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Mount Lukens

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Good training hike, spectacular views of LA basin
Near:Tujunga, CA
Distance:8.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:3200 ft
Hike Time:5.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is the tallest peak within the LA city limits, and it has spectacular views of the LA basin and surrounding mountains from the summit. This mountain was burned some time ago, so with the exception of the views of the surrounding area, the scenery is rather marginal. The hike to the summit is relentlessly up hill with limited shade along the way. I used this hike to train for an upcoming backpacking trip. In the summer bring lots of water, and during the rainy season crossing the creek near the trail head could be risky. Finding the trail from the parking lot was a bit tricky, so I just hiked straight up Stone Canyon until I could see the trail on an embankment to my left.
Trailhead: From Foothill Blvd in Sunland, turn north on Mt. Gleason Avenue and drive 1.5 miles to Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Turn right and proceed 5 miles to Wildwood Picnic Area. Stone Canyon trail begins at the back end of the parking lot. (Lat:34.29419 Lon:-118.24002)
Trail Guides for Mount Lukens:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney  (Olympus Press)

Hike Los Angeles Volume 2
by Dennis Gagnon  (Western Tanager Press)

Afoot & Afield In Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs
Ranger Contact:  US Forest Service, 818-790-1151
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 2 of 10   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Sergiy on 9/18/2010
September 18, 2010. The hike, all campgrounds etc, are closed to public. Note there's no shade anywhere on the trail, so even if the hike is open, dint do it on a hot day.

Reviewed by Mark C. on 6/13/2010
I hadn't done this hike in a few years. This time around was definitely a much different experience than my last trip. The death of all the trees from the Station fire mixed with the abundance of new life from all the burgeoning wildflowers makes for quite a dichotomy. The trail is overgrown and can be hard to follow in certain places (especially the last third). The aforementioned wide ravine crossing (Jane E.-5/22) is a bit of a challenge for inexperienced hikers. But overall I'm glad a made this bittersweet journey.

Reviewed by Crosby on 6/6/2010
First, the trail is a little difficult to find once you get over the creek. It's on the left of the stone wash, on the little ridge. Once you find it and start heading up it be mindful as it is not very well-maintained. Wear pants and a decent pair of hiking boots as there are a lot of little pokey and stickey things that will get stuck to you. I got tired of picking things out of my socks and headed back down after getting to the top of the first hill, so I cannot comment further on the trail. Keep in mind this trail is not well-maintained. If I'd had a little warning on how trying this trail was I'd have picked another.

Reviewed by Jane E on 5/22/2010
Gate was locked but parked on the road without getting a ticket. Creek was fordable, trail easy to find with info from other posts. Trail narrow, overgrown with plants some eye level. Trail sketchy in multiple places where water ran down in winter. 2 miles up trail is completely washed out and you must cross a 10ft wide ravine 6 ft deep. 3 miles up there is a very active beehive around a burned out manzanita. Coming down was hard, trail is alternately gravelly, rocky, and it is hard to see your footing due to plant converage. Wildflowers are fabulous, there is no one on the trail, and it is an adventure.

Reviewed by Paul B on 5/4/2010
Currently there's no roadside parking allowed on Big Tujunga Road. You are risking a ticket if a ranger finds your car unattended. If you take your chances or get dropped off tho, you are in for a treat! The fires and rain have done wonders to this place. It's lush green and flowers are growing everywhere! Unfortunately, any shade provided earlier from tall brush and trees is all gone. The rain also has thinned some of the trail. Nothing too bad tho. If you are looking for an adventurous local hike, i highly recommend it. No ones been hiking Lukens in almost 10 months due to the fires last august.

Reviewed by FatManRunnin on 3/13/2010
After the Station fire most of the access roads that reach the trailhead are closed, and due to heavy rains upper portions of trail are washed out, and you can only access the trail head an additional mile down the canyon where the stream is too fast and wide to ford safely and dryly. Wait a month or two...

Reviewed by NanTan on 8/23/2009
Hiked this trail today, 8/23/09. Started late 12:30 PM and paid for it in the heat of the day. Great hike though. Steep and lots of switchbacks. Very secluded (only came across four other hikers the whole time) Once you reach the near top, the views are amazing of the LA basin. Be careful though LOTS of poison oak. Red and ready. Only bummer is the picnickers down at the Wildwood Picnic area and along the Tujunga Creek leave behind loads of trash. We ended up packing out two garbage bags of their crap. Would def hike this again. Yeah, trail hard to find just after the parking lot, but just cross the creek and look for the huge stone field ravine. Stone Canyon Trail is just to the left going up, up, up.

Reviewed by Matti on 7/13/2009
Hiked to the summit via the Stone Canyon Trail. VERY hot, not too many shady spots until you get half-way up. Would recommend not doing this until the fall. Poison Oak everywhere but no problem if you know what it looks like. Great hike with relentless elevation gain, but the radio towers at the top are disappointing, like everyone says. Great views, otherwise. Bring a ton of water.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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