Lukens Good, LA!

Hike Mount Lukens to the Highest Point in the City of Los Angeles

A 5,074-foot mountain the city? It’s not part of a movie set—it’s LA for real! Located in northeast Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mount Lukens may look out of reach, but it’s the highest point within city limits and you can conquer its peak on a 10-mile (round-trip) loop hike starting from the Deukmejian Wilderness Park (gates open at 7 a.m.). Get an early start!

The trail begins on the far end of the parking area. Stick to the main path and follow signs for the Vineyard Trail. Leg power is required on this hike that climbs 2,854 feet, but the views inspire as you go. You’ll pass a dry creek bed and an old playground set, and when you reach a junction in the trail, get onto the Crescenta View Trail, which narrows as it goes up the mountain in switchbacks with ahhh-mazing views of the San Gabriels and Los Angeles. Most of the way you’ll see the peak, marked by radio towers.

After about 4.5 miles you reach a fire road. Turn left here and head to the radio towers. Pass through the tower area and you’ll get to a gate with a massive rock behind it—the official marker for Mount Lukens. Take in views all around, across the Verdugo Mountains and the Santa Monicas toward the skyline of downtown LA. When you’re ready, make your way back to the intersection at the base of the towers, turning left onto the Haines Canyon Road Trail, the route you’ll take to complete the loop. This trail is singletrack for most of the way, and significantly more rocky than the other trail (if that bothers you, make it an out-and-back hike).

Woman sitting and smiling at the summit of Mount Lukens in Los Angeles

Also, be sure to listen for bikers, who also enjoy this terrain. After about 3 miles get onto the Rim-of-the-Valley Trail on your left (marked by a wooden post). This trail switches back and forth for a couple of miles and passes you through a shaded area of vibrant green vegetation with a stream crossing before you finally begin to see the parking lot.

Mount Lukens is located in northeast Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Mountains. The trailhead here is in Deukmejian Wilderness Park. Gates open at 7 a.m. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Ridgetop Rolling

    Tilden Regional Park is the flagship of the East Bay Regional Parks system. And its best views? Find them along Nimitz Way, a paved, multi-use ridgetop trail. We recommend biking this trail for about 4 miles.

    View
  2. Wide-Open Wildcat

    Sure, peak-bagging hikes are great, but ridge trails? Well, those might be the best. The East Bay’s Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is home to a fantastic ridgetop rolling trail.

    View
  3. Bird Rock

    Other than the Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud, birds aren’t typically the first thing you think of with Alcatraz. When it was a working prison there wasn’t much bird life. But now? Well, the birds are back!

    View
  4. Forest Bathe Under the Redwoods

    Giant Douglas firs and a peaceful madrone- and tanoak-studded forest make the hiking at Sanborn County Park sublime, but there’s an added majesty here thanks to the Todd Creek Redwoods Grove.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Monterey Bay Aquarium Reopens!

    The wildlife has been waiting patiently … and now, at long last, they’re ready for their close-ups! As California reopens make new memories at the reopened Monterey Bay Aquarium!

    View
  2. Beach Walk + Cambodia Town

    A trip to Long Beach is not complete without a … long walk on the beach. But add a little extra with a walk through Cambodia Town, featuring local murals and delicious food.

    View
  3. Hodges and Hodgee Monster

    Escondido’s Lake Hodges is one of the most beautiful lake settings in San Diego, with Kumeyaay history, phenomenal birdwatching, a world-record-holding bridge, and a resident lake monster!  Do a 5.5-mile shoreline hike here ...  

    View
  4. Go For Guajome

    Head to Guajome County Park in Oceanside for a hidden lake twofer hike via a 4-mile loop trail traversing most of the 394-acre haven.

    View