In 1900, exactly 109 years and three days ago, a kitchen fire destroyed the hotel, and in 1938, the scenic railway that took riders up to Echo Mountain was abandoned after floods destroyed the mountainside.
The foundations of the once-luxurious, turn-of-the-century hotel, its incline railway and other surrounding buildings can be seen at the top of a 2.7-mile uphill hike on the Sam Merrill Trail in Altadena. The trail starts at the Cobb Estate where Lake Avenue ends at the mountain. The estate, built by lumber tycoon Charles H. Cobb, is also the site of trails leading to former mining sites (another subject for a future post!). Round-trip, the hike is about 5.4 miles and takes about 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours, plus time to explore the top.