Hike the Teepee Trail (La Cañada Flintridge)
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||5.4 miles (8.7 km)|
|Hike Time||2-2:30 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,100 feet (335m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,260 feet (994m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Angeles National Forest|
The Teepee Trail is a great hike, but probably not for the reason that you think. Yea, the teepee is cool to visit and great to take photos with, but the climb up to the teepee offers some of the best views into the western peaks of Angeles National Forest that you’ll ever see. The hike takes the Mt Lukens Truck Trail up to the teepee, which is uphill, but expertly folded onto the land with switchbacks to make the gradient doable. Overall it’s a fun little hike in the foothills of Angeles National Forest.
Where is the Teepee Trail?
There are a couple of routes to the Teepee, and in this guide I’ll show you the most popular (and easiest) route from Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2), which starts across the road from the Angeles Crest Fire Station. Use this address: USFS Angeles Station 11 – Angeles Crest, 5898 CA-2, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
You do not need a parking pass here. There are no facilities or toilets.
Gear For the Hike
This is not a technical hike, but it is uphill and all exposed.
- Fitness clothes or light hiking gear works well here.
- You’ll want sun protection and at least 1L of water.
- There are bee hives to pass, so if you are allergic, bring whatever you need to deal with a sting. That said, I’ve never seen any big swarms of bees, just a few here and there, as you would in any suburban park.
Altra Lone Peak 5
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. Watch my video explaining why they are a great shoe here.
Latest Price on Women’s Shoe – REI | Amazon
Latest Price on Men’s Shoe – REI | Amazon
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated September 2021.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
Teepee Trail Maps
So there isn’t actually a “Teepee Trail,” you hike up the (dirt and closed to the public) Mt Lukens Truck Trail. While the road might not be a pristine single-track trail, it does offer incredible views of the mountains around every turn, so focus on that.
The hike starts in Angeles National Forest, but then enters land owned by Pasadena, and then private property (more later).
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.
Teepee Trail Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
There can occasionally be trucks on this road, driving up to service one of the many antennae on the summit of Mt Lukens.
After the gate, you are entering private property. The owners of this land built the teepee and allow hikers to RESPECTFULLY visit. Please keep this in mind as you hike here.
Where’s the canvas on the teepee? When there is fire danger, the owners take the canvas off.
The teepee is private property, build by the landowners. Please be respectful here. Don’t hang on it, mark it, or do anything to it.
Once you’re done at the teepee, just hike back the way you came.
This guide last updated on August 25, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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