Mt. Lowe and Echo Mtn.

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.

Echo Mountain

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.

  • Steve A.


    I’m local, so if you ever want company on one of these rides, let me know. I’d be happy to ride up (and it is UP) with you.

    Steve A.

    • Anonymous

      Sure Steve, I’ll warn you though, I’m pretty slow. Have you ridden Sunset Ridge before? I was thinking about trying that next time. I’m kinda nervous with singletrack, but I’d like to give it a shot.

      • Steve A.

        I just picked up an El Mariachi from TCB at the beginning of Feb, and have been on a few rides out in Topanga. I’ve ridden up to Henninger Flats, but like you, I had to stop a few times. I used to have a commute from Alhambra to the La Brea Tar Pits (which was its own adventure), but now I live and work in Pasadena, so I can’t ride 35 miles/day back and forth to work. Hence the mountain biking: a new (humbling) challenge/adventure. I’m up for any of those trails, and although I enjoy it, I’m with you on the singletrack. And I am not very fast either. I went on the TCB shop ride on Sat., and THOSE guys/girls are fast. Feel free to email me anytime.