For an adventurous trek with your pup, check out Mount Lukens, the highest point within Los Angeles. At 5,066 feet above sea level, the top of this gorgeous peak in the San Gabriel Mountains has incredible panoramas of Los Angeles County situated in the valley below, and the surrounding Angeles National Forest. On the clearest of days, you and Fido can even see all the way to the ocean!
There are many trails to the top of this beast, but an especially scenic route is the 9.8-mile Haines Canyon Trail. To access this lightly trafficked loop trail, park at the end of Haines Canyon Avenue in Tujunga. This is a residential area, so there’s no fee for parking, but be considerate of local residents when choosing a spot. From there, you’ll see the trailhead.
As you make your way to the top of the mountain, you’ll traverse through dense chaparral made up of scrub oak, yucca, manzanita and buckthorn. Once you ascend from the valley floor, you’ll have 360 degree views that include the neighboring mountains of Condor Peak, Josephine Peak and Strawberry Peak. The top of Mount Lukens burned in 2009 by the Station Fire, but has recovered with new vegetation growth in most areas.
Dogs are required to be leashed on all of the trails that lead to the top of Mount Lukens, and for good reason – there’s poison oak, rattle snakes, thorny bushes and ticks throughout the area! Staying near you on the trail is the best option for keeping Fido away from trouble.
No bones about it, this is a difficult hike. There is no drinking water along the way, so you’ll need to pack enough for you and your pup. This hike can also get very hot, so know you and your pup’s limitations and plan your hike for cooler weather.
For shorter, less difficult trails to the top of the mountain, check out the 3.2-mile Rim-of-the-Valley Trail or the 6.3-mile Crescenta View Trail that both originate from Deukmejian Wilderness Park.
If fresh air and mountain views are calling for you and Fido, check out one of the pawesome trails to the summit of Mount Lukens!