Mount Lukens via Stone Canyon

HARD 43 reviews
#53 of 201 trails in

Mount Lukens via Stone Canyon is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tujunga, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.8 miles
3,284 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




wild flowers


old growth

over grown

This route is the most challenging path to the top of Mt. Lukens (the tallest peak in Los Angeles) as it climbs up Stone Canyon and is heavily overgrown at certain spots. *** Trailhead From the trailhead at the eastern end of the Wildwood picnic area, a post marks the beginning of the Stone Canyon Trail. Stay to the right of the metal beams and follow the lower trail until it ends and turns off to the Big Tujunga Creek. There are plenty of stones for an easy crossing. *** Once on the south side of Big Tujunga, turn immediately to the left and get back on the trail, which will eventually turn sharply up Stone Canyon. (Dont climb the south bank of the creek and scramble up Stone Canyon to find the trail.) You will see a little rest area on your right and the trail leading directly south under some wooden towers with power lines. (Note: The trail is on an eastern ridge of Stone Canyon and not visible from the canyon floor.) *** The trail is well maintained here and leads straight south up the eastern side of Stone Canyon. The trail then leaves Stone Canyon and turns left and up around the first hilly prominence to an unnamed canyon. The trail climbs uphill on the western side of the unnamed canyon. There is no single level portion to recover. *** 3.1 miles The trail climbs some switchbacks until you reach an open area with the trail junction to the Sister Elsie Trail leading down Haines Canyon. Keep following the Stone Canyon Trail as it climbs up to the summit ridge. *** 3.8 miles The trail heads east on the ridge and meets a fire road. *** 4 miles Following the fire road you reach the summit area covered with radio antennas. The summit is at the western end of the ridge at 5,074'.

nature trips
1 month ago

Did this a couple days ago. Depending on where you cross the river, the trail can be hard to find. I walked up the dry creek bed for an hour and a half before realizing my mistake. That was frustrating. I found the trail using google maps, and took it. This trail needs maintenance! Got stung by a bee in the face, came in contact with both poison oak and poodle dog bush. I had to do a lot of bushwhacking, in these plants and others. Got stabbed by those pointy bushes that have like 100 spines. The trail was sketchy the entire way up to where I got, only about a mile in. However, some of these faults were my mistake, and I’ll try again next weekend.

3 months ago

The trail is very overgrown and the foileage was more cumbersome than it was enjoyable. The incline itself is a great workout but I just wish I wasn't fighting my way through all the brush. I am 90% sure we encountered some poison oak along the way... I would suggest wearing pants or leggings as well as a breathable long sleeve to avoid contact with unfriendly plants. I would NOT recommend taking dogs - our pups usually love a good hike but this trail begins in a rocky riverbed and there is hardly any shade on the way up. They didn't seem to be having too much fun in the overgrowth either.

3 months ago

If you enjoy overgrown trails and poison oak, this trail is for you! I was thankful I read the other reviews and wore pants. This was a training hike for Mt. Whitney and was definitely good exercise. There are a few places where the trail is barely there with loose shale. I was also glad I had my trekking poles. The city views were cool at the top. Worth doing once but not sure I would go again.

3 months ago

As noted on previous reviews, the trail is a bit overgrown. Don't let that scare you away. We hiked it on Sunday morning and had the whole trail to ourselves.

4 months ago

Decent trail, but mildly overgrown along most of the route with several thicker sections.

5 months ago

It’s a good workout and the views at the top are actually pretty stunning. Could see clear to Catalina today. The trail is not as sketchy as other reviewers would have you believe. But it is overgrown and washed out in a couple of areas but I never felt afraid. I did it since I’m doing the 100 Peaks Section but it was a bit blah so not sure I’d do it again.

8 months ago

This trail is slightly hidden. I had to walk up a dead river to find it. The trail is a steady incline and the is pretty treacherous. There is a ton of pointy brush along the way and the trail falls off the cliff at many points. The top is very open. it's a very open beautiful field. If you keep climbing you'll be greeted by a ton of radio towers where I ran into many deer

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Not worth it. So sketchy that you spend most of the trek trying not to fall off the trail. I made it to the top, came back and felt stupid for allowing myself to get stuck is this long, frankly dangerous, joyless challenge. No trees, no stop spots to munch, stretch, the bush is manageable, the climb is fine, the trail blows chunks. Oh, and the views in August, smog city, which I'm cool with. This is the edge of my outdoor love, I need cool trees and trails that don't wash out beneath me. Back to the Devil's Chair (choice trail) for me. One and done, I won't be back in the trail's present condition. The dip I took in Big Tujunga at the end was amaze balls, and almost made up for the trail.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

There are all manner of flying bugs that will test your love and patience with nature. But besides that this was not as enjoyable as it should have been. And that was not because of the heat, the thirst, the sweat, the big climb, the sketchy rocky trail at times - all these things I really enjoy the challenge thereof... but purely because of the rattle snake I saw and the increased likelihood of snakes at this time of year. I will do this again, but in the winter.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

This trail needs maintenance. I recommend pants and a long sleeve shirt for all the bushwacking required to hike this trail.

Monday, April 10, 2017

4/2017: This hike is challenging. Plan for about 5 hours round trip. We saw a rattle snake, so keep your eyes in the trail. Wear pants as the trail is overgrown and brushy. We did not make it all the way to the top and planning to go back soon. Walking sticks are a must as the trail is very steep and rocky.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Late winter hike: 3/3/17.
With all the recent rains, your first challenge awaits as soon as you leave the trailhead. On this day, Big Tujunga Creek was a river and we spent a little under an hour and a little over half a mile trying to find a safe place to cross. We found one. Water was to my thighs ( I'm 5'5). I would suggest waiting to do this hike until the creek level is lower and since this trailhead lies below Big T Dam it's hard to know when that will be. Beyond the creek many switchbacks await. About half way up the trail becomes very overgrown (but passable) and very washed out in numerous sections. I was so grateful to have brought trekking poles. Another thing you can look forward to is ticks! There were SO MANY ticks. After passing just one overgrown section my lead hiker had picked up 8+ ticks. We had to stop frequently to flick off ticks and check our legs the whole way up. WEAR PANTS! And light colored ones at that. Your legs will constantly be brushing against plants which is where ticks are waiting for you. If you are able to overcome all these challenges, the trail is easy to follow once it's found and will take you to sweeping views of LA and the SFV at the top as well as great views of Big T Canyon along the trail. I would do this hike again.. in Fall.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hiked this on 3/10/16. Haven't done this in summer, but Spring seemed like a great time to do this, as the wildflowers were out and temperatures were lower. Not much shade, so the earlier you leave in the morning the better. Lots of brush and overgrowth, pants are essential. Good straightforward hike for simple climb/descent strength training.

Monday, March 07, 2016

This trail is hidden, you will miss it if you're not paying attention... It's up a very narrow two way dirt road...the trail has become one of my favorite hiking trail,its all uphill, very rocky, winding trail...a little challenging, but I like a little challenge ... I love this hike... Not for first timers...

Monday, February 01, 2016

It's kinda hard finding the trail head if you get there before the sun comes up .

Sunday, July 26, 2015

After crossing a stream right at the start, the first stage of the hike is an unswerving incline up Stone Canyon. It is essential that you take the well maintained trail to the left and above the creek in order to avoid scrambling. After looping around a hill, you begin ascending switchbacks. Here, the trail gets tight and you have to squeeze through lots of brush. Once you reach the ridge, the trail climbs up to the microwave tower covered peak. The entire trail is extremely exposed to the sun, so plan accordingly. From the top, you have an excellent views of the Verdugo Mountains and city below.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Did this hike a few weeks ago with a couple of friends. We started from the picnic area off Big Tijunga Road. I should say this was my first hike ever. It was a great rush. The trail is narrow and steep. It is a workout and you need plenty of water. We hiked to the water tank and back. I would recommend this hike but I will warn you we were the only ones on this trail the entire time.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

This hike was tougher than we imagined. We went with a Boy Scout troop as part of our "Mini Peak Bagger" program and had a lot of difficulties along the trail. If you go with Boy Scouts, make sure this is not their very first hike, as it will likely discourage them from future outings.

Most of the trail is very narrow and very close to the edge, so watch your step carefully. A hiking stick is highly recommended.

At the trailhead to Stone Canyon, make sure you take the rightmost trail (under the power lines), otherwise you will walk a while before realizing you have to cross the creek.

Outstanding views. NOT for inexperienced hikers.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Not one of my favorites, if you're close by, looking to get a workout and some views in, it'll do the job, but I would not go out of my way for it. Wish I had seen the advise about wearing long pants before I did it. The trail is not maintained and there is a lot of brush to walk through. By the end, my legs were all scratched up and it was starting to sting. I think there is only one tree on the entire trail - so bring plenty of water and sun protection.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I hiked to Mount Lukens Peak via Stone Canyon Trail with one of my friend on 2/22/2014 . We started from near Vogel Flat. Several area of the trail didn't look safe to me, too narrow and one wrong step may end up to medical emergency. At the peak, we met a group hikers and learned from them that there is a sign-in book in a can under the rock that has a survey mark. Be careful about the snake, this looked like a good place for snake to rest in any warm day.
I would rate this as 5 star if trails were marked. Other than that this trails is beautiful, and has great view.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The trail is now clear and easy to follow all the way to Grizzly Flats, thanks to the work of volunteers. There is no reason to skip Grizzly Flats any more. Lukens is no longer the only reasonable alternative from the trail head on Angeles Crest Highway at Dark Canyon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finding the trailhead is an adventure. Unrelenting elevation change. Hot even in early April. A good mid-length hike. Will do again - in the late Fall ...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First time there a couple of weekends ago. Everything from trailhead to grizzly flats was fine, trail obvious with only a little bit of fallen tree. At grizzly flats someone put a couple of cardboard arrows pointing west. We bush whacked all around, but did not really find an obvious trail. There was one to north, but it ended in bushes as well. We ended up hiking back to a clearing and bush whacking all the way down to big tujunga creek. Took 3 hours. We did come across trail here and there. Stayed high and north west direction. Crossed creek once but did not follow as it dropped along the way. Basically only hike to mt. Lukens and back the same way if you want to avoid bush whacking. Skip grizzly unless you like bush whacking or you are willing to hike back the way you came.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It is one of my favorites, so five stars, but -1 because I found a dead hiker in Vasquez Creek on June 30, 2012, and the brush is terrible. I strongly encourage people to bring clippers to do some trail work, extra water, good gps route and budget extra time. Wear long pants. The view into Silver Creek is awesome.

After reviewing much information including Ertug Ergun's intended route from his work computer, it is clear to me that extremely poor trail conditions, hot weather, and inadequate water were the major factors in his death. His mapped route is exactly correct, but there are NO signs and NO websites giving current trail conditions. The trail has not been maintained since the Station Fire, and there are more trees falling down all the time. It's really hard to find the trail, even when you know where it is. The poor man ended up in Vasquez creek, missing one shoe and his glasses, and descended unsafely down eight waterfalls before he died. You can get water here but you can't get out. Sadly, had he found the right trail, there was also water available there on the west fork of Vasquez creek, just a few meters from GF. The trail has weeds over your head. We trampled some with search and rescue, but it is terrible. Choose a cloudy, drizzly or cool day for this hike.

I also hiked fox-condor trail, and the condition down from fox to stonyvale is pretty sketchy too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hiked this today- it took us about 6 hours. Pretty grueling going up, although the flowers and views were beautiful. Tons of poison ivy, be careful. Pretty easy coming down except for the rocky part at the descent. Once you get used to it, you'll go down a lot faster than you went up. Training for Half Dome, would only recommend for training as its so steep, nowhere to stop, and the top is disappointing compared to the rest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Great training hike...I am feeling it!! I would not recommend for children or beginners. Had a very narrow winding trail w/a rapid incline in elevation. Trail was somewhat easy to there was nowhere else to go but up. Many rock slides & unstable ground that dropped off beneath us to the canyons below. Found a beautiful waterfall w/many tiers, that we had no idea was there...only for looks...could not access it. Took us 4 hrs of climbing up & 2 hrs to get back down. Check out for more detailed info.

5 months ago

Monday, June 12, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Load More