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To the Top of Mt. Lowe the Easy Way

By Land ~ Sea Discovery Group Staff

Mueller Tunnel
I’m sad to say it but if you have a schedule like mine the only way to the top of Mt. Lowe is the easy way. Getting up early on a Sunday morning my son-in-law Jesse and I drove up beautiful Angeles Crest Highway to the Ranger station at Red Box. We turned in here and admired the view before we drove on to Eaton Saddle, which is the first spot on the road you can look to the south over the San Gabriel Valley. We parked near the Mt. Lowe fire road gate being careful not to block it in any way. As we walked the road in a slight gradual climb off our left was the sprawling Eaton Canyon. Soon we were rounding the south face of San Gabriel Peak and entering Mueller Tunnel. Before entering the tunnel I told Jesse that a few months ago at a slide show, John Robinson told of his hair-raising venture across what was then called the old Cliff Trail. Jesse asked where it was and nearly died when I showed him the trail along the sheer rock face in front of us. “No way.” He yelled. “Not for us, that’s for sure.” I said.

Continuing on to the saddle between Mt. Markham and San Gabriel Peak we were soon passed by a trio of mountain bikers on the long trip down to Pasadena. Just past the saddle a well-marked trail led us up across the southwest slope of Mt. Markham on finally to another saddle, which turned out to be Markham and Mt. Lowe. From here we traveled around the east side of Mt. Lowe. When we were last there the trail was in good shape and well marked.

Old trail sign in oak tree.

Jesse spotted an old sign in an oak that the tree had grown around. We could make out that it said “TO MT. LOWE.” There was an arrow and what looked like the distance in miles but we could not read the rusted sign that well. Thanks to this old oak this is one of the few remaining signs along the Mt. Lowe Railway.

Click to Enlarge
Sea of clouds on Mount Lowe. Photo by Jake Brouwer 2001
Once on the top cool breezes and spectacular views greeted us. This was a three-mile roundtrip. The easy way to Mt. Lowe.

For more reading on this subject, we recommend Rippen's "Historic Mt. Lowe", Robinson's "101 Hikes of Angeles" or " The San Gabriel's". These are all available in the e-Adventure Marketplace.
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