The Lower Sam Merrill Trail (also referred to simply as the Sam Merrill Trail) is named for a man who was inspired by John Muir and committed to preservation. Merrill was on the National Board of Directors of the Sierra Club in the 1930s and lead numerous outings and hikes, including throughout the San Gabriel Mountains surrounding Altadena.
Originating in the town of Altadena, the trail switchbacks its way up Las Flores Canyon to the top of Echo Mountain. The trail was first built in the 1930s but was washed away, along with many others, in the floods of 1938. Soon after, Sam Merrill spearheaded the rebuilding of the trail, which was then named after him upon his death in 1948.
The Sam Merrill Trail follows a sometimes steep route for nearly 3 miles directly to Echo Mountain, where you'll find ruins from the Mount Lowe Railway. The Sam Merrill Trail ends on the ridge where it intersects the Mt. Lowe Railroad Trail
You can park at the trailhead in Altadena where Lake Avenue and Loma Alta Drive meet. You can also access the trail from the Mt. Lowe Railroad Trail at the top of Echo Mountain.