Friday Photo – August 4, 2017

Keep looking up! I learn from the past, dream about the future and look up. There’s nothing like a beautiful sunset to end a healthy day.
~Rachel Boston

Today’s Friday Photo comes from high above Altadena, California atop Echo Mountain. Thunderstorms were expected that day. There were ominous clouds everywhere but they didn’t do much in the way of thunderstorms, or even rain for that matter. The grand finale of the day though, was a display of some very beautiful sunsets, such as this one, as the clouds were packing it up and heading elsewhere. The hike up to Echo Mountain was very, very muggy that night, but the payoff was some incredible views, and also a full moon to hike back down with.

For those not familiar with Echo Mountain, this 5.5 mile out and back trail is an extremely popular urban hike in the Pasadena area. To avoid the crowds, it’s best to do the hike during the week or early mornings on the weekends. Once you reach Echo Mountain, you have the option of taking one of three different trails which lead higher up to Inspiration Point. These trails will give you a more intimate hiking experience as you leave Echo Mountain behind. There is the occasional moutain biker on the Mount Lowe Railway Trail and Upper Sam Merril Trail, but not on the Castle Canyon Trail. It’s too steep for the bikes. The Castle Canyon Trail to Inspiration Point is the shortest hike to Inspiration Point (2 miles from Echo Mountain). It’s also the prettiest in my opinion, and provides the most shade of all three trails.

If you’re a history or railroad buff, the historic Mount Lowe Railway is what put Echo Mountain on the map back in 1898. It was an amazing feat of engineering, especially for that time period. If you look at the old photos of the railway, and the hotel at Echo Mountain, then hike out there to see what’s left, you can’t help but be amazed at what Thaddeus S. C. Lowe achieved at that time.

~ Photo taken August 2, 2017 8:12 pm


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