A quick escape from the hubbub of the city and into some wild nature.
From the Angeles Crest Fire Station, head straight back along the driveway and around the locked gate.
Mt. Lukens Truck Trail #3N27
is a steep, rutted fire and access road that goes all the way to the top of Mt. Lukens. It begins with a quiet series of switchbacks up to where the power lines cross the ridge. The climb has just begun, but the bench here is a great place to stop, catch your breath, and take in the spectacular views of Los Angeles, the Arroyo Seco, and the entire front range of the San Gabriel Mountains.
If you've ever wondered about the switchbacks on the remote Ken Burton Trail
, you can see most of them zig-zagging down the other side of the canyon. The next three miles continue to climb along the ridge, passing the teepee at Bee Flats and the top of the Earl Canyon Mtwy.
At mile 4.2, the road forks. To the left Lukens Truck Trail continues another three miles to the peak, and if what you just rode wasn't enough climbing for you, it's a nice way to tack on some more miles/elevation. To the right is Grizzly Flat Road
, and whether or not you grab the peak you should go down it. The road is bench cut into the steep mountainside wide enough to accommodate vehicles, but the trail itself quickly narrows to a snaking singletrack.
Enjoy two miles of flowing, fast trail, but ride with care. As close as this loop is to the city (and the highway below), it is not well-traveled and can suffer from overgrowth, downed trees, and rock slides. Several points offer spectacular views down into the Arroyo Seco and even down the backside of Lukens into Big Tujunga towards the end.
Grizzly Flat Road
eventually intersects with Hoyt Mountain Road
and the Plantation Rd/Dark Canyon Tr. Below this intersection and to the left, Grizzly Flat Road
is likely bush-whacking all the way down to Big T. To the right, Dark Canyon Tr. is a fast and loose singletrack descent back to the asphalt of Angeles Crest. And straight ahead keeps you on this particular loop by putting you on the gentle climb portion of Hoyt Mountain Rd.
The climb ends quickly and Hoyt becomes similar to the Grizzly Flat descent: A fire road-wide bench with a beautiful ribbon of singletrack down it. Eventually, the brush clears away and the descent widens to fire road width. From there, it's a white-knuckle, fast-and-loose romp back down to the highway. This road does fork to the left eventually, into a powerline access road that continues to climb under the wires, but you probably won't even see it as you're bombing downhill.
Closing this loop is a three-mile stretch of asphalt on the Angels Crest Highway. It has no shoulder and no bike lane. Popular with cyclist and motorist alike, this road can be just as thrilling as any dirt trail. Be smart, be safe, and use a light.
This area is still recovering from the 2009 Station Fire, and slowly being rehabilitated by the USFS and volunteer corps.