Past Meetup

Mt. Lukens Fire Road Loop to Dark Canyon

This Meetup is past

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Before he tunnels down and out again, we’ll escape ourselves. . . up the front range for a mud- and snow-free stroll in the San Gabriels full of stunning views.

We’ll meet a short way up Angeles Crest at the Dark Canyon trailhead parking area (directions below), and combine into a few cars to drive back down to the trailhead behind the Angeles Crest Fire Station (the starting point for 2009’s devastating Station Fire).

From there we’ll walk up the fire road to Bee Flat and its iconic teepee for a short break to take in the view. Then we’ll continue to a junction where we’ll take the Grizzly Flat Fire Road northeast and then return to our cars via Plantation Road/Dark Canyon.

(Full disclosure: we’ve done parts of this before, but I haven’t checked out the entire route and the Grizzly Flats fire road. Though it looks pretty straightforward, be forewarned this may involve an element of adventure. . .)


Level: Moderate

Gain: ~ 1,700 ft.

Distance: ~ 7-to-8 miles

Time: 3-to-3-1/2 hours

Type: Partial loop, fire road and single track

Dogs: Permitted on leash

Water: Not available at trailhead

Restrooms: Not available at trailhead; there’s a gas station just south of the 210 and a Panera Bread in the Sports Chalet mall at Angeles Crest and Foothill that opens at 7 am.

Parking: In small paved turnoff on the west side of the road. This, and the lot at Angeles Crest Fire Station, do not have the six amenities that require an Adventure Pass for parking. But we'll be hiking in plenty of spots this year that do, and it's a small investment for so much return. So I'd pick one up in the near future, perhaps at the Sports Chalet on your way home after the hike ($30 annual + $5 for a second car pass, or $5/day pass).

Bring: At least 3 liters of water, hat, sunscreen, snacks to share at our break. Poles may be helpful on the Dark Canyon downhill, which is a little steep.


This is a car shuttle, so leave early enough to be on time as we’ll be dividing into cars to drive to the trailhead. We’ll need 3-4 volunteer drivers; email Shawn if you’re willing to drive about 1-1/2 miles back to the station). We’ll also need volunteers at the Dark Canyon lot to take drivers back to the fire station.

Read these carefully and call Shawn with any questions before Saturday, as mobile reception is dicey at the trailhead. (This is the same parking area/trailhead we’ve used for Grizzly Flat and Hoyt Mountain previously).

From the I-210, take the Angeles Crest Highway (2) exit and head north for approx. 5.5 miles. There will be a small mile marker that reads “30.02” (

on the right side of the road, just before a larger yellow sign that says, “Developed Campgrounds Only.” ( (click on links for photos; both are posted in the Files folder, in the drop down menu under the More tab above).

There is a small lot on the left side of the road just opposite the 30.02 mile marker (coordinates N[masked], W[masked]). If you get to the large turnout on the right side of the road, you’ve gone too far. However, if the space at the Dark Canyon trailhead is full, you can park at that turnout and walk back to the trailhead. Wherever you park, be cautious about turning or walking across Angeles Crest.

Here’s a map. (,+W+118+11.800&hl=en&ll=34.214641,-118.151093&spn=0.23621,0.453186&sll=34.020479,-118.411732&sspn=0.473503,0.906372&t=m&z=11)

If anyone wants to carpool, meet at Milmada and Angeles Crest Hwy. (,+La+Ca%C3%B1ada+Flintridge,+CA&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=34.20859,-118.200145&spn=0.007382,0.014162&sll=34.208573,-118.196239&sspn=0.007382,0.014162&hnear=Angeles+Crest+Hwy+%26+Milmada+Dr,+La+Ca%C3%B1ada+Flintridge,+California+91011&t=m&z=16) at 7:30 am and we’ll divide up into a few cars. Email Shawn if you’re planning to carpool so we’ll know to wait for you.

Shawn’s mobile: 213/[masked]


The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/meetup/ or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts of this Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.