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Sam Merril

Average Rating:    (3.75 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 4

One of the better trails on the front side of the San Gabriels.Singletrack climb for the first 3 miles ,shared with hikers.Trail has some exposure and I''d rate in not for beginners,but anybody with 6 or 7 rides in should be able to accomplish it.Great scenery and the climb is fairly steep so you''ll be able to see how far and how fast you''ve climbed by looking back.The trail eventually branches off towards Sunset,but go up not down.Stay on the fireroad till you get to the Y and then look to your right for the singletrack trailhead. You follow a different way down.This part of the trail is for novice to intermediate riders.We tried to take people with a number of rides under their belt but they usually end up walking and we end up waiting.
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Latitude
34.216628588475245
Longitude
-118.13358306884765
Trail Directions
Take the 210 Freeway and exit Lake.Go towards the mountains (duh).Drive up 3 or 4 miles into the residential area.As the road makes a turn,on your right will be the trailhead.There is a gate there that you are allowed to ride around.Follow the path to the singletrack.Stay on the one that goes slightly downhill to start, not the steeper one as it just deadends in the bottom of the canyon
Trail Length
6 to 25 Miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Alta Dena
Country
usa
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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Date
November 5, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: DannyBoy1 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This Trail is awesome! Been doing it couple times a week now. The lower section is grueling uphill, have to get off in some spots, but beyond that to mt.lowe/Middle merrill is well worth it, some rockslides is some areas, but thats just a reason to take a breather. The Upper Merrill is in bad shape, most of it is in the burn areas (trail is still open). Saw a bear here yesterday 11-4-09.
Just watchout going down the Lower SM, many hikers.

Recommended Route:
Go up to Lake And Loma Atla, Ride it up to Echo Mnt. Take the 1st trail on the left to connect to Mt. Lowe Railway. Hook A right, And follow the fireroad all the way! Many views of the burnt area, kinda spooky by yourself but worth it.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
This is the only trail i know thats close to me (Eagle Rock). Brown Mnt. Is closed, to bad i didn't move here eariler. Done the San Rafael Romp, Descano Gardens Figure 8, And SM 3 times now.



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Review Date
July 11, 2009

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: altadena downhiller ,  Downhiller

Summary:
I live at the base of this trail so I know it as wellas anyone and it's really not a bike trail. On the weekends you will contend with a hiker every 100-200 meters - probably 1000 people hike it each weekend. Going up the trail is best left for ironmen and coming down - you better have cowbells.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Come down from Markham Saddle and and take the "sunset ridge route" - u need a good trail map or ride with someone who knows where to turn off as it's hard 2 explain



Comments
singletrackin (11/10/2009)
According to the forest service all trails leading to burned ares are closed. Chaney/Mt. Lowe road is closed until September 2010. I know the lower Merrill is open to Echo Mountain but not sure about upper Merrill. There is no middle Merrill for those who thinks there is.
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Review Date
August 13, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Thomer10 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
The Merrills are in pretty good shape right now, (08/05) Upper san merrill is much better than lower san merrill.....I would suggest that you have a few rides under your belt before you try these trails. There are a few loose spots and atleast two turns on the way down that can really ruin your day if you go over the side. I would ride this during the week, the weekends are hiker heavy.

Recommended Route:
If you can climb single track, start at Lake Ave and work your way up. When you come to the first split stay straight ahead, about 50 feet ahead you'll see a turn to the left, take this. This part is kind of tough with the railway ties, but you can go around them... this is where the real climbing begins.....this section is about 3.5 miles to the top..... If you would rather climb a fireroad start at the top of Chaney Trails in Altadena, it's paved for about 3 miles then becomes dirt...you will come to a Y, at the Y you can go left to Mt. Lowe, straight to Inspiration Point, or right witch is the trail head to sam merrill... Good luck and have fun



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Review Date
May 14, 2005

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Pain Freak ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Not to bad - Looks like the Merrils did fairly well through all the rain.But there are a lot of lose spots on the way up.I ended up hiking half of these as it just wasn't worth the effort to try and keep traction.Even with a good tire I think it would be really difficult.A hiker I met at the old hotel told me there was a feature in the LA Times outdoor section that told about this trail this past week and that attracted scores more of people along with the warmer weather,it was a regular freeway there.We continued on to Inspiration Point and then took the singletrack back down.This area has only improved.Really,really, nice.Lots of rocks,obstacles and drops to keep your attention keen.A couple new slides and collapses,but nothing serious.We followed up by continuing down Sunset which is about the best I've ever seen it.LOTS of lose rocks and a few new drops along with now harder to make switchbacks.Trail is top notch right now and the pedestrian traffic was non exsistant here today.We got some good speed through this section and then had to cut it short and skip El Prieto as we were running out of time.Sure is nice to see the trail like this.Chances are though the rangers might consider it a little to technical and might grade some of it.I hope not,but there are a few collapses that need repair.Bugs were becoming a nuisance



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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)
 


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