A historic hike along the Sam Merrill Trail past the Cobb Estate and the ruins of Mount Lowe Railway, Echo Mountain House and the White City.
At the turn of the century, a famous Pacific Electric excursion was the Mt. Lowe trip. From Los Angeles, sightseers took a Pasadena car to Altadena and Rubio Canyon. They then transferred to a cable car on the Incline Railway that went up a 62% grade to Echo Mountain. From there they would take a narrow-gauge trolley car winding its way up the rugged San Gabriel Mtns. and finally would arrive at Alpine Tavern on Mt. Lowe, a nearly 7 mile railway ride from the base of the mountain.
The views were spectacular and on most days Catalina Island, over 60 miles away, could be clearly be seen.
Remains of the Echo Mountain House – In 1892, Thaddeus Sobieski Coulincourt Lowe, also known as Professor T. S. C. Lowe, founded the Mount Lowe project and Mount Lowe Railway. Oak Mountain, a 6,100 foot peak behind Echo Mountain, was renamed Mount Lowe in his honor. The rail system was engineered by David J. Macpherson and completed in 1893.
Echo has a mean elevation of 3,207 feet.
On 6 January 1993, Echo Mountain, also referred to as Mount Echo, was delineated as part of the Mount Lowe Railway monument area listed by the U.S. Forest Service on the National Register of Historic Places.
On top of the mountain are the ruins of “White City”, a resort along the scenic Mount Lowe Railway, which could easily be seen from the valley below.
From its point and down an incline to its foot in Rubio Canyon was the Great Incline funicular of the Mount Lowe Railway, whose white cars could be seen ascending and descending Echo.
MLR towards the fabled White City.
One 750 pound motorized drive wheel and two 500 pound dummy trucks with a snow plow mounted on rails over the service pit. Recovered in 1993 from the downhill side of Echo Mountain.
Where they used to get their dance on.
Stairway down to the Dance Hall.
More ruins along the way to the White City.
Cable drive with companion intermediate gear assembly and two 6-foot guide wheels which stood at the top of the Great Incline. The intermediate gear was one of two retrieved from the hillside via helicopter in 1993.
The Final Farewell
If you want to make some noise, you can even walk around to an old ‘Echo Phone’ — a ground-mounted megaphone that you can shout through to hear an echo.
There was another one installed up at Inspiration Point, so patrons could yell to each other.