From the 210 Freeway, take the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy 2) exit and go north about 4 miles to the Angeles Crest Fire Station which is on the left side of the road. There is parking in front of the station. Your vehicle will need to display an Adventure Pass.
Another view of Strawberry Peak Strawberry Peak (center)
There is access to this fire road year-round.
From the parking area walk between the fire station structures on a paved driveway for about 100 yards. The Mt. Lukens Fire Road (designated “2N76”) begins right past the white gate at the end of the driveway. At this point, a creek will be on your left. The general direction of the fire road from the fire station to Mt. Lukens is northwest. Overall, the slope on this route is best described as moderate. Another attractive feature is that this fire road is enveloped in beautiful scenery. In the spring, the road is lined with colorful blooming flowers. During the first 3 miles or so, there are marvelous views of the uniquely shaped Strawberry Peak (6,064 ft. elev.) to the northeast as shown on the images attached to this route page. The San Gabriel range’s Arroyo Seco is visible directly east across Hwy 2. Los Angeles is to the west as well as views of the Verdugo Mountain range.
At about 2.4 miles, you come to a connector trail that goes left (you will see a tepee in the distance next to an overlook) down to La Canada. At about 2.5 miles, you will catch your first glimpse of Mt. Lukens bristling, unfortunately, with antennas on its summit. At 3.8 miles, you come to a junction with a fire road designated “2N8” to your left coming up from La Cresenta. Stay right at this point.
The next major junction is with the Grizzly Flat Fire Road at about 4.5 miles. The Grizzly Flat road goes to the right and the Lukens Fire Road continues up and left. At 6.3 miles stay right. At 7.5 miles you will be on the summit. Mt. Lukens (5,074 ft. elev.) is the highest point within the Los Angeles City limits. Again, the summit is crawling with antennas, but they don’t block the great views to be had on a clear day.
Return the way you came for a 15 mile round trip with 2,700 feet of gain.
Although hiking this route at a brisk pace is an excellent way to condition, running or biking it is even better. In fact, running or biking this route transforms the difficulty rating into strenuous. The route is popular with mountain bikers because, after summiting, you can let ‘er rip on 7.5 miles of downhill.
Despite the trailhead being in very close proximity to the population centers at the foot of the Angeles Crest Hwy, I’ve never encountered more than just a few hikers and mountain bikers on this route on any given day.
Trail shoes are adequate for this route. There are no water sources along the way, so bring all that you need with you. Many parts of the fire road are exposed, so be ready to get heated up if you hike it during the warmer months of the year. Don’t forget the Adventure Pass for your car.
External LinksAngeles National Forest