Mount Lowe? Sure, it’s a magnificent summit in the San Gabriels. Mt. Lowe? Sure, it’s a brilliant brewery in the San Gabriel Valley. Both are true, and that’s something to celebrate with a hike and a hoisting of a beer or three at Arcadia’s Mt. Lowe Brewing Company.
Hike to the summit of Mount Lowe via the lesser-known 3.25-mile (round-trip) out-and-back trek from Eaton Saddle. The trailhead is marked by a sign that provides some backstory about Thaddeus Lowe, who in the 1890s built a railway to his mountaintop eco resort. Continue a quarter-mile along the granite walls and enjoy an immediate reward: a sprawling view of the San Gabriel Valley below. Continue to the Mueller Tunnel, a short, echo-y passage built in 1942. At the half-mile mark, you reach a four-way junction. Take the second from the left, a narrow path marked by a rustic sign pointing you toward the peak and offering new views into vast Bear Canyon. You soon reach a ridge that brings into view the valley as well as the peaks of Mount Markham, Mount Disappointment, and Mount Wilson.
Trek on up the rocky path hugging the mountainside amid local flora that is home to gray squirrels, alligator lizards, and even striped racer snakes. Follow signs for Mount Lowe peak. At just past the 1.6-mile mark, you’ll reach the 5,606-foot summit, from which you enjoy views into the past and present. History lives in the form of hitching posts from the Echo Mountain Resort era and a group of old view tubes pointing toward nearby peaks. Some of the best views in Los Angeles also come into your field of view—gaze over the entire city, including the downtown skyline and Catalina Island on a clear day. Head back to your car—you’ve earned your libation reward.
Cheers! Mt. Lowe Brewing Company rightfully honors the history of its namesake mountain. Old railway spikes sub for traditional tap handles, and countless photos and maps line the walls of the spacious interior. As for the beer, try the Hills Have IPA or the Inspiration Porter, or opt for a tasting flight: five samples presented on a log platter. It’s the perfect way to celebrate local history and hiking.
To get to the Eaton Saddle trailhead, take the I-210 to La Cañada Flintridge and the CA-2 north for 13.9 miles, turning right on Mount Wilson Red Box Road. After 2.3 miles, you will see two big pullouts next to a gate—this is the parking and trailhead. (The trail begins behind the gate.) To get to the brewery, take the I-210 east to Santa Anita Ave., exiting south. Turn left onto Colorado Ave., heading east, and take the first right onto 1st Ave., followed by the second left onto E. Saint Joseph St. You’ll see Mt. Lowe Brewing Co. on your right. Park on the street. Both hike and brewery are dog-friendly!