SAM MERRILL TRAIL TO INSPIRATION POINT, SAN GABRIEL MTS
FRONT RANGE
NOVEMBER 2008
Photographs by Michael Charters




This is a trail the upper half of which I hadn't hiked in about ten years. The trailhead is at the top of Lake Avenue in Pasadena, and the trail zig-zags up the hill 2-1/2 miles to Echo Mountain, the site of the famous White City resort complex of the 1890's. Only foundations and some sections of rail from the incline cable trolley and the Mt. Lowe Railway remain today, but it has a fascinating and storied history. From there the trail continues another 2-1/2 miles to the Mt. Lowe fire road, where you meet the upper end of the Idlehour trail. Inspiration Point is a short walk from there, and you have the option of returning the way you came or continuing down the trail through Castle Canyon back to Echo Mountain and Lake Avenue. An asterisk indicates a non-native species.


   
Short-leaved cliff aster
Malacothrix saxatilis var. tenuifolia
Asteraceae
 
Bigelow's spike-moss
Selaginella bigelovii
Selaginellaceae


   
Bird's-foot fern
Pellaea mucronata var. mucronata
Pteridaceae
 
California bay
Umbellularia californica
Lauraceae


 
 
Black sage
Salvia mellifera
Lamiaceae
 
 
 
 
White sage
Salvia apiana
Lamiaceae
California-aster
Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia
Asteraceae
 
 


 
California buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum
Polygonaceae


 
 
Coastal woodfern
Dryopteris arguta
Dryopteridaceae
 
 
California polypody
Polypodium californicum
Polypodiaceae
California sagebrush
Artemisia californica
Asteraceae
California brickellbush
Brickellia californica
Asteraceae
California croton
Croton californicus
Euphorbiaceae


 
 
Rock-cress
Arabis sp.
Brassicaceae
 
Mission cactus *
Opuntia ficus-indica
Cactaceae
Telegraph weed
Heterotheca grandiflora
Asteraceae
   


 
Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Rosaceae
 
Feltleaf everlasting
Pseudognaphalium microcephalum
(= Gnaphalium canescens ssp. m.)
Asteraceae


 
Longstem buckwheat
Eriogonum elongatum
Polygonaceae
 
 
Hoary fuchsia
Epilobium canum ssp. canum
Onagraceae
 
 
Indian pink
Silene laciniata ssp. major
Caryophyllaceae
 


 
 
Shrubby butterweed
Senecio flaccidus var. douglasii
Asteraceae
Sugarbush
Rhus ovata
Anacardiaceae