Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
California Hikes Dog Friendly Hikes Hiking Trails Kid Friendly Hikes Los Angeles County Hikes

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop

Mount Lukens is the highest peak within the city limits of Los Angeles and the westernmost peak in the San Gabriel Mountain Range. Standing tall above the Crescenta Valley, Mount Lukens provides spectacular views of Greater Los Angeles Area, Tujunga Canyon, the San Fernando Valley, and the Verdugo Mountains.

Mount Lukens is the highest peak within the city limits of Los Angeles and the westernmost peak in the San Gabriel Mountain Range. Standing tall above the Crescenta Valley, Mount Lukens provides spectacular views of Greater Los Angeles Area, Tujunga Canyon, the San Fernando Valley, and the Verdugo Mountains. The downside to Mount Lukens’ proximity to Los Angeles, is that the summit has been blemished and disfigured by radio antennae, cellular towers, and ugly concrete support buildings. Still, the views provided from the summit, more than make up for the view of the summit.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail


Directions And GPS Tracks:

  • To hike to the summit of Mount Lukens via Dunsmore Canyon, you’ll start at Deukmejian Wilderness Park located at 3429 Markridge Rd, Glendale, CA 91214. This address will only get you to Markridge Rd, so continue heading east on Markridge for another 100 meters or so and you’ll see a sign for the park to the north. There is main paved parking lot and a dirt overflow parking lot.
  • Download GPX
  • See my track on Strava

    Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
    Overflow Lot Across From Paved Lot

Key Points:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2818 ft
  • Minimum Elevation: 2358 ft
  • Maximum Elevation: 5075 ft
  • Time: 5-8 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Dog Friendly: Allowed on leash
  • Permit Required: No
  • Season: Year Round (Avoid on hot days)
  • Trail Condition: The trail is steep, well maintained, well marked, and easy to follow
  • Cell Phone Reception: Pretty good

Make sure to hike with the right gear. See my current hiking gear list. 


Hike Map And Elevation Profile:

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail


Hike Description:

If you look online, there are a lot of names provided for this hike. The reason is that this hike starts at Deukmejian Wilderness Park and heads into the Dunsmore Canyon using two trails, the Rim-of-the-Valley Trail and the Crescenta View Trail. A counterclockwise loop, ascends the Cresenta View Trail and descends the Rim-of-the-Valley Trail. This is my preferred route on this hike and the one I will be referring to in this hike description.

0.0 miles- Leaving the parking lot behind, head towards the gated road and make your way towards the Crescenta View Trail.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Pass The Gate
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Asphalt To The Trail

0.3 miles- There is a lot going on in the first quarter mile of hiking, with a few different trails branching off from the main trail. Most people are heading on the Le Mesnager Loop via the Dunsmore Canyon Trial. For this reason, don’t just follow the person in front of you. Stay right at the junctions and eventually you’ll see the marker for the Crescenta View Trail. You’ll stay right here as well.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
The Crescenta View Trail Junction
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Cross Over To The Right

After starting the Crescenta View Trail, you’ll cross over a wash and the uphill hiking beings immediately. Make sure your legs are nice and warm at this point as you’re set to gain close to 700 ft in elevation for each mile over the next three miles.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Julia With The Dogs
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Inversion Burning Off

On the ascent, you’ll see a ridge route cutting through a few of the switchbacks. I didn’t see anyone attempting the ridge route on this day, but it looks like it might be fun. There are a few sections on this trail that had pretty steep falloffs, so make sure to keep your wits and pay close attention.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Isla On The Go
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Hauling 40lbs With Baby In Tow
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Cresenta Valley View

1.5 miles- Things begin to level out for a bit here with a stretch of flat trail before the switchbacks begin again in earnest.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Leveling Out
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Fog Rolls In

2.0 miles- A massive camping windbreak denotes the two mile mark of this hike. This is also when the fog started to burn off and views of the Crescenta Valley really started to open up.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Stunning Views
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Lilly For Scale

2.5 miles- In 2009, this area was devastated by the Station Fire, one of the worst fires in the history of Los Angeles . 8 years on, much of the Chaparral, Mazanita, and Scrub Oak are well on their way to recovery, but charred remnants still offer a vivid reminder.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Remnants of the Station Fire
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Fog Rolls Back In

3.0 miles- The trail really begins to level off after the 3 mile mark, with only 400 of elevation gained between mile 3 and mile 4.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Road Up Ahead

3.4 miles- At 3.4 miles you come to a junction with a well maintained fire road named Mount Lukens Rd./ ANF 3N27. Take a left at the junction to head towards Mount Lukens.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Marker For Road Junction
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Turn Left

The fire road is wide and well maintained from this point on. Keep an eye out for mountain bikes and 4x4s.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Fire Road ANF 3N27
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Isla Sees The Peak, Lilly Sees The Treat

4.7 miles- Similar to Mt. Wilson, the summit of Mount Lukens can feel a bit underwhelming due to the massive amount of man-made obstructions. There are still plenty of great views to be enjoyed though, particularly from the western and northern edges of the summit block.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Mount Lukens Summit
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Antennas On The Peak
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Views to the North

When you’re ready to leave the summit, continue on the fire road and keep right as it veers northwest.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Keep Right Here
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Single Track

6.5 miles- The downhill hiking on Rim-of-the-Valley Trail is very pleasant, with great views of the Crescenta Valley below. As you approach 6.5 miles, you’ll pass a junction to your right. Ignore this and continue on ahead.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Pass The Junction To Your Right
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Continue On Rim-of-the-Valley Trail

7.5 miles- As you approach 7.5 miles, you need to keep an eye out for a junction you don’t want to miss. First, you’ll see the trail pass to the left of a ridge to your right. From there, you’ll see a large post, and a trail that falls off below. Take this trail.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Trail wraps around
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
The Post

9.0 miles- The final stretch of hiking is easily my favorite on this trail. For about a quarter mile, the trail takes you along a creek though a lush green forest.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Lush

9.5 miles- At 9.5 miles, you see the final junction for the Le Mesnager Loop Trail. Stay to the right here to complete the Rim-of-the-Valley Trail. Just after the junction, you have a short uphill and then a left hand turn before seeing the trailhead and parking area. Make your way back to the car and consider a stop at the near by In-N-Out for lunch.

Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Stay Right
Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop Hike Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the Crescenta View Trail
Then head left

 

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

12 comments on “Hiking Mount Lukens Via The Dunsmore Canyon Loop

  1. What app or program do you use for your map and elevation?

    • I use a few. I track my hikes with my Suunto Ambit and then use the GPX file in Google Earth for the earth view. My Suunto shares my activities with Strava which is where I grab the elevation profile. For the map, I upload my GPX file to mymaps.google.com

  2. I’ve only done a couple of hikes in the LA area due to my luck and awful smog days, but I’m definitely putting this on my list. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Anonymous

    I hike Crescenta View…or the Haines loop, or the Blue Bug daily!

    Well done! So far, then most concise, accurate detailing of the Mount Lukens experience.

    Have fun! But Watch Out for mountain bikers on the Old Haines Canyon Motorway. :(.

  4. Anonymous

    BTW, ‘The Post’ in your photo was a signpost. I have the original signs that were attached to The Post in my living room. The were transferred from a wood sign post to the fireproof post in your photo shortly before the fire. I went up via Haines, against LAFD orders, the day after the fire and collected what was left of the signs.

    If I can post a photo of the original signs, I will.

    • Thanks for the info on the post. Awesome to hear that you saved the signs. I’d love to see pictures of those if you have them.

  5. Thanks for the clarification on the various names this hike seems to have. I have been trying to figure out the actual distance of the Rim of the Valley trail, but it seems to be a brief trail that connects two others, is that correct?

    • I think that’s correct. On the map, it runs from the summit of Mt. Lukens until it reaches Haines Canyon Mountainway and the Old Mt. Lukens Trail.

  6. Very informative

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