If you'd like an off the beaten path adventure in Angeles National Forest, this hike is for you. We'll ascend Stone Canyon Trail to Mt Lukens, the highest point in the City of Los Angeles, then loop back down into Big Tujunga Canyon on the Grizzly Flat Trail, which darts back and forth over Big Tujunga Creek. The hike is tougher than it looks on paper, primitive in spots, and lots of fun.
In this Guide:
Video and Turn By Turn Directions for the Stone Canyon Trail
When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.
Where is the Stone Canyon Trail?
The hike starts at the Wildwood Picnic Area, which unfortunately isn't the nicest spot in Angeles National Forest. Being one of the closest developed picnic areas in the Forest with good swimming holes, it's often crowded on hot weekends and littered with trash. Don't let this deter you; we'll quickly leave civilization behind on this hike. Use this trailhead address: Wildwood Picnic Site, 3299 Big Tujunga Canyon Rd, Tujunga, CA 91042
Gear For the Hike
This hike is best done when cooler (or very early). The low altitudes of the hike can get very hot in the summer. I bring 3L of water, and you can fill up after filtering in Big Tujunga Creek. There are several stream crossings that you can rock-hop across, but I use quick-drying trail runners and plow through if needed. Trekking poles can help on the stream crossings and the steeper slopes. Many sections of the hike are overgrown. Wear insect repellant, long pants, and long sleeves if you dislike brushing against your skin. Overgrown poison oak can be by the stream crossings, but you can usually push it aside with a trekking pole.
As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.
If you get to this point and the creek is raging with water over your knees, it's not the day to do this hike. The stream is not safe to cross. It doesn't happen often, but it sometimes does. Instead try a nearby hike to Condor Peak or Josephine Peak.
If you want to do the 8 mile version of this hike, just head back downhill the way you came up. Otherwise continue on the loop.
While you may occasionally see a black bear in Angeles National Forest, you'll never see a grizzly. That's because the last known California Grizzly roaming Southern California was shot and killed nearby here in 1916 by a local farmer. It was to be the second to last ever sighting of the California Grizzly. The last one was killed near Fresno in 1922 and it was officially declared extinct in 1924. The area around Grizzly Flat was known to be an active area for the grizzly before they were all killed.
The Grizzly Flat Trail was built by early fire crews.
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).