The project seemed doomed from the beginning and the fares did not cover the construction costs. Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe went into receivership several times before losing the railway in 1899. The structures at Echo Mountain were destroyed from fires, floods and wind from 1900-1936. Finally in 1938 the Mount Lowe railway was abandoned after heavy rain destroyed the railway. Today you can hike to the ruins of the hotel and surrounding structures.
To get there:
Take 210 freeway exit Lake Ave. Drive North for 3 1/2 miles to the end of Lake Ave. where it intersects with Loma Alta Drive on a curve. Park in a legal spot (Pay attention to signs). The trail head begins on the east side of the street at the stone gateway. Walk up the hill and look for the marked trail head of the Sam Merrill Trail to your right. It is about 2 1/2 miles to the top of Echo Mountain.
There are several picnic areas at Echo Mountain. Most of the trail is exposed to the sun and hiking in the summer can get very hot. Be prepared and make sure to bring plenty of water. The hike is 5 miles round trip and should take about 3 or 4 hours.