Distance (round-trip)

5.8 mi

Time

2.5 hrs

Elevation Gain

1368 ft

Season

Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter

Weather

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.

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There is a very short paved road that follows the north side of the flood control area. This pavement ends about 370 feet later at a locked gate. Pass by the lock and continue on the dirt road, knowing the scenery does in fact get nicer than barbed wire fences and residential backyards.

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There is almost no elevation gain for the first half mile, while the fire road gently winds its way around the drainage basin and up to a well-marked junction between the Beaudry North and South Motorways. It’s very tough to miss:

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While it doesn’t necessarily matter which direction you do this loop hike in, I took the north road first. As I was hiking in the mid-late afternoon, the north road generally had more shade than the southern, so if it’s a hot day out you’ll want to take the north route first. But really, it’s up to you.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Continue on the South Road, and at the 2.9 mile mark, pass by a locked, fenced and gated radio tower complex. This is the highest point on this loop, at about 2600 feet. Sadly, there’s not a whole lot to see from this vantage point, so continue along the road to the 3.6 mile mark. Here, the Beaudry Motorway intersects with the Rimcrest-Las Flores Motorway, another system of fire roads that winds along the mountains’ south face. Stay left at the intersection to stay on the South Beaudry road.

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Stay on this road for another 1.8 miles, as it occasionally offers some very nice views of the downtown core and some lupines if you’re hiking in the spring.

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From there, it’s another 0.4 miles back down to the trailhead.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modern Hiker, Author of "Day Hiking Los Angeles," Walking Meditator, Native Plant Enthusiast.





Dog-Friendly

Multi-Use Trail

Views / Vista

Trail Map

29 Comments

Rob Feb 10, 2019 13:02

Just did this for the first time today. Rained for some of the time. Hills were really green, so good to see in So Cal. A few rock slides crossed the path here and there, but easy to get over. A cool loop, but I definitely would follow the advice posted below and do it north trail to south trail, counterclockwise. The other way is some really intense uphill. If you really need to prove something, go south trail to north, but for all us mere mortals, counterclockwise is challenge enough.

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Bernadette Sep 13, 2015 16:09

Been hiking this trail every weekend for the past month. There's not much shade if you hike in the morning, but it's a nice trail - wide fire road, not crowded and I've seen deer (even bucks!) on the trail every time. Strongly recommend!

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Joshua Moreland Apr 4, 2015 14:04

I absolutely love the details and write ups on this website!! Being new to this part of L.A. (Glendale), it such a huge help finding this website! So thank you greatly for creating this site and for all the awesome details and recommendations! I am definitely interested in finding out if their are any local hiking clubs? I love to go hiking and exploring, but enjoy them so much more with other people. Any guidance on this would be much appreciated!

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Frank Sep 20, 2014 15:09

Typed this post near 1250 Beaudry Blvd. radio towers. Thanks for the directions. I can see the CA2, I210 and CA134 on this hazy nearly autumnal equinox.

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richardthelionhearted Jul 19, 2013 18:07In reply to: susie walsh

Keep kicking ass, Susie!

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Casey Schreiner Jun 14, 2013 18:06In reply to: susie walsh

Now THAT sounds like a hike! Nice work!

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susie walsh Jun 14, 2013 18:06

Like your posts, I love it when I am researching a hike and you have done it!
Today I did a variation of this hike - I went up the north side, and near the top veered right onto the Verdugo motorway (love that they are called motorways) and virtually crossed the entire range East to West (maybe 8 miles) and came down in Sunland on the Mt LaTuna trail. Was a total of 14 miles so I had someone pick me up and take me back to my car but it was really great!

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JOHN SPANO Feb 26, 2013 17:02

Have hiked this loop 3 times in the lasdt week. Today (2/26) lupines are actually out in sunny patches along the road, with small cress of some sort and a Blue Dick. A moderate Santa Ana kept the sky crystal clear with great views of downtown, the Reservoir, the passes out of the San Fernando Valley (can you name them all?) plus the San Gabriel massif looming to the East. I'd be interested in maps/tips on other hikes in the Verdugos.

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rogueandpeasant Nov 18, 2012 11:11

I've done this hike many times with my husband and 8 year-old son. It takes us about two and a half hours, going slowly, without stopping. I STRONGLY recommend taking the north (counter-clockwise) route, as this has the better-graded climb. But even on the north route, this is not an amble, by any stretch of the imagination -- the uphill climb is challenging ("a beast," my son says). For all that, though, we love it. The views are amazing, but even on cloudy days the mountain itself is lovely. A fantastic escape from the city.

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Phillip Jun 11, 2011 22:06

Hiked this trail today but June gloom completely hid all the views on both sides of the hills. I lingered awhile at Tongva Peak hoping to catch a view of the valley below but the marine layer decided it was not going away until later. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the hike immensely. An oh, the flowers are still blooming so beautifully and may soon be gone.

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