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Tom Sloan Saddle – Inspiration Point via Dawn Mine

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Tom Sloan Saddle – Inspiration Point via Dawn Mine

COVID precautions still apply. YOU MUST BRING A FACE COVERING to meet up at the trailhead. Please be mindful of other people’s space.

Tom Sloan Dragon on Mother’s Day. This is a VERY steep climb (scramble) right off the bat with 1800 ft of gain in the first two miles. Not for beginners.

The Stats

Distance: 12.5 miles

Rating: 8/10, due to steep ascent

Elevation gain: ~3,500

Trail: Looped single track

Duration: 6+ hours

Parking Pass: NO

There might be about 2 miles of bushwhacking to Inspiration Point. The trail exists but could be overgrown. The last time it was actually well maintained but that was a couple years ago.

Write up is Don’s:

The Plan

We will start on a steep ascent up from Cobb State

WARNING: The very last portion of the uphill trail is short, but with a lot of loose rock and you will need to be alert for debris from hikers in front of you. I’d suggest leaving a buffer space between hikers when ascending.

Next we’ll be going near Dawn Mine and head up to the trail that will get us up to Tom Sloan Saddle. After a break we will start the bushwhacking portion to get to Inspiration. From Inspiration Point we will take the Castle Cyn Trail down to our cars. There is Poodle Dog bush in this area!

The Story

Brown Mountain (4466 ft.) is as nicely positioned for scenic views as a mountain surrounded by higher peaks can be. Its long summit rises between Millard Canyon and Bear Canyon in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains.

This mountain is named after the mid-19th American abolitionist, John Brown. It seems that his two sons lived near the head of El Prieto Canyon in the 1880’s and spent a lot of time exploring the front range. To honor dear old dad, the sons named this mountain after him.

For a peak under 5,000 feet, you get your money’s worth of panorama at the summit. Looking north, beyond Bear Creek, your eye catches the distinctive shape of Strawberry Peak and Josephine Peak to its left. To the east stand San Gabriel Peak, Mt. Markham and Mt. Lowe. To the west is the magnificent chasm that is the Arroyo Seco and across Angeles Crest Highway, you can make out the antennas of Mt. Lukens in the distance. To the south is Millard Canyon and beyond that, a usually hazy view down into the San Gabriel Valley metropolis.

Directions: We’ll meet at the gate to the Cobb Estate at the north end of Lake Street which ends at Loma Alta in Pasadena. Free parking is on the street and depending on availability could require some extra walking. Exit the 210 Fwy at Lake St in Pasadena and head North.


The Fine Print

PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.

The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)

RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.


Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!

1 – A long walk

2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain

3 – 5 mile hike w/up to 1000 ft. elevation gain

4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)

5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)

6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)

7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)

8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)

9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)

10 – Use your imagination

Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.



I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

May 09 2021


Date: May 9
Time: 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Hike Categories:
Website: Visit Event Website


Echo Mountain trailhead

Intersection of E Loma Alta Drive and Lake Ave
Altadena, CA 91001 US

+ Google Map




Website: Visit Organizer Website


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