Ever since I was young and my Pops brought me up to Echo Mtn. this has been a favorite area of mine. There’s a ton of history up here and it’s so close to the city. If you ever want to do a fun and pretty easy hike this one is a great choice. Here’s a pic of what it used to look like.
Mt. Lowe Tavern
Farther up the mountain is the site of the Mt. Lowe Tavern. There’s a campground up there for backpackers (bikepackers?) so that was my destination. The first 2.5 miles of climbing on the Mt. Lowe Fireroad are really steep and for a while there I didn’t think I’d see the top. I’m feeling way out of shape so I had to stop a few times. Bringing a camera along is always a good excuse to stop and catch your breath though right?
Once I made it to the saddle I took the 1/2 mile singletrack over to Echo Mtn. It was late in the morning though so there were too many people. I just turned around and headed back to the fire road. It’s at the Cape of Good Hope that the paved road becomes dirt. Finally! Also, it’s only a 8% grade at this point. After the first climb this felt like it was flat! Damn. I was limited on time so I just rode until I had to turn around. Luckily I made it to the campground and enjoyed a quick break before the descent. In only 20 mins I had covered all the ground and was back at the truck headed home. There’s no messing around on this ride, it’s straight up and then straight down.
I plan to head back up there with my bikepacking gear and do an overnighter there. It’ll be a great workout with all that climbing, but it’s still close to home.