Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.23207°N / 118.10621°W
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 5603 ft / 1708 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview and History

Mount Lowe sits at the head of the front range of the San Gabriel's looking over Pasedena and the rest of the city mess below. Lowe is an easy hike with a trail going all the way to the top, and is surrounded by a few close peaks such as San Gabriel Peak, Mount Disappointment, and its closest neighbor Mount Markham. The peak has gone through several name changes since its first horseback ascent by Thaddeus Lowe in 1892 (Brown's Peak - Brown Mountain - Oak Mountain, and finally Mount Lowe).

Taken from the Sierra Club:

Mount Lowe was also the site of the Mount Lowe Railway, which enabled one to ride from Altadena to Mount Lowe Hotel and Resort (now the site of Mount Lowe Campground). The lower portion of the trip was up a tramway to Echo Mountain, where you can still see massive gears and other machinery, and the foundation of a hotel. A short distance from the top of the tram there is also the foundation of Professor Lowe's own house. At Echo Mountain, passengers shifted to a cog railway and rode west at a slight grade to the present Mount Lowe Truck Trail (2N50) which proceeds with many twists and turns to the site of the old hotel. The railroad never reached the summit of Mount Lowe.
Mount Lowe Sighting TubesMount Lowe Sighting Tubes
Mt LoweMount Lowe Views

Mount LoweMount Lowe Views

Mount Lowe RoutesMount Lowe Topo Route

Getting There

Driving Directions

Eaton Saddle:
The easiest way to reach Mount Lowe and the host of other San Gabriel peaks in the vicinity, is by way of the Eaton Saddle trail head. From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2), drive north on Angeles Crest Highway 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Keep straight.
Continue about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station. Turn right. Drive 2.3 miles to the Eaton Saddle.

Here are Google Map directions so you can calculate directions from your location.

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Sam Merrill Trail:
Here are Google Map directions so you can calculate directions from your location.

View Larger Map


Mount Lowe West and East TrailsMount Lowe East and West Trails

The main routes to Mount Lowe are shown below as will be described briefly.

Via Eaton Saddle on Red Box Road
Shown in Red on the Map. The easiest and most common route to Mount Lowe is via the fireroad leaving from Eaton Saddle along the Red Box Road on its way to Mount Wilson (2.3 miles from Red Box and the Angeles Crest Highway). From Eaton saddle, follow the fireroad west, through the tunnel for 1/2 mile to Markham Saddle (and the trail to San Gabriel Peak). At this point leave the fireroad and follow the trail on the left. This trail follows the fireroad at a slightly higher elevation. Follow this trail for approx. 3/4 mile to a trail junction. Take a sharp right and follow the Mount Lowe trail to the summit.

Via Sam Merrill Trail
If you are after additional mileage and elevation gain, this route is the route for you. There are a couple of options, but either route begins on the trailhead at the North end of Lake Ave. in Altadena on the Sam Merrill trail (shown in Pink). Follow the Sam Merrill to Echo Mountain for 2.25 miles. At this point, you can either continue following the Sam Merrill trail to the Mount Lowe Campground (shown in Orange) or take Castle Canyon Trail (shown in Blue) to Inspiration Point. At this point, either route rejoin and follow the Mount Lowe trail to the summit.

Via Sunset Ridge Fireroad
Not shown in color on the map, but this route starts near Millard Campground at the end of Chaney Trail Drive. The fireroad steadily climbs all the way to the Mount Lowe Campground, at which point you will also join the Mount Lowe Trail to the summit.

[img:385537:alignleft:medium:Mount Lowe East and West Trails]
Mount Lowe East and West Trails
Once Mount Lowe is approached you can choose either the West or East trail. I recommend ascending one and descending the other. Both trailheads are accessed from the Mount Lowe Fireroad and are located a short distance from each other. There is also a short connector trail leading from the Mount Lowe Campsite that leads to the fireroad directly across from the west trailhead. The east trailhead is just a short distance up the fireroad (20 yrds) from the west trailhead. The east trailhead actually has 2 trailheads off of the fireroad. Once a short distance up the road from the 5 point intersection, the other about 1/4 mile further up.

Off Trail Route
For the more adventurous Mount Lowe can be climbed directly from either the west or south ridges. The west ridge is straightforward and can be accessed from the western tip of the fireroad. To gain the south ridge take the usual trailhead near the 5 point intersection and immediately leave the trail and climb the ridge (heading northwest). The ridge is actually a fairly common shortcut, especially with mountain bikers. At the top of this ridge you actually have to scramble up a steep slope still heading northwest to gain Mount Lowe’s main southeast ridge, then follow this ridge to the summit.

Red Tape

A "Forest Adventure Pass" is required for parked cars in the Angeles National Forest. USUALLY the ticket for not having one costs the same amount as the day pass itself. They are available from local sporting goods stores for $30(year) or $5(day).


Check out the 10 day forecast, or a Mount Wilson live shot.