UPPER DARK CANYON TRAIL/MT. LUKENS ROAD, SAN GABRIEL MTS
JUNE 2013 PAGE ONE

Photographs by Michael Charters




Mt. Lukens Road begins at the Angeles Crest Fire Station above La Canada at mileage marker 27.73 and the Upper Dark Canyon Trail 2.3 miles further at an unmarked turnout on the left at mileage marker 30.02. The road to Mt. Lukens is 7-1/2 miles long, with virtually no shade and very dusty, at least along the 2-1/2 miles of it that I did, especially when vehicles pass you on their way to or from the tower complex on the top. Some years ago I hiked up from the Big Tujunga Canyon side on the Stone Canyon Trail, but I never knew before where the road started that goes up from this side. Unfortunately there has been a great deal of brush clearing along the road, leaving many cut stems and piles of dried brush along both sides. Aside from the flowers, it is a pretty ugly road. I went back a few days later to explore the Upper Dark Canyon Trail which I had never been on before either and which leads to a ridge where you have a beautiful view down into Big Tujunga Canyon. The trail goes up about a mile to a junction of Hoyt Mt. Road and Grizzly Flat Road which you can take several miles over to the Mt. Lukens Road. It seems strange that in this second consecutive dry year I keep getting reports of terrific blooms, here, on the Winter Creek Trail loop, around the back side of Mt. Waterman, not to mention some of the places I have been along the Pacific Crest Trail. No doubt the Station Fire is at least in part and perhaps primarily responsible for this phenomenon. I was particularly happy to spend time in this area because not only was it in the San Gabriels but there were many species there that I haven't displayed in photo galleries recently. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native species.


   
Humboldt lily
Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum
Liliaceae


 
California wild buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium
Polygonaceae


 
 
 
Short-leaved cliff aster
Malacothrix saxatilis var. tenuifolia
Asteraceae
 
 



   
Branching phacelia
Phacelia ramosissima
Boraginaceae
 



 
Narrow-leaf miner's lettuce
Claytonia parviflora ssp. parviflora
Montiaceae
 
 



 
 
White nightshade
Solanum douglasii
Solanaceae

 
Birch-leaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides
Rosaceae
 


 
Golden yarrow
Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
Asteraceae


 
 
Heart-leaf penstemon
Keckiella cordifolia
Plantaginaceae

 
 



 
 
 

Hairy bush monkeyflower
Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens
Phrymaceae

 
 
 



 
Southern honeysuckle
Lonicera subspicata var. denudata
Caprifoliaceae


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