Deukmejian Wilderness Park
- Location: 3429 Markridge Road, Glendale. From the 210 freeway, take the Pennsylvania Ave. exit and head north for 1.1 miles. Turn left on Brookhill St., go 0.3 miles and turn right on New York Ave. Go 0.7 miles and turn left on Markridge, and the park is on the right.
- Agency: Glendale Parks & Recreation
- Distance: 2.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 800 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: October – June
- Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days; rocky terrain may be difficult on their paws)
- Cell phone reception: Good at the trail head; weak to none higher in the canyon
- Water: Fountains at the trail head
- Restrooms: Full restrooms at the trail head
- Camping/backpacking: None
- Recommended gear: Sun hat, sun block, hiking poles
- More information: Trip descriptions here, here and here; Yelp page here
- Rating: 6
Updated November 2018
In just one mile, the Dunsmore Canyon Trail in Deukmejian Wilderness Park whisks you from suburbia to a secluded spot in the mountains. The park’s convenient location and panoramic views, not to mention steeply climbing trails that provide a vigorous workout, make it a local favorite and one worth driving a distance to experience. Deukmejian Wilderness Park can also be a starting point for an ambitious loop of Mt. Lukens, but this post focuses on a shorter trip along the Dunsmore Canyon and Le Mesnager Trails.
From the parking area, head uphill on the service road. Turn right at the first fork (the left is your return route). You pass a large oak that survived the Station Fire and several side trails, including the Crescenta View Trail which ascends to Lukens (right) and a connector to the Le Mesnager Trail, your return route (left). The exposed trail climbs steadily, picking up almost 700 feet. Higher up, the canyon becomes narrower and feels more secluded. Continue past the upper end of the Le Mesnager Trail and into Dunsmore Canyon. The trail ends about a mile from the start in a pleasant grove of oaks where you can sit on a bench, enjoy the peace and quiet and consider that you are still within limits of a city with a population of over 200,000 (and not far from another certain municipality with a population of 4 million).
For variety, return via the Le Mesnager Trail, named for the former owner of the property, George Le Mesnager, a French immigrant who produced wine here in the early 20th century. The trail climbs briefly and follows the west ridge of the canyon. A view point offers excellent vistas of the Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills.
At 1.6 miles from the start, the Le Mesnager Trail reaches a junction with the route descending from Lukens. Bear left and follow the trail downhill. A few short trails, such as the Mummy Rock Nature Trail, can be explored on your way back to the parking area.
Text and photography copyright 2018 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.