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Explore Le Mesnager Loop Trail

April 15, 2019

group of girls hiking

Ready to take an adventure from the apartments in Riverside this spring? An invigorating hike always gets the spirits up, and as enthusiasts are apt to point out, there’s a certain appeal to being out among nature:

“Hiking is actually just walking, only on dirt or rocks or other uneven surfaces. Or walking where an animal larger than you can kill and eat you...If you are interested in fun, or nature, or exercise, or breathtaking views, or all four, there’s a good chance you might like hiking. Give it a try today.”

So, if you’re ready to go out there and hit the trails, we’ve got a killer suggestion on where your first spring adventure should be: Le Mesnager Loop Trail in Deukmejian Wilderness Park. This is part of the pride of Glendale, so today, we’ll be breaking down the what this wonderful park is all about, and the awesomeness that is the Le Mesnager Trail.

So, What’s Deukmejian Wilderness Park?

Located in the foothills of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains north of Glendale you’ll find Deukmejian Wilderness Park — a 709-acre expanse of woodlands, trails, and unbridled nature. In terms of flora, you’ll find the remains of many a big-cone spruce, along with a heaping helping of chaparral and sage. The mountains are equally impressive, with elevations ranging from around 2159 feet to 4775 feet near the northeast portion of the park. Then, of course, there’s also Le Mesnager Barn, one of the few historical structures still in the area.

Acquired by Frenchman George Le Mesnager in 1898, it was once used (as you might have deduced) a barn, and included several other structures that no longer exist on the site. For a time, Le Mesnager used the area for his winery, but was shut down during the Prohibition era (and later returned to winemaking once Prohibition ended. Mesnager made several improvements to the property over time, and his family made their residence there until the 1960s. In 1968, however, it was sold to a developer who wanted to build some homes on the site.

Those dreams never came to fruition, however, as the City of Glendale later purchased the area in 1988, naming it Deukmejian Wilderness Park, and leaving the stone barn intact as an example of architecture from its bygone era. It’s around these parts that you’ll find the Le Mesnager Loop Trail, an intermediate-level walk that will provide just the right amount of challenge for most hikers looking for a good time.

Le Mesnager Loop Trail

Le Mesnager Loop Trail is one of the more popular walks within Deukmejian Wilderness Park, and is often paired with the Dunsmore Canyon Walk. If you’re just looking to walk Le Mesnager, however, you can do that too, and that’s what we’ll be covering first.

The trail, on its own, is about 0.8 miles long. At its highest point, it’ll take you to an elevation of about 2,797 feet, and at its lowest, about 2,467 feet. The ground is rocky and steep, so you’ll have to move carefully along the trail, but at the end, you’ll be rewarded with some pretty impressive views of both La Crescenta and Pasadena.

Now, if you want to add a bit more challenge to your hike, coupling this with the Dunsmore Canyon Trail is the way to go, as it’s a longer walk (2.4-3.4 miles, depending on how you tackle it), a greater elevation gain (800 feet as opposed to 300 feet), and will take about 1.5 hours to complete. Nobody Hikes in LA has the info on how to best enjoy this one, and you can see some photographs of those great views you’ll see along the trails. Oh, and in case you were wondering, you can indeed bring your dog along for the walk, as long as you’ve got them on a leash.

Preparing for Your Hike

If this is one of your first jaunts out into nature, you might need a few tips to help you get ready for the adventure. There are plenty of preparations you can make in advance of a hike, but here are some of the most important ones you’ll need to observe:

  • Check the Weather in Advance — The weather, as you likely know well, can often be wild and unpredictable, and a rainstorm will surely dampen your enjoyment of the day (as well as your ability to take those lovely photos you wanted). Be sure to check the forecast both several days in advance of your hike, and a few hours before you head out so you don’t get rained on.
  • Dress Practically — No one’s expecting you to look stylish on the trails, so instead of your fashion gear, make sure you dress for comfort and functionality. Wear light hiking shoes, get some wool socks and synthetic fibers to wick away moisture, and stay comfortable while you’re out there.
  • Bring the Essentials — There are some things you just shouldn’t go without when you’re hiking. Dubbed the “ten essentials,” these include: a form of navigation, a headlamp, protection from the sun, first aid, a knife, something to start a fire with, portable shelter, extra food, extra water, and additional clothing (just in case).
  • Don’t Forget Food — We mentioned packing food in the ten essentials, but you’ll also want to ensure you’re properly nourished before you start your hike, well hydrated during your hike, and refrain from both caffeine and alcohol both before and during your adventure to ensure success.

Following these tips should definitely help you out, and if you pick the right day to hit the trail, all should go well and you should be in for a fantastic time on Le Mesnager Loop Trail. Good luck!

There’s Even More to Explore Near The Apartments in Riverside

If getting out into the elements for the spring is your thing, you’ll love the neighborhood around Altana. Nearby, you don’t just have easy access to Deukmejian and Le Mesnager Loop Trail, but also local favorites like Griffith Park, Eaton Canyon, and Verdugo Mountain Park. All the while, the comforts of civilization, like the shops and restaurants of downtown Glendale, are right there within arm’s reach as well. You’ll love it here, so be sure to check out what Altana is all about and learn more about how to make one of these lovely apartments your new Southern Cali home.