Many people ask me about this hike, so let me give you some details.
The trailhead is located at the very top of Lake Ave. At that point you are in Altadena. If you take Lake Ave., due north, drive until the road bends to the left- the iron gates you see to your right guard the trailhead.
There is plenty of street parking, but be very careful about reading the parking signs right near the gates. There are quite a few tricky signs and if you mess up you WILL get a ticket.
The iron gates are nearly always closed and locked, but there is a walk way around the right side of the gates. Go up a short road that is sort of paved and, when the road veers to the left, you keep going straight. The trail will become obvious in about 100 feet.
I always hike in the early morning and the trail is mostly in shade. There are good “up” parts but also lots of level, easy parts. The trail meanders around the mountain and offers up several different, breathtaking, views along the way.
At the “top” (there is actually quite a few more trails from the first plateau, but most stop here) there are a number of very interesting things to see. There are the remnants of the Mt. Lowes railway, the worlds steepest incline railway, as well as the ruins of the two hotels that were built before the turn of the century. In the early morning mists I can almost see the young people, tennis racquets in hand, strolling toward the picnic grounds.
There is even an Echo Phone- shout into it and your words will echo back to you.
This trail is exceptionally well maintained by volunteer Mark Gage and his crew and there is nearly always a steady stream of people. If you are looking for a safe, beautiful hike, this is the one you should try.