La Tuna Cyn Foot Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The 1100-acre La Tuna Canyon Park, basically an open-space area with minimal picnic facilities, drapes over the northfacing, relatively lush slopes of the Verdugo Mountains. On this trek you’ll pass through luxuriant growths of aromatic chaparral and visit a couple of surprisingly attractive oak- and sycamore-shaded mini-canyons."
--Jerry Schad , Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County (Wilderness Press).
"This moderate hike takes you deep into an oak-shaded canyon, up the north slope of the Verdugo Mountains, and then connects with a fire road that runs across the entire Verdugo range. The approximate 1,000-foot elevation gain is gradual, with the steepest parts coming during the last mile. La Tuna Canyon is a small community between the towns of Sun Valley and La Crescenta. La Tuna is the Spanish word for “prickly pear cactus,” which can be found across Southern California’s landscape. Park in the pullout on the south side of La Tuna Canyon Road and look for the Santa Monica Conservancy sign at the eastern edge of the pullout (another sign and trailhead at the west side of the pullout marks a shorter trail). Take the single-track dirt trail south as it heads away from the road. At 0.25 mile, you will come to a fallen oak tree blocking the trail; climb over it and continue on the path as it veers right. Soon La Tuna Canyon Road will be visible again as the trail winds north and then zigzags to the southeast."
--Laura Randall, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Los Angeles (Menasha Ridge Press).
"The relatively hidden La Tuna Canyon Trail is a great hike when you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path but still wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on civilization. There is a surprising variety of scenery packed into this trip—from beautiful examples of sage scrub to deep canyons shaded with native oaks... and even some old car parts strewn mysteriously amidst the folds of the earth."
-- Casey Schreiner , Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books).
"La Tuna Canyon Trail visits some quiet oak- and sycamore-lined canyons and ascends to the range’s principal feature—and its main attraction for hikers—its ridgetop, which extends the length of the range. The ridgetop offers grand clear-day views of the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Mountains and downtown Los Angeles. La Tuna Canyon Trail, constructed in the spring of 1989, is the first foot trail built in modern times to explore the Verdugo Mountains. The trail was built by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, under the leadership of Ron Webster. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy provided funds for the project. Hikers who have hiked a lot of trails will be delighted with the look and feel of La Tuna Canyon Trail. The hand-built trail follows the lay of the land and is not at all obtrusive."
--John McKinney, Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster).
"Like most of the roads in the Verdugo Hills, this ride offers easy access, challenging climbs, and expansive city views -- but it's a surprisingly complex singletrack that transforms this trip into the crown jewel of the Verdugos. This 9.7-mile loop is heavy with fun and light on hassles. situated in the centrally located Verdugo Hills, the ride offers much more than the lung-busting training rides normally found in the area. Instead, riders sweep between mountain and city views before plunging down an unexpectedly excellent singletrack. Outstanding city views of the San Gabriel Valley, Burbank, and Glendale, and vistas overlooking the Front Range of the San Gabriels."
--David Story, Laurie & Chris Leman, Mountain Bike! Southern California (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Without a doubt, the La Tuna Canyon loop provides the most enjoyable ride in the immediate vicinity of Los Angeles. It would be worthy of numerous visits even if it weren’t the most centrally located ride in LA, which it is. It has all the key elements of a great loop— an aerobic ascent, fantastic views, and an action-packed singletrack downhill at the end, all of which are packed tightly into a manageable package short enough for an afternoon or before-work visit."
--Charles Patterson, Mountain Bike! Los Angeles County (Menasha Ridge Press).
This was a great walking trail with a few mountain bikers. Seems pretty busy on the weekend. Climb was relatively easy and was around 6.8 miles up and back.
Very hot and straight up hill in the beginning. I wasn't prepare for the intensity or the heat of this hike (Started at 6:30pm). Once you get up a few hundred feet there are great views of Sunland and the San Fernando Valley. Please do not do this on a hot day or with inexperienced hikers, might be too tough for them.
By far the worst trail Ive ridden. Barley do you escape the noise and site of the freeway. The entire climb is nothing but a 6% fire road. The single tack? Hadley that.. Its a cleared old fire break that I swear is almost 15% grade. I am a downhill rider and I was afraid to walk this hard pack with gravel over it. This is not a nice ride in any way!
First portion of treadway is in good repair with some erosion. Once on top, the roads are in great shape. One problem, we took the "Plantation Lateral" road at the top, thinking it was the way down - it is not - it ends in about 3/4 mile. The views on top were stunning, visibility being unlimited on 12-23-07. The 1.3 mile road hike back to the car as set forth by McKinney is daunting, facing careening cars not observing the 50 mph limit. Better choice: leave a second car at the road where the protected roadway ends and shuttle back to the trailhead.
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