Today Louie and I hiked Mt Lukens via the Rim of The Valley Trail in Glendale. This is one of my training hikes to get ready for hiking Kilimanjaro in just a few short weeks. To get there we parked at the Deukmejian Wilderness Park in Glendale. With two large parking lots and bathrooms it is the base for several hikes and walking trails.
I decided on taking the more difficult way up via the Rim of The Valley trail. This 10 mile loop trail had fewer people and more cover.
Once we got on the trail it steadily rises and falls as it makes it way around a bend and into the cover of the trees. Louie was excited as we passed over a few streams for a refreshing dip.
The weather was perfect. A cool 70, with a slight breeze. Just cool enough to not be overly hot in my pants and t-shirt. Walking through the covered parts of the trail nearby big boulders and under the trees was especially nice.
As we came out of the trees the views of the greater Los Angeles area got better and better. The trail loops around via many switchbacks rising higher and higher towards the summit.
View over Glendale from Trail
After about 3.5 hours we finally reached the top.
The summit isn't much to look at, but the view is magnificent. Full of electrical buildings, telephone poles and antennas. It is the highest point in Los Angeles. We had climbed more than 2800 vertical feet to reach the summit, the wind whipped across the top in fierce gusts, causing us to take shelter behind a building, where we shared some much needed snacks.
From this viewpoint you can see all of the Los Angeles Valley. Far out into the ocean from below the airport to north of Malibu. Downtown was prominent in the southern skyline and the sky was clear of smog on this cool winter day.
After having a short break we headed for the fire road to make our way back down to the Deukmejian Wilderness parking lot.
The walk down was beautiful and after the wind subsided we warmed back up quickly.
Note that if you are taking this trail, the trail markers on the East side of the mountain are non existent. The fire road continues East for many miles and staying on it will put you miles and miles away from Deukmejian. After about half a mile on the fire road there is a small turn off to a trail on the right with a metal stick that says 2N76 I believe. This is where we should have turned. Unfortunately we kept walking and ended up several miles East on the fire road. Eventually after coming to terms with the fact I knew I was way farther than we should be, we took a trail to the right and started heading down the mountain.
We finally reached the bottom of the trail in a neighborhood in La Canada Flintridge.
We ended up about 5 miles from where we had parked. Thank goodness for UBER, a real life saver on todays hike. We did 15 miles in total and I think I am finally convinced that I need to get a GPS device to track my hikes.
Does anyone else get lost often hiking in Southern California?