What better way to spend Turkey Day than hiking through habitat burned by one of the largest wildfires in California? No. 12 on the list, to be exact.
We’ve hiked this fire road (ahem) in the Angeles National Forest several times now, and can count on one hand the number of people on the trail. The trailhead is at the Angeles Crest Station, for which the fire was named. And today — more than five years after the fire consumed 161,000 acres — blackened trees still remain.
Google Earth calls this Mt. Lukens Truck Trail. I’ve never seen this hike listed in any trail guide. It isn’t one of the premier hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains — the trail sign at the start lists destination trails rather than the name of the trail you’re on — but it does lead (seven miles in) to Grizzly Flats and eventually Mt. Lukens, at 5,074 feet the highest point in the city of L.A.
Simply put, this is an easy trail only a few miles up Angeles Crest Highway from La Cañada, and a great hike to do on a clear day, with views stretching to the Pacific. We hiked only about 2.5 miles in and were treated to some great views on T-Day.
Some pix from the hike:
Fall color AND wildflowers on the same hike. You gotta love winter in SoCal.
Love this old sign at the trailhead:
Whaddya mean I have to stay on-leash?
More dead trees. Thankfully, no dreaded poodledog bush on this trail:
The path we took, minus a section where I forgot to restart my MotionX app, oops:
A more modern (but not much) sign at the trailhead:
Want to know more about the Station Fire? It was “human-caused” BTW, and the arsonist was never caught. The GAO did a report here, and the interactive map on p. 10 is worth checking out.