Ever had one of those hikes where you’re not quite sure where it will go but all that matters is you get outside? I had one of those today.
I met up with Victor and Julie at 8:20 a.m. at the top of Lake Avenue. The goal that we’d discussed was to take the Mt Lowe Fire Road up to Markham Saddle and then hit Markham, Disappointment, San Gabriel, Lowe, and Muir Peak.
We kept a pretty chill pace the whole time, making Echo in a little over an hour. Julie had never been up to Echo and so we indulged her in the history of Echo, the hotel, etc. We also observed some new graffiti. Lovely. After hanging there for a little, we crossed Sunset Ridge to Cape of Good Hope/Mt Lowe Fire Road. We ascended the fire road for awhile, eventually hitting up Mt Lowe Campground for a short break. We continued our trek up, up, and up to Inspiration Point, then Muir Peak (finding a cool toad on the way, see the pics…identification help?) and ultimately going back up Mt Lowe Fire Road all the way around past Tom Sloane Saddle to Markham Saddle. By now, we were well on our way to an epically long hike (at least by our standards). However, it became clear that Disappointment and San Gabriel can wait for another day, as we decided to turn this into a bit more of a marathon hike than a wicked elevation hike (both of those are steep peaks). Victor and I checked out the landslide I’d heard about at Mueller Tunnel (muy no bueno) and then came back up to pick up Julie at Markham Saddle and take Mt Lowe West Trail up to the summit of Lowe – and then the Lowe East trail back to the fire road, near Inspiration Point. By now we were low on water, as anticipated, so we filtered some at the Mt Lowe Campground with a Hiker Pro and took the road back down to Sunset Ridge and then Echo Mountain, eventually bringing us back to our origin. This hike was long, but it was great to see some of the burn areas I hadn’t yet seen up close. Also, I am hoping to hit up San Gabriel and Disappointment next week so if you’re interested, hit me up!
Total Distance: 22.5 miles
Elevation Gain: just under 6000 feet
Temperature: 70’s pretty much the whole way with high exposure
Terrain: Dirt road, fairly dependable and clear trails
GPS log: here
Calories burned: 5,130
Backpack: REI Flash 30
Shoes: Keen Voyageur (lows)
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Contour Elliptical
Water consumed: 3.25 liters
Electrolyte beverage consumed: 0
Food consumed: 9 Hammer Gels, some Reese’s Pieces
Estimate of calories consumed: 1300