San Gabriel Mountains

sam merril

Something I have wanted to do since moving to LA was on the cards was hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. The problem with LA is that it lies in a ring of mountains that tend to trap the clouds, not to mention the pollution caused by over 20 million people. However a reasonably clear day presented itself so we decided to hire a car and drive out to Pasedena to undertake the Sam Merril Trail to once the once famous, now burned down Thaddeus resort. Now everyone knows LA is huge, but what you don’t understand unless you’ve traveled  around the giant metropolis is that it is HUGE!


The drive to the trail head took well over an hour from MDR, so by the time we arrived we were ready to go.  Something we have noticed in for 5.8 miles out and back with an elevation gain of 1400 feet we knew thought it would be pretty steep in parts but it actually wasn’t.

What it was though was a constant up hill that started at the very beginning and continued through countless switch backs until 600 feet before the hotel itself. As we gradually rose we gained an ever increasing view of the sprawling city below, all the way to downtown Los Angeles and the ocean beyond it.California is that trails are no where near as well maintained as they were in Washington, probably somewhat due to the fact that the state is broke, and at times has trouble paying it’s employees so putting up new trail signs probably seems like a low priority.

Once atop the mountain we found the ruins interesting and fun to explore, and the view was hard to beat. We enjoyed the scenery, took in the views and enjoyed the history before starting the relatively easy descent.


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