The Verdugo Mountains are a small range situated north of Burbank and Glendale. While the trails in this range can’t get at as remote as those in the nearby San Gabriel Mountains, they can be quite scenic and convenient to reach. Hikers may enjoy a trek on the north side of the Verdugo Mountains from La Tuna Canyon to the highest point in the range, Verdugo Peak. It is a 7.5-mile round trip hike with 1,400 feet of elevation change to reach 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. In the spring time, the canyon becomes quite green and there are wildflowers everywhere.
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 a canyon cut into the Verdugo Mountains. 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 daring mountain bikers). Enter the canyon and leave the song of the freeway behind. Despite a few groves of bays in the canyon, you may be exposed to the sun for much 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 summit of Verdugo Peak where it comes to a T-junction with Verdugo Fire Road (also known as Verdugo Motorway). To reach the radio tower-covered peak, turn left and hike another quarter mile to the summit. Verdugo Peak offers clear views east and west over both ends of the range. The San Gabriel Mountains rise high to the north and there is a lot of city below (and usually a bit of smog).
Hostetter Fire Road is open to dogs and bikes. This area is particularly popular with mountain bikers, so be on alert while hiking. No fee or permit is required for this hike to Verdugo Peak, so get out and enjoy!
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, CA91352
Trailhead coordinates: 34.233954, -118.291179 (34° 14′ 02.23″N 118° 17′ 28.24″W)
|La Tuna Canyon Trail|
This 4.5-mile round trip hike ascends a ridge and a pair of canyons in La Tuna Canyon Park on the northwest side of the Verdugo Mountains.
|Old Youth Camp Loop in Stough Canyon|
This 2.6-mile loop passes the ruins of an abandoned camp in the Verdugo Mountains with views across the San Fernando Valley.
|Vital Link Trail|
This hike of 3 miles round trip or more ascends 1,275 feet (or more) up a ridge on the side of the Verdugo Mountains for a steep hike with satisfying views.
|Beaudry Motorway Loop to Tongva Peak|
This 6.15-mile loop climbs 1,475 feet to the summit of Tongva Peak on the east end of the Verdugo Mountains.
This 6.1 to 6.6-mile hike (or more) ascends an abandoned fire road in the Verdugo Mountains with expansive views that include the skyline of downtown Los Angeles.
|Las Flores Motorway to Mount Thom|
This 5.3-mile hike follows a wide dirt road to the summit of Mount Thom, offering panoramic views from the southeast end of the Verdugo Mountains.
|More trails in Los Angeles|
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This 3.6-mile hike travels an easy-to-follow fire road, climbing 900 feet to panoramic views of the Santa Monica Mountains and San Fernando Valley.
|Eagle Rock from Trippet Ranch|
This 4.5-mile loop takes Musch Trail and Eagle Springs Fire Road to visit an exceptional sandstone summit in Topanga State Park.
|Zuma Ridge Trail|
This wide dirt service road which weaves northwest up the back of the ridge west of Zuma Canyon offering access to several trails in the area.