East Shadow Hills

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  • Location: The starting point is at the southern of the two intersections of Sunland Blvd. and Sunland Way, opposite Johanna Avenue. From the 5 Freeway, take the Sunland Blvd. exit (153B). Turn right and head north for 3.1 miles to Sunland Way, turn right and park where available. From the 210 Freeway, take the Sunland Blvd./Foothill Blvd. exit (11). Turn left and follow Sunland Blvd. southwest for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Sunland Way and park where available.
  • Agency: County of Los Angeles/Fond Family Preserve
  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 800 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG
  • Suggested time: 2 hours
  • Best season: October – May
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days; be careful of broken glass)
  • Cell phone reception: Good; weak to fair in some spots
  • Water: None
  • Restrooms: None
  • Camping/backpacking: None
  • Recommended gear: Sun hat; hiking poles
  • More information: Map My Hike report here
  • Rating: 5

Updated October 2018

This hike visits the highest point in the Shadow Hills, an offshoot of the Verdugo Mountains. The hills tower above the rural northern Los Angeles neighborhood of the same name. While not a particularly well known hiking destination other than with locals, the hills offer some good workouts with impressive views. From the unnamed high point (approximately 1,900 feet above sea level) no fewer than five mountain ranges are visible on clear days: the San Gabriels, Verdugos, Santa Susanas, Simi Hills and Santa Monicas.

The start of the hike, however, is somewhat less inspiring. Begin by heading southwest on Sunland Blvd. and immediately turn onto Teazle Canyon Road, a private residential street. Follow it 0.4 mile past a few houses to a junction where a fire road branches off to the left. The fire road heads uphill through terrain that burned in a September 2017 wildfire. Unfortunately there’s a lot of trash along the road as well.

The road degenerates into a rough single track and gains the ridge 0.9 mile from the start. Take note of this unmarked junction for your return. Here the views and overall enjoyability of the hike improve substantially. Head left, enjoying a brief level stretch. To the right your destination, a rounded summit, can be clearly seen. You soon begin climbing again along the exposed ridge, passing by some manzanita and sumac plants that were burned in the 2017 fire. The trail makes a sharp right turn and heads south to another ridge line where you reach a four way junction (1.5 miles from the start.) Stay straight and walk up a short use trail to the top.

From the bare peak, you have unobstructed views to the south and west. The Verudgos dominate the landscape to the east while the San Gabriels tower above the 210 Freeway to the north. After enjoying the panorama, retrace your steps. You can extend your hike by continuing west at the junction, accessing more of the area’s trails, as described here.

Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Entrance to Teazle Canyon Road
Shadow Hills, Sunland, CA
Start of the fire road
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Looking back from below the ridge junction
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Heading east on the ridge
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Climbing to the higher ridge
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles
Southwest view from the summit
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Looking northeast from below the summit
Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA
The 210 Freeway as seen from the summit

Text and photography copyright 2018 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. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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