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La Tuna Foot Trail

This hike begins just off La Tuna Canyon and is very enjoyable. There are a couple of different trails that you can access from this area, but, this one in particular is called the La Tuna Foot Trail(specifically for hiking and not biking). To access this specific trail, you will exit on La Tuna Canyon on the 210 West and make a left, you will see a pullout to park right away under the overpass, but, this is not the trailhead for this hike, keep driving West and in about a mile, you will see a small dirt pullout on your left(keep in mind that if you drive an additional .4 miles, you will see another dirt pullout on the left with a trailhead, but that will not be the La Tuna Foot Trail, so make sure you park in the first dirt pullout you see which will be about a mile from the 21o, like I said. Park here and take the dirt pathway down into a stream and you will see the trail begin towards the left. This is a good moderate hike because you will reach the top of the Verdugo Mountains in about 2 miles and you will gain about 1500 feet in elevation. The trail starts of very steep and is consistently ascending with some sections being very, very steep. This a great trail because even though you will be off La Tuna Canyon, as you ascend the trail becomes very isolated and makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. You will start to get some nice views of the Verdugo Mountains, along with a nice aeriel view of the 210 on the left, as well as Mt. Lukens as you ascend. Some sections are very rocky so just be aware and proceed with caution. The first part of the trail is a little overgrown, but you should have no problem at all. As you start to climb, the trail becomes a little more more rocky but it is well maintained for the majority.

Nice view of the sky and towards Mt. Lukens.

I will call this a moderate hike, but, if this trek added another mile or so with a gain of about another 1000 feet in elevation, I would then call this a strenuous hike. The intensity is very similar to the Icehouse Canyon Trail up to the Icehouse Canyon Saddle in the Cucamonga Wilderness(which is 3.6 miles to the saddle and a 2600 foot elevation gain). Keep in mind that the La Tuna Canyon Foot Trail has several sections that ascend and descend that are steep. The final ascent to the top of the Verdugo Mountain is very steep. Please use caution as you are ascending, and, then as you head back down. When you reach the top of the Verdugo Mountain(which stands at about 2800 feet in elevation), you will see a big oak tree with a couple benches right underneath. This will be a great place to relax in the shade and enjoy a snack after a real good workout. You will also have a nice view towards the East of Mt. Lukens(which stands at just over 5000 feet in elevation and is the highest point of any mountain in the LA basin), and you will have some nice views of the San Fernando Valley towards the West. When you decide to leave, head back down the same way you came and remember to use caution on some of the sections that are very steep that go up and go down.

Top of the Verdgo Mountain where couple benches lie under the tree.

La Tuna Foot Trail Statistics:

  • Elevation Gain – 1500 feet
  • Round Trip – 4.4 miles
  • Suggested Time – 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Best Season – Any Season

Nice view of the woods off the trail.

The La Tuna Foot Trail is in the Verdugo Mountains. From the 210 West, exit La Tuna Canyon and make a left(West). You will head West for about a mile and you will see a small dirt pullout on the left. Park here. You will not need an Adventure Pass because this is not in National Forest ground.

If you have any questions about this hike, feel free to leave a comment here and/or email at 412cobrapower@gmail.com

Methuselah Trail

The Methuselah Trail is located high in the White Mountains across from the Sierra Nevada’s at an elevation of just over 10,000 feet. The gain/loss in this trail is about 800 feet, so, you will be hiking at nearly 11,000 feet above sea level during some point of this trek. This trail is part of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest(the oldest living pine forest which is home to the oldest living tree named Methuselah; which is over 4,600 years old and is still producing new offspring). The loop is about 4.5 miles or so, but, this is the most amazing hike I have ever done and you do get a mystical feeling as you are hiking through this forest. The trail is in excellent shape and it has 24 posts; with each post describing a certain section of the hike. You can pick up a guide brochure at the Trailhead sign.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree.

The Trailhead is right next to the Schulman Grove Station; which is closed right now due to a fire, but, we happened to run into a Ranger who had opened it when we had just  finished the hike. The Ranger was a very nice older gentlemen, and he gave us a brief background about the Forest. This is something that you need to see in your lifetime; it is a moderate hike and the elevation is around 10,000 and 11,000 feet, so, the air will be very thin(hiking around this area is good conditioning to acclimatize for a hike like Mt. Whitney; of course, the difficulty level here is NOTHING compared to Mt. Whitney(22 mile round trip and 6100 feet of elevation gain to a summit at just under 14,500 feet). Advise: take your time in the Methuselah Trail and take as many pictures as possible. This was a breathtaking experience and I am looking forward to coming back here again.

Gyorgyi and this amazing Bristlecone Pine Tree.

Methuselah Trail Statistics:

  • Elevation Gain – 800 feet
  • Round Trip – 4.5 miles
  • Suggested Time – 3 – 4 hours
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Best Season – All Season(just be cautious if there is snow).

Dawn View Towards the Sierra Nevada's.

The Methuselah Trail is in the Inyo National Forest. From the US 395 North, Turn right on State Highway 168, one half mile North of the town of Big Pine, CA, which is about  15 miles South of Bishop, CA. Drive East on 168 about 12 miles until you reach the top of Westgard Pass. Turn left on the White Mountain Road, which will take you to the Bristlecone Pine Forest. Follow this paved road 10 miles until you find the turn off and parking lot to the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. You can park here.

If you have any questions about this hike, feel free to leave a comment here and/or email me at 412cobrapower@gmail.com