Mt Lukens Loop via Deukmejian Wilderness Park (Dunsmore Canyon)
This is a challenging loop trail to Mt Lukens, the highest point in the City of Los Angeles. Ascending from Deukmejian Wilderness Park counterclockwise and initially following Dunsmore Creek, the trail follows the Crescenta View Trail to the summit. The trail is generally well marked and maintained, but the difficulty arises from the very steep ascent of 600 feet per mile, and very little shade covering for most of the route. The ascent takes approximately 4.5 miles, and the descent is slightly over 5 miles. The summit is covered with many radio antennae and equipment buildings, but provides views across the Los Angeles Basin, and east to Mt. Baldy and the other major peaks of the Angeles National Forest. In the summer, there is typically no water available on this trail until the final 1 1/2 miles, when the trail crosses a small stream. In the winter, you may find snow on the trail near the summit. Watch for rattlesnakes on the trail in summer months.
This trail goes by Silver Saddle.
A lovable feature of the park is a series of stunning oaks that are reminiscent of a “Dreaming Tree”. They’re on the easy, straight hike portion that’s just over a mile. Under one of them you can sit and enjoy a picnic or the shade and charming sounds of nature.
If you’re a developing trail runner, it’s best to follow the trail clockwise. Most healthy hiker/runners can enjoyably run 1/3 to 1/2 of the ascent, take a break at the summit and run the entire way down. The descent is exhilarating because most of the trail is narrow with dramatic views and many changes in terrain. You experience everything from an easy dirt service road, to winding, sandy boulders (that you can run around) to 2’ wide dry water courses. The footwork challenges are amazing.
Park at Deukmejian Wilderness Park in the City of Glendale. Arrive early, as the lot fills up early on most days, and usually by 7:00 am on weekends. There are many no parking signs posted on the street entering the park, so use caution if you park on the street. The entire park closes and is gated 1 hour after sunset.
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