Roughly three miles was all it took to float 3,200 feet over Southern California's San Gabriel Valley.
It's now one of my favorite hikes to catch up with friends on, but this area used to send shivers down my spine. I avoided this area at all costs (while trying to maintain my adolescent-level street cred).
Let me explain: as an SGV-native, word on the elementary school playgrounds was that this area was haunted (it's not! Turns out high schoolers still hide out in the main paved trails to scare curious cats). The rumor mill also claimed there was a well on one of the other trails, but I've seen The Ring too many times to mess with that.
If breathtaking views weren't enough of an incentive to overcome my fears, ruins of the Mount Lowe Railway beckoned me onward. Once the first historic marker is reached, the foundation of a former hotel awaits. I made the valley shake with my booming voice through an echophone. It is no surprise that this hot spot racks up the numbers as soon as the sun peeks its rays out in the horizon.
Pro tip: Get there early to get good parking and say hello to fellow hikers. Plan to hike early or late, as this hike throws very little shade. I'd include photos, but then that takes out the element of surprise!
Some enjoy night time hikes and park their cabooses at the top to sift for stars through the LA haze. Sounds like the best time to recall those childhood tales about "The Haunted Forest".
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