In what is excellent news for people who like getting to trailheads without a car, a new low-cost shuttle service to a popular San Gabriel Mountains trail will be launching in the beginning of April.

Starting April 7th, hikers will be able to take a shuttle from the Gold Line Memorial Park station in Pasadena to the trailhead for the hike to Echo Mountain for just 75 cents each way, payable in cash or with a TAP card. This pilot program will run on Saturdays and Sundays until September 30th and the shuttles will run from 7:05 AM to 4:35 PM (the last departure from the trailhead is at 5PM).

Although the main draw here is the popular Sam Merrill Trail from the Cobb Estate ruins to the ruins of the White City on Echo Mountain, more adventurous hikers can also continue deeper into the San Gabriel Mountains, accessing additional ruins from the region’s turn-of-the-century Wilderness Resort heyday like the Ye Alpine Tavern and Inspiration Point. Hikers can also make it to the ruins of the Dawn Mine, Millard Canyon Falls, Mount Lowe, Mount Markham, and even to the ruins of Cold War era missile defense systems on San Gabriel Peak and Mount Disappointment and up to Mount Wilson.

Ruins of the Dawn Mine

“Echophone” on Echo Mountain

The last time transit-riders were able to get up to this region of L.A. County was in 1937, when the last Red Car train traveled all the way up to the ruins of the Ye Alpine Tavern, which had burned down the previous year. Much of the railway and many of the remaining buildings were dismantled in the following years.

Echo Mountain becomes the third transit-to-trailhead connection in the San Gabriel Mountains, although none have been long-lived. The first connection to Fish Canyon stopped when the region was hit by the 2016 San Gabriel Complex wildfire shortly after the shuttle program kicked in. As of 2018, the trail remains closed to hikers, although Belinda Faustinos, Executive Director for Nature for All, said the trail was due to open soon (note: this is literally the first thing I have heard about that trail reopening in nearly 3 years and haven’t heard of any trail work being done in that time, so we’ll see). A pilot program to the notoriously crowded Chantry Flats trailhead in Santa Anita Canyon — where hikers can visit Sturtevant and Hermit Falls on one of the best loop trails in the region) was exceptionally popular, but groups are still searching for funding for a permanent version of the service.

Modern Hiker will be riding a test version of the service tomorrow (March 16th), so check in with us on Instagram to catch some previews.

We’re looking forward to having another option to get to this fantastic trailhead without a car — and we hope that hikers will get in touch with their elected officials to let them know they support this here and in other places (let’s get that Chantry Flats shuttle back ASAP, too – that is definitely where it’s needed the most).

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modern Hiker, Author of "Day Hiking Los Angeles," Walking Meditator, Native Plant Enthusiast.

8 Comments

Kari

Kari Apr 7, 2018 12:04

People might want to know that the bus is #88 and the stop in on Raymond. Turn right out of the metro station, and the. Right again on Raymond.

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Casey Schreiner Mar 19, 2018 14:03In reply to: Deb Burgess

Hey Deb - the funding for this comes from Pasadena, Edison International, and L.A. County and Pasadena Transit is running the shuttle as an extended bus line. From chatting with some of the folks involved, it seems like everyone is VERY keen on getting the Santa Anita Canyon route up and running again, but from my understanding there are some additional hurdles concerning bidding for transit contracts in the foothill cities that Pasadena didn't have. I do know people are actively working on it, though, and I'm doing my best to keep on top of what's going down. I think *everyone* wants that shuttle back! :)

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Deb Burgess Mar 19, 2018 13:03

This is Deb from Adams' Pack Station. Who is running the shuttle and how can we work on getting one from the Arcadia Gold Line to the pack station?

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Casey Schreiner Mar 19, 2018 13:03In reply to: Dario

It's a Pasadena city bus, so it has the standard 2-bike rack on the front.

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Dario Mar 18, 2018 19:03

Either way I'd use this service, but does the shuttle have a bike rack?

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LAResidentTourist Mar 18, 2018 17:03

Yay! Thanks too for the update on the Chantry Flats shuttle. We were so hoping it'd get picked up this year so we could try it out.

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Casey Schreiner Mar 15, 2018 11:03In reply to: LETICIA LOPEZ

I believe it is a city bus, so probably not - but I'm getting a sneak peak tomorrow morning and I'll ask!

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LETICIA LOPEZ Mar 15, 2018 10:03

Will dogs be allowed on the shuttles?

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