Bring enough water as there is no place to refill bottles and there is little shade to help protect against the heat.
From the trailhead on Stoneyvale Road, head south toward Big Tujunga River. This hike starts off by crossing the river. During high water, use your best judgement at this crossing as the high water can be dangerous. Some times its best to turn around and find another hike to do rather than risk life and limb to cross high water!
After crossing the river, the trail very quickly begins to ascend the trail which parallels the canyon for a little under a half mile. The trail veers away from the canyon and begins to climb switchbacks up a ridge line. There is not a lot of tree cover along this trail as fires have burned the slopes of the mountain.
At 3.3 miles, the trail is joined by Sister Elsie Trail
from the west; above this, the grade of Stone Canyon Trail
begins to ease. At 3.8 miles, the trail meets Haines Canyon Spur
Road; take a left and follow the spur road for about 0.2 miles. At the next junction, turn left onto Haines Canyon Road
then take the next right to head up to the summit of Mt. Lukens. Enjoy the views of the Santa Monica and Verdugo mountains, Santa Monica Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula before heading back the way you came.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
The summit used to be called "Sister Elsie" after a Roman Catholic nun who ran an orphanage for Native American children in La Crescenta. The peak was renamed in 1918 to honor a Theodore P. Lukens, the one time "Father of Forestry" of Southern California and Supervisor of Angeles National Forest. Lukens was an early supporter of reforestation and in 1899, he and some fellow mountaineers planted 65,000 seeds in the mountains above Pasadena.