A just-under-six mile loop on fire roads in the mountains between Glendale and Burbank. A moderate hike that can be easily overlooked, this loop is a great last-minute hiking getaway that has outstanding views of the city when the air is clear, and decent wildflower shows during the spring months. This trail should be avoided on hot summer days, as there’s very little shade … but if you hike later in the afternoon, the mountain will cast its own shadow on large portions of the route.
The Verdugos are a small off-shoot range that run roughly between the San Gabriels and the east end of the Hollywood Hills, between Glendale and Burbank. They’re not wild or secluded by any stretch of the means, but their prominence in the valley make up for their lack of elevation, and they’ve got amazing views on clear days.
The trailhead for this loop begins at the end of Beaudry Blvd. in Glendale, near a flood control dam and spillway.
The fire road meanders along ridges as it makes its way west and then northwest, gradually opening some nice views of the San Gabriels to the northeast. This perspective really puts the urban civilization in contrast with its rugged surroundings, as well as gives you a whole new appreciation for the earthquake geology that shaped it all.
On this north-facing side of the mountains, I came upon a small but vibrant patch of gazanias, blooming wildly. No, they’re not native and yes, they probably tracked themselves up here on someone’s shoe, but that doesn’t mean they’re not nice to look at.
At about 2.6 miles, the fire road intersects with the South branch of the Beaudry Motorway. Hang a sharp left here onto the South Road, where you’ll get your first glimpses of Burbank and – if you’re lucky – the cityscape all the way to Palos Verdes and Catalina Island.
From there, it’s another 0.4 miles back down to the trailhead.
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This post was written by Casey Schreiner on March 24, 2009