The beautiful three-story Rubio Pavilion and Hotel (1893 – 1909) was the center of tourist activities in Rubio Canyon. Hotel Rubio had 10 hotel rooms, a below-deck dining room and dance floor. Over a mile of planked walks and stairways with more than a thousand steps led to nine of the beautiful waterfalls of Rubio Canyon. At night, over 2,000 illuminated Japanese lanterns lit the pathway. The Pavilion was one end of the Rubio Incline where passengers experienced a thrilling ride up the 59% average grade of the Incline in “White Chariots”, open-air cars moved by powerful machinery.
But the glory of the Rubio Canyon attractions did not last long. By 1903, storm damage from boulders in Rubio Creek had washed away much of the underfloor, the lower part of the Pavilion was declared unsafe and the hotel was closed. In 1909, an unseasonable electrical storm and flash flood tore out the Rubio Pavilion and buried one of the caretakers’ children in the mud. The injured parents spent years in the hospital recuperating from the devastation that left them trapped in the rubble of the Pavilion. Three of the children, who knew how to actuate the incline cars, escaped to the top of the incline. Rubio Canyon became just a transfer point from the Pacific Electric standard passenger trolley cars to the Incline cars