Inspiration Point Hike
Location : Inspiration Point, Angeles National Forest
Total distance : 9.5 miles round-trip (loop)
Elevation gain : 1,800 ft
Peak elevation : 4,435ft
Tree Cover : Partial tree cover. Sunscreen recommended.
Parking : Street parking.
Trailhead : Click here
Landmark : Big gate at the intersection of Lake Ave and E Loma Alta Dr.
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topo map picture
Note : Dogs must always be on a leash. There is a drinking water fountain in the first quarter mile of the hike. There is a picnic area at the end of the hike.
Detailed directions : At the intersection of Lake Ave and E Loma Alta Dr you will see a big gate, pass through that. Look for the Sam Merrill trail trailhead that's on the right side once you enter.
Stay on the trail until you see these three metal poles and make a left there. For directions to just Echo Mountain (5.5 miles roundtrip) click here. It wasn't until I reached the Echo mountain point that I realized or even wondered why its called Echo mountain. The Echo phone at the end of the hike is so much fun, if you shout really loud into it and can hear the echoes of your voice. Hence the name! Duh!
On the way up there is a wooden bench with cool views, its a good place to take a break.
Stay on the trail for 2.5 miles (or until you get tired) and you will reach a trail junction with one trail making a 'U-turn', continue straight. Once you find this sign with an arrow towards 'Echo Mountain' just follow that.
I guess this is another opportunity to learn something very important. When you see a perfectly fine looking trail blocked by stones or branches, or twigs like in this picture it means that is not a trail. As shown by the arrow make a U-turn and continue uphill to go to the Inspiration point. As seen in the next pic you can see the structure that is at the peak. You made it yay!!
You will pass the electric tower on the way up, on your way back you can look for the electric lines and the tower to get a sense of how far from the trailhead you are. I like to remember landmarks like this on my hikes to help me get back without losing my way.
Continue uphill on Echo Mountain trail. Even though it is not hard to read the signs it is a little annoying to see all the scratches. Signs like this serve as a reminder for me to not do anything that would cause inconvenience to other hikers. Every experience offers a lesson.
Follow the trail towards Inspiration point. You are about 2 miles from the Inspiration point now. It is 2 miles to go up and 2.5 miles to come back to this point completing the loop. Alternatively you may come back the same way. Echo mountain isn't far from here, for directions to just Echo Mountain (5.5 miles roundtrip) click here.
Right next to the hut at the peak you will see this sign pointing towards Sam Merrill trail, follow it until you reach a trail junction at 0.3 miles from the peak.
At 0.3 miles from the peak take the Sam Merrill trail on the left.
On your way down you will pass the remains of the Mt. Lowe railway. Checkout gallery for more pics.
Hope you find some time in your busy life to do this awesome hike.