WARNING: During the dry season, when there are low water levels in Big Tujunga Creek, the usual access to this trail through the Wildwood Picnic Area may be closed to protect the Santa Ana Sucker (fish). Wildwood was closed from sometime before 10/12/00 to 2/2/01 during last year's dry season. (More Information)
If Wildwood is closed, there are at least three alternative places to park:
- Mile marker 3.52, then hike down the ridge. This adds ~0.2 mile and ~300' altitude gain to the roundtrip (thanks to Matt Maxon for this information).
- Vogel Flats, open from 8 am. - 4:30 pm, which adds an extra two miles roundtrip. Walk west down a narrow, paved road (private, but with public easement) through the cabins of Stonyvale. The pavement ends after 0.7 mile; continue on dirt for another ~1/4 mile, scrambling over a dirt berm. You have two choices:
- choose a safe place to ford Big Tujunga creek, wade across, and find the Stone Canyon Trail on the far bank, or
- pick up the trail at the base of the cliffs to a metal barrier just outside of the Wildwood Picnic Grounds, go left to the creek and follow the original trail (directions thanks to Charles Wain)
- Stoneyvale Picnic Area, open later, which adds yet another mile or so to the roundtrip mileage.
It is sometimes difficult to pick up the Stone Canyon Trail once you have crossed Big Tujunga Creek, so make sure you have spotted the trail before you cross.
When available, the date of the described hike is given in parentheses for each link.
TopoZone Map (a topo map is also given on Matt Maxon's site linked below)
- David Rosenberg reports on 1/2/03:
The fire that occurred in the Big Tujunga Canyon in mid-June 2002 was small, ~50 acres, but burned directly over this trail. I hiked the trail on 1/01/03. Immediately after the first switchback you hike through an utterly barren section of trail. The rains have caused erosion along the trail since there is no brush to hold the soil in place. This has occurred at a steep section of the trail. It is readily passable at this time but has deteriorated considerably since the last time I was here. Another couple of rainstorms and this part of the trail may be washed out.
- Pam Gilman reports on 2/2/01:
The trail itself was fine, the only slight problem being the stream crossing. The water was somewhat deep (up to our knees) as we walked across it barefoot. Otherwise, it was a great hike.
Stone Canyon Trail, Matt Maxon. Matt maintains the trail, and keeps this page current about the condition of the trail.
Trail Bulldozing in Summer 1998 (26Sep98), T. Chester
Big Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail (08Aug98), Roy M. Randall
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles County, Schad, 2nd edition, September 2000 (1st printing), Area A-4, Trip 4, Mount Lukens - Grizzly Flat Loop, p. 183. (< 2000)
Trails of the Angeles, John W. Robinson, Seventh Edition, September 1998, #11, Big Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail, p. 41. (< 1998)
More Information About the Wildwood Picnic Area Closure
Charles Wain reported on 10/12/00:The Wildwood Picnic area along Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. has been closed to protect endangered species, according to a sign on the padlocked gate. The sign at the gated entrance to the picnic grounds lists a hefty fine--$5,000 or $50,000, forget which--for entering. The closure blocks access to the Stone Canyon Trail up Mt. Lukens.
Delta Flats and Vogel Flats / Stoneyvale are still open.
Gerald Reponen of the ANF said on 12/20/00 thatThe Wildwood Picnic area in Big Tujunga Canyon has been closed to vehicles during the dry season due to low water levels. When the water levels return to normal flow the picnic area will be reopened. Water releases from Big Tujunga Dam and natural rainfall would dictate when this happens and when and if it would be closed again. This action was taken to protect the habitat and the Santa Ana Sucker (fish) from human encroachment and possible destruction when they are vulnerable. The fish need a sporting chance to swim away from people and pets. Hiking in from a legal parking spot along Big Tujunga Canyon Road and accessing the Stone Canyon Trail to Mt. Lukens has always been available; just a little further to walk.
Pam Gilman reported that on 2/2/01, she saw the ranger taking down the closure sign for the season.
Matt Maxon said on 12/17/03:
Just a note to update conditions on Stone Canyon Trail. I have started to clear the trail again after my "Golden Pulaski" ceremony last year linking the upper and lower trail segments last year.
The gate is locked again.
I met a hiker last Sunday who couldn't find the ridge route @ mile marker 3.52, checked it out and it had become over grown so....the "Mountain Beavers" got busy.
I've cleared the burn area (again) and the rest of the trail should go quickly just need to knock back some brush be for it gets bad.
It was interesting to see the layers of burnt material on the burn area dating back to the 1948 fire. I've taken the opportunity to keep the brush at bay on the burn area by pulling up the seedling of the trail-blocking plants. This should save a lot of work in the future. I've done this on other parts of the trail and it has worked well.
Copyright © 1998-2003 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 17 December 2003.