Dunsmore Canyon Trail (Deukmejian Wilderness Park, La Crescenta)


The Dunsmore Canyon Trail is located within the Deukmejian Wilderness Park, a beautiful mountain park at the height of La Crescenta and overlooking the Verdugo Mountains, Sunland, Tujunga and La Crescenta. At higher elevations, one can see far into Los Angeles, Pasadena, and one of the best views of the valley cities. This park boasts not only a selection of trails for all abilities, but it is also home to Mt. Lukens, the highest peak in Los Angeles.

Trailhead Features: The Deukmejian Wildnerness Park is one of the nicest trailheads you can find as the base of the hike is located in a managed park. There is a large parking lot, restrooms with flush toilets, a water fountain, doggy water bowl, a historic barn with vineyard, a small outdoor amphitheater, picnic areas, and interpretive signs. The city often hosts guided tours, clean-up days, and classes at the park. There is a park host who resides in a trailer on the property and is available for questions and answers.

The Trail: The Dunsmore Canyon Trail is one of the shortest, most manageable trails in Deukmeijian Park. The trail is a 1.8  mile out-and-back trail that rests in the center of Deukmejian Wilderness Park and follows the Dunsmore Canyon Stream (which has water in the rainy season) at the base of Mt. Lukens. This hike has a slow and steady elevation gain and a wide track, making this a great trail for less experienced hikers, soon-to-be-fit-but-not-quite-there-yet types, walk-and-talk types, and families. Note: The trail is scattered with larger-sized loose rocks, so do be careful with your footing as the possibility of slipping seems higher on this trail than on others.

At one time, it seems this trail could be taken up to Mt. Lukens, but now this segment has been overgrown and you are best stopping at the “end of the trail” marker.

Out-of-Shapers Difficulty Rating: A Workout With a View

This hike is relatively short, but has a slow and steady elevation gain about about 700 feet, which duly gets the heart pumping if you are just starting out. If you can manage Eaton Canyon or Switzer Falls easily, this is your next step up! If you have energy after this segment, head back the way you came and then veer off at the Le Mesnager Loop to add a bit more distance (total 3.4 miles) to your hike.

Official Website: City of Glendale

Location: 3429 Markridge Rd., La Crescenta, CA 91214

Note: The gate to the parking/trailhead does not open until 7:00 a.m. Street parking is available and the park is accessible by foot if the gate is closed.

Length: 1.8 miles out and back

Elevation: (approx): Trailhead = 2335 ft.; Elevation Gain: 705 ft.

Kid Friendly? Very manageable for children; when there is water in the wash, children will enjoy bunny-trailing down to the water for a splash.

Fido Friendly? Yes, dogs allowed on leash. There are doggy bags and trash bins at the trailhead and a water bowl for Fido and Friends by the restrooms at the parking lot. Bring lots of water…the trail gets sunny and hot!

Cost: $0

Exposure: The trail offers little to no shade during the day. Best hiking is on cooler days, early mornings, or evenings.

Photo Visual Tour
Special Interest (History, Landmarks, Events, and More!)

City sponsored nature programs are posted on bulletin boards, along with some history of the park, trail information, and hiking precautions.
Le Mesnager Barn sits and vineyard sits center stage at the park entrance. Learn about the barn’s history and future HERE.

Parking & Amenities

Shaded picnic areas are perfect for an after-hike lunch or for families looking to enjoy time in the outdoors! Views extend to Los Angeles. Clean restrooms are available.
Bags and receptacles are available at the trailhead.

The Trail

To get to the trailhead, go up the stairs by the barn, then follow the marked Dunsmore Canyon Trail. You will stay in the center for this trail, following the Dunsmore Canyon Stream. There are other trails that veer off, but for this hike, stick to the main track in the center (left track on this photo).


Start early…the fog and clouds burn off quickly!
There is little shade, but there are a few beautiful oaks under which to sit should you get tired.
View from the bench under the oak, about .7 miles in.
This is the wilderness, folks! It is always advisable to carry a stick, walk in pairs, and do your research on local wildlife and fauna.
The trail is wide, but laden with larger gravel and rocks. Be careful as it is slippery! Stay in the center track to complete this trail.
The end of the trail features a marker and small bench. Enjoy a snack in the shade, then head back the way you came.





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