The Verdugo Mountains are a small range situated north of Burbank and Glendale. While the trails in this range can’t top those in the nearby San Gabriel Mountains, they can be quite scenic and convenient to reach. Hikers may enjoy a trek up La Tuna Canyon to the highest point in the range, Verdugo Peak. In the spring time, the canyon becomes quite green and there are wildflowers everywhere. It is 7.5-mile round trip with 1,400 feet of elevation gain to the 3,126-foot summit of Verdugo Peak, where you’ll get a fine overview of the San Fernando Valley and all the civilization stretching toward downtown Los Angeles.
Begin by hiking up a paved road that parallels the 210 Freeway. After 0.4 miles, turn right and leave the freeway behind. The pavement ends after another quarter mile and the wide dirt road continues south toward La Tuna Canyon. Stay to the right, 0.9 miles from the start, as a steep dirt track breaks of to the left and heads up the ridge (this incredibly steep trail is best reserved daredevil mountain bikers). Enter the canyon, leaving behind the song of the freeway. Despite a few groves of bays in the canyon, you may be exposed to the sun for almost all of the hike.
Stay on Hostetter Fire Road for a total of 3.5 miles as it winds up the canyon, around a ridge, and up to a saddle near the top of Verdugo Peak. To reach the peak, turn left and hike another quarter mile to the radio-towered summit. Verdugo Peak offers clear views east and west over both ends of the range. The San Gabriel Mountains tower to the north, and there is a lot of city below (and usually a bit of smog).
Tree poppies along the trail
The Verdugo Mountains are outside the Angeles National Forest, so visiting La Tuna Canyon is free. Hostetter Fire Road is a dog-friendly trail. This area is particularly popular with mountain bikers, so be on alert while hiking.
To get to the trailhead: Take the 210 Freeway exit 14 for La Tuna Canyon Road. At the bottom the ramp, turn southwest on La Tuna Canyon Road and find a dirt lot on the south side of the road just past the on-ramp for the 210 East. Start hiking up the paved road that heads east parallel to the freeway. There is a high crime area warning sign at the trailhead, so lock your vehicle and do not leave valuables in sight.
Trailhead address: La Tuna Canyon Road & West La Tuna Canyon Road, Sun Valley, CA 91352
Trailhead coordinates: 34.233954, -118.291179 (34° 14′ 02.23″N 118° 17′ 28.24″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
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