some ups and downs, some of them steep, you will reach the second major bump which is unofficially referred to here as Inspiration Peak. From Inspiration Peak, follow the fairly steep ridge down passing through some decomposing granite until you reach the same Merrill Trail.
The Sam Merrill Trail continues down to Echo Mountain from this point.
There is a trail going up the ridge from here. You may lose it in a couple places, but keep following the ridge. More photos here.