Leaders: Bobcat & Stag
8 am on a beautiful winter Saturday morning found fifteen "hikers & hackers" assembled at La Cañada. We carpooled & caravanned over to the top of Haines Cyn. Rd. in Tujunga and began our hike about 150 yards below the top of the road on a beautiful Equestrian-Hikers trail that ascended a canyon to the East of Haines Cyn. Rd. and the Mt. Lukens Fire Rd. This nice trail ascends a wooded canyon and crosses about 2 miles up the fire road. This nice trail then ascends another mile to the junction of the Haines Canyon Trail and the Sister Elsie Trail.
We made a sharp right turn onto the Haines Canyon Trail and immediately began our trail maintenance. Almost everyone in the group had a saw or clipper as we slowly made our way up this trail which was maintained by the Crescenta Valley section of the Sierra Club many years ago. CLIP, SAW, CLIP, CLIP, SAW. This was the best trail we ever saw! Charlie Knapke, chairman of HPS Adopt-a-Trail, was in the front of the work party, clipping and sawing many of the larger branches and trees on this officially-adopted HPS trail. Everyone else enthusiastically "clipped-in" and helped fine-tune the trail and tame the 12 foot high brush. After our party of 15 had gone through, the trail was in remarkably better shape than it had been before. We still need to coordinate with the Angeles Forest to help remove the bigger trees lying across the trail and do some tread work on the trail. For the time being, it is again passable and one of the nicest routes up Mt. Lukens.
Just past an old VW Bug abandoned above the trail, we again crossed the Mt. Lukens Fire Rd. and continued up the old trail, clipping occasionally at the thicker brush, crossing the road twice again and attaining the summit of Mt. Lukens (Sister Elsie) about noon. We spent an hour lunching and napping on top and enjoying the fine winter views into the back country of Angeles Forest.
About 1 pm, Stag led the party down the NW ridge of Mt. Lukens, past the top of the Stone Canyon Trail to a saddle on the ridge, and then down the old Sister Elsie Trail, rejoining our earlier route up the peak in about 2 miles. We arrived back at our cars about 3 pm. Many thirsty hikers/clippers reconvened at Pepe's of La Cañada for some posthike revelry and reflection.
My many thanks to Charlie Knapke, whose clippers and saw did a remarkable job of clearing the trail, and to all of the great, hardworking participants who worked and sweated so hard to help clear this again beautiful trail: Jorg Angehrn (who supplied the photos), Jean Le Febre, Joel Goldberg, Alice Goldberg, Laura Webb, Gary Vidor, Nami Brown, Gary Murta, Joe Young with his monster clippers, Larry Hoak, Emmanuel Molina, Jim Fleming and of course my mentor and tormentor, the great motivator Stag Brown for his very able assistance. Same time next year!