While in Los Angeles, we decided to hike the La Tuna Canyon Trail. I have gone by the park a dozen times while driving in and out of La but never stopped to run or walk. I’ve wanted to but never gotten around to it. Even though it was hot, we decided to do about 5 miles of the trail.
About La Tuna Canyon Trail:
Length 5.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,420 feet
La Tuna Canyon Trailhead Coordinates 34.234007, -118.291215
Gear I used:
My Experience at La Tuna Canyon Trail:
The La Tuna Canyon Trail is visible from i-210 and off exit 4.
Is there parking at La Tuna Canyon Trailhead? Yes. There are a few spots (maybe 5) at the trailhead and room for about 20 more cars in the dirt. We grabbed a dirt spot, and around noon on a Saturday, only half were taken. I should also mention that it was about 90 degrees so I’m not surprised it was quieter. When driving in the cooler morning I’ve seen the trailhead completely packed too.
La Tuna Canyon is maintained by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA). It’s not the most popular trail, but it’s beautiful, with plenty of views of the surrounding city and Los Angeles. It’s actually amazing how much vertical gain is packed into a 6-mile trail surrounded by some of the largest highways in the US. For the most part, you are shaded by the noise of the roads.
From the trailhead, you’ll walk about .25 up a wide paved road before reaching the private La Tuna Canyon Road South to the Hostetter Fire Road. The trail stays paved for about half a mile; the rest is primarily a wide fire road. There are plenty of rocks and debris on the track, and while it’s never as steep as scrambling rocks, it does get steep, so it’s a good idea to wear some good hiking shoes.
Around half a mile, we also noticed how hot it was. We continued to climb, and the higher you got, the more you’ll see the exposed rock, dried bush, and dead trees. As we climbed, we noticed the beautiful views of the San Gabriel Mountains and Mount Wilson. We decided to turn around at 2.5 because we were getting hot. Thankfully, there was a slight headwind and breeze on the way down on the La Tuna Canyon Trail.
La Tuna Canyon was pretty quiet for a weekend day. We did notice several mountain bikers, though. If you’re looking for a medium-length hike, you’ll enjoy La Tuna Canyon Trail. I appreciate it’s easy to get to and right off the highway. It’s fascinating how close you are too big roads, without hearing too much about them.
You can see more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you been to La Tuna Canyon Trail?
What is your favorite hike?