The Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain is one of my favorite hikes — it’s a great way to spend the day above Altadena, learning about history and enjoying some great views of the L.A. basin. But if you’re looking for a way to tackle this peak without worrying about those pesky “trails” — or just wanted to see it from a different angle, then you might want to try scrambling up the old tracks of the Great Incline.

a rail car on Rubio Canyon's Great Incline

The kindred-spirits over at SocalHikes just posted a short write-up of their off-trail adventure, which is suggested only for hikers with previous off-trail and scrambling experience. It ascends to Echo Mountain where a famous old incline rail car used to run, and looks like a switchback monster.

If you’d rather just stick to your armchair and learn the history, they also dug up a great page on that, too. Nice work, guys!

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