A relaxing hike to a stunning lookout point that features views as far as Catalina Island on a clear day.
- There is a large selection of coffee shops in La Cañada Flintridge (the city before entering the Angeles Forest via Angeles Crest Highway) off Foothill Boulevard. While taking the off ramp to the Angeles Crest Highway, instead of taking the left to the mountains you can go right and Foothill Boulevard is the next light down. Depending on what you're looking for, here are a few I enjoy before my adventures:
- Consider taking the 134 East to the CA 2 North in order to avoid any and all congestion that occurs downtown. Once you're on the CA 2 North, you'll merge onto 210 East / CA 2 and take the first exit directing towards the Angeles Crest Highway. After passing the Angeles Forest entrance, you'll continue up towards Mount Wilson and take a right on Mount Wilson Red Box Road. There's a small informational hut along with some restrooms, if needed. Keep driving down the road until you see the turnout called Eaton Saddle with space on both sides of the road for you to park. Be aware there are a few turnouts that are unmarked prior to Eaton Saddle; however, Eaton Saddle is the one that has an information board located on the west side of the street in case you're having a difficult time locating the turnoff.
- NOTE: You need a Southern California "Adventure Pass" to park. If you do not have one, you'll need to continue driving down Mount Wilson Red Box Road until you reach the Mount Wilson Observatory. You can purchase a pass for $5 at the Cosmic Cafe near the observatory. If you're planning to hike in the Angeles Forest quite a bit, consider purchasing the annual pass for $30. Either works depending on the amount of activity you plan to do within the year. However, be sure to check the Angeles Designated Recreation Sites list in case the parking requirements change at a later date.
- Begin your hike at the Eaton Saddle turnoff and enter on the west side of the street through the road gate onto Mount Lowe Road. Immediately after the gate, there is an amazing view west. If you're hiking on a clear day you'll have a nice shot of the ocean.
- Continue onward through the Mueller Tunnel and up to the intersection (Markham Saddle) of the trails for Inspiration Point / Mount Lowe Trail Camp (a.k.a. Lowe's Alpine Tavern), San Gabriel Peak and Mount Lowe.
- You'll want to continue forward walking on the level trail for Mount Lowe Road towards Inspiration Point / Mount Lowe Trail Camp. A sharp U-bend will occur as you come up to Bear Canyon Trail, stay on Mount Lowe Road passing the trailhead of Bear Canyon Trial where you'll go from walking east to west pretty quickly.
- Keep on Mount Lowe Road where you'll pass intersections for Tom Sloane Trail (leads back to the U-bend at Bear Canyon Trail) and followed by Mount Lowe East Trail (leads up to Mount Lowe summit).
- After passing these, you'll arrive at Muir Peak Road on the left which will take you directly to Inspiration Point. Stay on the widest dirt trail and be aware there are two intersections for Sam Merrel Trail (leads to Mount Lowe Railway / Cobb Estate) on the right and then Idlehour Trail (leads to Henninger Flats) on the left.