Mount Lowe Preservation Society Inc. Collection

Alpine Division

Next on our tour we visit the Alpine Division, which took visitors up to the Alpine Tavern for food and accommodations.

The Alpine Division, according to the Pacific Electric Railway’s Employee’s Timetable, was 3.57 miles in length, and her longest stretch of straight track just 225’.

High Bridge between Echo Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope after Pacific Electric took over. This is obvious from the lettering on the front of the Alpine Division car, but less obvious is the new concrete abutments High Bridge is sitting on. These were all replaced after Pacific Electric took over, and can still be seen in places along the old right-of-way today.

Winding its way from Echo Mountain to the Cape of Good Hope, this long shot gives one the ability to see all the twists and turns along the route.

Yet another highlight on the Alpine Division was Circular Bridge, about the halfway point to Alpine Tavern from Echo Mountain. This engineering fete was the brainchild of engineer David Macpherson, where the track completes a full circle and doubles back on itself at a higher level. Those that remember riding on this route in its heyday say this was the scariest part of the ride. Cars would periodically stop for souvenir shots and in this early photo one can see Echo Mountain House through the haze.

Upon arriving at Crystal Springs and Alpine Tavern, the terminus of the Alpine Division, one could have a bite to eat and stay the night. Other amusements in the area included hiking or horseback riding to the summit of Mount Lowe, billiards, miniature golf, tennis, viewing the silver fox farm, hiking up to Inspiration Point, riding the famous One Man and a Mule Railway, or just mingling with the visitors around the great fireplace.

4 Comments on “Alpine Division

  1. If you go to the site of the Mount Lowe tavern today, it looks very different. Once can still see the foundations of the bridge that crossed the canyon and where the trolley lined ended but that is about all. Oddly enough, the concrete septic tank still survives. A water tank is still being filled with water from the springs above the tavern site. There are still concrete pathways that used to lead to tent cabins. This site has not burned since the 1930s from what I could tell – still very large trees and lush growth abound. It smelled wonderful.

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