The Sam Merrill Checkpoint is located along the historic Mount Lowe Motorway near the site of the old Mount Lowe Tavern. This is several miles above Altadena at an elevation of approximately 4500 Feet above sea level. While not too far from the city, it is in a remote area accessible only by a dirt road behind locked Forest Service gates. The road is usually accessible by most vehicles and follows the path of the famous Mount Lowe Railway.
This checkpoint is located at the 89 mile mark of the course and is normally staffed from approximately 12 Noon on Saturday until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Volunteers at Sam Merrill need to be well prepared and bring what they need because of restricted access through the locked gate. Once there, you normally stay for the entire 24 hour period.
There are no conveniences except for pit toilets at the Mount Lowe Campground, a short walk down the road. A BBQ Dinner is usually provided by the Checkpoint Radio Leaders. You are within walking distance to "Inspiration Point", the Mount Lowe Tavern site and the remains of the historic Fox Farm.