The Pasadena Sunset Ridge Trail is an exciting short loop for intermediate-level riders with plenty of trail features to keep you on your toes. Riders often start the trail as a downhill ride before climbing up for another exciting descent. It’s also connected to other Mount Lowe Railway trails, so instead of going downhill a second time, you can choose to explore the other trails.
As implied by the name, it’s a great trail to be on when the sun starts to go down. That said, you’ll still be treated to beautiful views of the hilly landscape if you go earlier in the day.
Sunset Ridge starts at the trail’s intersection with the Mt Lowe Railroad Inspiration Point trail, a short distance to the southwest of the Echo Mountain Trail. To get there from Lake Avenue, hop onto the Lower Sam Merrill Trail and follow it to the intersection with the Echo Mountain Trail.
From there, you turn North and follow the trail to its intersection with Mt Lowe Road Inspiration Point. Finally, turn south, and the trail Marker for the Sunset Ridge Trail should be a bit further ahead.
Given that it’s a technical trail going downhill from here, it should be a lot of fun, but you still need to be careful since an injury here may not be something you can walk off.
There are plenty of drops and switchbacks, and given that this trail is also popular with hikers due to the views, you might want to watch for any movement in front of you. A bell on your bike handlebars may also be a welcome accessory to warn hikers and other trail users of your presence.
There’s also an alternative route to the Sunset Ridge Trail, where you use the paved fire road off Chaney Trail, with Sunset Ridge being to the left after about two and a half miles. This route takes you through the Mt Lowe Railroad Inspiration Point trailhead. As such, you can skip the first turn into Sunset Ridge and climb further up ahead to the top end.
Notably, the beautiful views on this trail do come at a cost since there’s practically no shade. As such, if you go at midday, you’ll be cooking under the sun. Mornings or just before Twilight may be a better time to go.
The hilly landscape is impressive to look at and might be even better if you can wait for the sunset.