CROSSTOWN TRAIL TO MT. LUKENS FIRE ROAD, LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE
Oh, the places you’ll go this Saturday. . . to the teepee lookout in the clouds high above La Canada. With a tip of the Cat’s striped hat to Dr. Seuss on his birthday, the trail to the teepee is very steep-y. So we’ll be wise to heed his advice on this trail: “always be dexterous and deft, and never mix up your right foot with your left.”
Even the start of this trail is lovely, since we begin behind an Armstrong’s Nursery. We’ll walk up a wide field underneath the canopy of some enormous power towers, continuing north past El Vago Drive to the Crosstown trailhead.
We alternate on single track trail and fire roads until we get to a picnic table, where we’ll rest for a bit before beginning the last grueling magnificent mile of ascent (think Wildwood Park or Whiting Woods – only longer). We’ll pass a private property line on the way and may meet the gracious owners Tom and Gwen, who have granted hikers permission to enjoy the views from their land at the top. We’ll continue a short way to visit some bee colony boxes and take in the views north from the Mt. Lukens Fire Road, then turn around and take a break at the teepee.
While we may be a bit winded, we’ll be rewarded there and on the way down with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles and Hollywood, Palos Verdes and possibly Catalina if it’s clear. As challenging as it is to go up, it’ll be equally so going down, so poles will be helpful on the return.
We won’t take this at a breakneck pace, but since this is steep and mostly single track (in a shocking change of routine), I want to keep the group together, so will limit this to 20 attendees. Don’t sign up if you haven’t been hiking on a regular basis and are comfortable with the elevation gain and some narrow sections of the trail. Be considerate of your fellow hikers and be sure to change your RSVP by Friday if you’re on the list and your plans to attend change so anyone on the waiting list can move up.
STATSLevel: Moderate+/Advanced (for steepness)Gain: ~ 2,200 (close to 900 ft. gain/mile)Distance: ~5-1/2 milesTime: 3-1/2+ hoursType: Fire road and single track, out and backDogs: Permitted on leash, but not recommendedWater: Available at Memorial ParkRestrooms: Available at Memorial ParkParking: Free street parking on Foothill and La Canada Drive adjacent to Memorial Park.Bring: Hat, sunscreen, at least 3 liters of water, green hard boiled eggs and ham or other snacks to share, poles will be helpful on the downhill
From the 210/Foothill Freeway in LaCanada-Flintridge, exit at Angeles Crest Highway and turn south to Foothill. Turn right/east for about .4 mile to Memorial Park at the corner of La Canada and Foothill.
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