ApproachTRAIL ACCESS has now reopened since the Station Fire closure.
From the Foothill 210 Freeway in the city of La Crescenta exit Pennsylvania Avenue heading north up the hill approximately 4/10th's of a mile. Turn left on Foothill Boulevard and go 3/10th's of a mile turning right onto and up New York Avenue. Head north for one mile until it ends and turns left onto Markridge Avenue. Immediately start looking for a right turn into Deukmejian Wilderness Park. The Park address is 3429 Markridge Road. Follow the entrance road to the parking area at the top.
The trailhead begins at the upper east end of the parking lot just above the stone Le Mesnager Barn. As many trails begin or converge here simply take the obvious dirt road heading straight up the canyon. After a few hundred yards you will notice a small trail that leaves the road to the right. In the past it was marked by a small sign. You must navigate across the usually dry stream bed and up the shoulder on the other side. Locating the start of the trailhead is not as obvious since the Station Fire. If your not familiar with this trail it may take a few extra minutes to locate, but once found it remains easy to follow. The trail itself remains in pretty good shape. There are spots that required some repair and others that the footing has softened up, but overall remains in good shape and a bit overgrown in some sections. Still easily passable but long pants may be the order of the day.
The one obvious trail change is near the top of Pickens spur. The pre-fire trail led you directly to the top of the spur where you traversed north along the spur summit to meet the fire road to the peak summit. The Station fire exposed the old overgrown section of trail near the top of the spur. It travels in parallel to the spur summit into Dunsmore canyon. It eventually ascends to meet the spur summit so that you can continue along to the peak summit. A nice variation and just as enjoyable as the prior path.
The image just above is the 2006 Deukmejian Park / Dunsmore Canyon Trail Map. It was removed after the Station Fire. If you want to summit Lukens from Deukmejian Park only the Rim-of-the Valley Trail and the Crescenta View Trail lead to the summit.
Note: The Map only shows park boundaries. The Crescenta View trail does in fact continue beyond the park boundaries and on up to the summit.
This route is great for conditioning with approximately 2800 feet of elevation gain in just over three miles to the summit. A significant portion of the lower trail is switchbacks starting on the east side of the canyon. This results in early morning sun protection with a wide variety of brush and tree coverage. Eventually the switchbacks will migrate to the south facing slopes (see left image) where you will be afforded wonderful views of the Crescenta Valley, the Verdugo Mountains, Los Angeles and beyond if the skies are clear. Eventually you will top out on Pickens Spur. The trail becomes less obvious here but still easy to follow heading north where it becomes a fire break and then a poorly maintained fire road. Continue following it north until it intersects with the Mount Lukens fire road which originates east from Angeles Crest Highway. Turn left and follow the well maintained road approximately 1/2 mile to the summit.
On your return make sure that you follow the fire road with the 2N76B marker.
Essential GearAs a reminder the valley floor temperatures can be very hot in comparison to the summit so be mindful of the season. Any midday attempts during the summer will have significant sun exposure. There are no water sources on this trail or at the summit so bring plenty and stay well hydrated.
Red TapeDeukmejian Wilderness Park does not allow overnight parking. Park hours are from 7:00 a.m. until sunset.
The good news is that this is one of the few entry points into the Angeles National Forest that will not require an Adventure Pass.