Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Beaudry Loop (Verudgo Peak)
- Location: Glendale. From the north or west, take the 210 freeway to Pennsylvania Ave, go right, and go for a mile (the street becomes Honolulu Ave on the way) to La Crescenta. Go right on La Crescenta and 0.4 miles later, take a right onto Oakmont View. Take a left on to Barnes Circle and a right onto Beaudry Terrace. The trailhead is on the right, just before where the road starts to curve. Alternately, from the 2 freeway, take the Mountain St exit. Go left on Mountain for 0.5 miles, right on Verdugo for 0.2 miles and bare left on Canada Blvd. Follow Canada for 1.6 miles and turn left on Country Club Drive. Go half a mile and turn left on to Beaudry Blvd and park where the road curves uphill.
- Agency: Glendale Parks & Recreation
- Distance: 5.5 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,500 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Steepness, elevation gain)
- Suggested time: 3 hours
- Best season: November – May
- USGS topo maps: “Burbank”; “Pasadena”
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
- Recommended guidebook: Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County
- More information: here
- Rating: 7
Known also as the South End Loop, this is a challenging and enjoyable hike, very conveniently located to Pasadena, Glendale and the Valley. On a clear day, expect views of the San Gabriel Mountains, L.A. basin, the ocean, Catalina, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio and Old Saddleback, plus more. The route is entirely on fire roads, making navigation easy, even if the elevation gain is considerable.
From Beaudry Blvd, head past the gate and the dam and into the canyon. The beginning of the hike might not seem promising, but as you climb, the scenery gets better. At 0.3 miles, the road splits. Head right up the North Beaudry Fire Road, where the ridge should provide a lot of shade and you get close-up views of the San Gabriel Mountains. The climb is steady, although never too steep.
At 2.3 miles and 1,200 feet of elevation gain, you arrive at the Verdugo Motorway. Take a hard left and continue your climb, past some radio towers. Here, you get views of the L.A. skyline and the ocean to the right and the San Gabriels to the left. Stay left at the one major junction you come to, make one last short climb, and then begin your descent. You get an interesting aerial perspective on the network of fire roads below you. Soon, you arrive back at the junction, where you retrace your steps to Beaudry Blvd.
While the Verdugo Mountains might not be as well known as the San Gabriels, Santa Monicas or other ranges in the L.A. area, they do offer quite a lot of hiking trails. Their central location provides hikers with views that are hard to find elsewhere.