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Fairly doable trail. 2.2 mi to the overlook, then downhill all the way back.

Fairly doable trail. 2.2 mi to the overlook, then downhill all the way back.

Fairly doable trail. 2.2 mi to the overlook, then downhill all the way back.

Fairly doable trail. 2.2 mi to the overlook, then downhill all the way back.

Creds- Have AllTrails Pro. 8 Nov 2018, 11.2 mi hike, 2,464’ el gain- followed AllTrails exactly.

Designated parking at Trailhead. Arrived 9:am Thursday morning no parking issues.

Started counter clockwise - recommend going clockwise. Why? Last mile shoe skiid down- no way runnable. Also no view. Go clockwise for great views and run ability. Loop at the half way point in good condition.

Liked the hike since lots of great views, trails in good condition, benches for lunch breaks, and easy parking.

Great trail. Good for dogs. Probably not kids, though. Very steep in places.

First mile or two are strenuous, after that point if you want a more challenging hike I suggest you walk the ridge line trail all the way to the northernmost cell tower cluster. Lots of ups and downs and makes the hike more balanced from beginning to end. I extended it a bit and the last mile of descent are rough on the knees after 15 miles. Wish I had brought my poles just for that section. The views from the ridge line are the best 360 views in LA. Catalina, downtown, burbank, Glendale, Alta Dena, San Gabriels, etc. good hike will do it again many times.

Definitely a great hike but get there early during the warm months to beat the heat and beat the crowd. I’d also suggest taking Castle Canyon to Inspiration Point and come down through the Sam Merril trail since Castle Canyon has a lot of rocks on steep inclines that might be dangerous to travel downward on. We got that tip from a stranger as we started heading back down Castle Canyon. Safer way to travel down is definitely Sam Merril. Great views.

Nice but a lot of up and down and much of it is heavily trafficked.

One of the most lush and scenic hiking trails that I have done in LA. The trail is well maintained and has a steady incline and decline for the most part. The first mile of the hike is more of your wilderness style of hike with the terrain being a bit rocky, and then it opens up to a wide, shadeless pathway with constant views of the beaches and ocean.

Go the extra couple miles and make it to the Parker Mesa overlook! It's about a 7 mile round trip (out and back). Great hike to walk, run and also mountain bike on!

UPDATE (2/5/18): I finally figured out how to make this already awesome trail an actual loop! So when you get to the Parker Mesa Overlook (the overlook that is after the bathroom), descend down the pathway in front of the left bench. Take the pathway down and you will soon find yourself in a rugged and more isolated adventure. I would really recommend wearing hiking shoes for this as simple running sneakers/fly knits will slip on loose dirt and erosion here. The trail has overgrown branches and brush that arch over the pathway making you feel like you are a bit of a mini forest. ALSO if you are going to do this trail I would HIGHLY SUGGEST that you research it first as it's very easy to get lost at certain points and finding yourself being attacked by branch bushes lol. I had downloaded an offline map on the All Trails app (I upgraded to the Pro Version, just $20 a year and so worth it so that you don't get lost). This trail is a straight shot back to the trailhead where you will find yourself going down and up.

UPDATE #2 (3/18/18): If you want to take a more strenuous but shorter & more direct route to the Parker Mesa overlook, then take the pathway that is in your left upon walking through the Los Leones trailhead sign at the trailhead. You will know you are going the right way if you are walking pass some concrete and a tunnel. The trail swiftly ascends upwards before leveling out a bit. Taking this route up was quite a workout and the trail itself is nothing like the wide fire roads that people typically take to the different overlooks. It's steep, rugged, and isolated making it more of an adventure.

Parking:
There is free street parking at the trailhead.

Decent hike. If you’re going to do the loop I would recommend going clockwise, starting with Rabbit Hole (the West portion of the loop), as it is steep and better suited for ascending rather than descending. Keep in mind about 70% of this trail (including out-and-back) is fire road, mostly open and exposed to the sun. So if you’re looking for a more traditional trail-like setting this may not be the one. Good that it’s close to town though. Great workout, and nice views too.

Really great hike, the views are amazing and the incline is a bit challenging. I wish there were more signs to tell you how far you've traveled but over all great trail.

hiking
29 days ago

This is my go-to hike when I want a quick but tough workout. It takes me between 50min-1 hour to get from parking lot to the peak (summer heat + doggies wanting breaks makes it take an hour).

There is no shade along the way so plan accordingly. In the summer, it can get brutally hot so pack extra (cold) water and leave the dogs at home if it's really hot because it's too much for their paws.

You can go back down from where you came OR you can go down Stough Canyon to avoid the steep steps down. Ouch for the knees! Yes, it does take quite a bit longer to go down Stough (and then along the golf course back to parking lot) but it's worth it for the gradual descent, in my opinion.

This is such an amazing trail. It’s long enough for a great workout with beautiful scenery. My top favorite.

This was a fantastic hike. A bit of endurance needed. My Fitbit said 11.4 miles so don’t worry once you pass the 9.8 AllTrails states.

Not a lot of people were around during my hike. I saw maybe 4-5 people and a few bike riders.

Definitely worth doing. Especially since Mt Lukens is apparently the highest peak in LA city limits.

Great for the sunrise. Amazing views from the top and on the way down (I went counterclockwise). For a stretch you hike down the gentle backbone of one of the mountains and get amazing views of LA and the canyons. Saw a bobcat in the am by the entrance/river. Followed Justin’s recording and didn’t end up straying from the path. On a weekday hike not very crowded. Not much shade. Trail is varied—some scattered rocks, some packed soil, some river runoff and fire trail. Overall a great hike

on Vital Link Trail

1 month ago

Booty blast for sure. Cool views. Fun to run down.

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult, yet approachable. Steep, but manageable. Great view! Will definitely be back.

Seen a bear less than 1/4 mile from inspiration point telescopes.. it was less than a foot from me and another hiker eating some left over trash someone should have carried out with them.. non the less the bear was small and easy to scare off... cool hike liked the feeling of being above the clouds once to the top.

It’s a tough hike definitely, I did it the opposite way round to most people. I started by parking on the Brand library road then headed off right past the kids park, there is a drainage ditch on your left you can head up to hit the trail but I walked past the chain barrier up an old windy access road that ends after five mins in a kind of clearing, look right and take the sharp incline path/scramble then head left up the ridgeline to join the trail. Five mins of hard slog up the hill then when the radio masts are in sight take the left path off the sharp incline, it seems to be dropping away and does for a while into the canyon but soon starts to rise again. This will then give you an hour of twisting path slowly gaining height but very hard still, especially with the sun beating down on you.
At the top of the mountain after taking in the amazing views you head for the radio masts again keeping on the high paths. You just need to eyeball the long semi straight path all the way down the ridge as the right turn off is easy to miss. Then it’s a jog and scramble down the sharp decline everyone has been mentioning for their initial start point of the hike. Took me two and a half hours. Trashed!

Great trail, especially late-afternoon when I did it. It took me 2 1/2 hours and I was booking it, so I would definitely allow yourself 3 for sure. I combined the Dawn Mine Trail, which takes you down into a thickly wooded ravine with lots of boulders and a lovely stream, with the Mount Lowe Railway Trail, which is paved but still really nice, on the return. It took me about 1-1 1/4 hours to get to the Dawn Mine area, and then you can turn left and head up the hillside and then return along the ridge, which gives you great views of Altadena all the way to Downtown LA. Highly recommended. Only say about 10 people the whole time. Can't wait to go again!

Really nice area but the gate was locked and couldn’t get in, they replaced the fence AND. got stuck in the mud right before the gate. Geez bad day I’ll tell ya what.....

Loved it. Worth the hike to the top.

The challenge was real! Quite the incline from the start, especially since I made my own starting point up an old access road and then scaled the side of a mountain to eventually find the trail.
Great workout and amazing views.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, very challenging. Get here early as there is no shade. Very steep and slippery at times, not for beginners. Keep an eye out for the old car in the ravine on the way down!

Just did this hike this morning. It was a great hike with amazing views and good incline. Saw 2 deer on the trail, which was exciting. My friends and I hiked it counterclockwise and there were areas near the top that were quite slippery to the first tower. I’m glad we did not have to go down that way. Coming down was a little boring, but I’d definitely do it again.

lush, densely covered, walk along stream to the gold mine. however, it is very buggy. bring spray or a net to cover your face.

going back up to the ridge the bugs go away and reveal nice city and natural views.

in terms of foot traffic, I ran into small groups every 30 minutes or so.

will go again.

1 month ago

Very scenic and enjoyable hike. Lots of bugs though, bring some repellent. Parts of the trail were very overgrown and I could swear I heard growling at one point (!). But I definitely recommend this hike. Lots of shade and different terrain, and seeing the mine at the end was exciting, even if it is closed.

Great hike. Wide trails. Hot as the morning stretched on. We passed just a few sycamore and oak trees along the way providing an opportunity to rest and drink some water. Saw some mountain bikers. The chaparral was dry as to be expected in September but the breeze was nice. A few sporadic wild flowers greeted our small crew of hikers along the way.

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