West Verdugo Mountains Loop

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View of the San Gabriels from the Verdugo Mountains
View of the San Fernando Valley from the Chandler Fire Road

 West Verdugo Mountains Loop

      • Location: Corner of Olivia Terrace and Edmore Place, Burbank.  From L.A., take I-5 to Glenoaks Blvd. At the exit, turn right on Roscoe Blvd. and take an immediate right on Glenoaks.  In 0.4 miles, turn left on Lanark St.  Go 0.5 miles and turn left on Edmore St.  Go 0.2 miles and park near the gated fire road, where Edmore St. becomes Olivia.  From the north, take I-5 to Sunland Blvd.  Merge onto Roscoe and follow it 0.5 miles.  Turn left and cross over the freeway, and then turn right on Glenoaks, and follow it to Lanark.  Note that since a substantial portion of this hike is on city streets, you can park almost anywhere on the route (excluding Village).
      • Agency: City of Burbank/County of Los Angeles
      • Distance: 5.3 miles
      • Elevation gain: 1,150 feet
      • Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Steepness, elevation gain)
      • Suggested time: 3 hours
      • Best season: November –  April
      • USGS topo map:  Burbank
      • Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
      • More information: Here; Everytrail report here
      • Rating: 6

If you don’t mind hiking on streets (which comprise almost half of this route), this scenic and challenging loop in the west end of the Verdugo Mountains is worth checking out. The street portion of the hike is primarily in quiet, residential areas, and it goes by pretty quickly. It also provides a nice warm-up for the trail portion of the hike.

Beginning of the loop (click on pictures to see the full size version)

There are several possible ways to hike this loop. As described here, the route is done clockwise, starting with the streets. Parking is allowed on most of the streets (although not on Village, near the beginning of the La Tuna Mountain trail), so you can start it from any of several possible points. You can also do it as a point-to-point hike with a short shuttle. From the corner of Olivia and Edmore, head downhill steeply for 0.2 miles. Turn right on Lanark,and continue your descent, enjoying some nice views of the Hollywood Hills. After 0.4 miles, you reach the bottom of the hill; turn

0:05 – Descending Lanark St. (Times are approximate)

right on Glencrest (not to be confused with Glenoaks, the larger, busier street beyond). In 0.3 miles, turn right on Roscoe Blvd. You make a gradual ascent to Vine Valley (just over a mile from the start), which is where the real climbing begins. On Vine Valley,

0:46 – Wheatland Avenue

you’ll climb almost 200 feet before making a descent, at which point the street name becomes Vinedale. Continue on to Wheatland Ave (1.8 miles from the start) and turn right. After 0.2 miles, turn right on Penrose, follow it 0.3 miles to Village and turn right. You’ll pass by a school and some stables.

1:04 – Start of the La Tuna Mountain Trail

In back of the school, head left and look for a gate leading to a fire road (2.6 miles from the start).

After a less-than-promising start alongside a chain link fence, the trail gets a wilder feel, making a steep ascent up a loose firebreak. Turn right onto the La Tuna Canyon Trail and continue onto a four-way intersection, where a bench provides great views of the Santa Monica and Santa Susana ranges.

1:20 – Bench overlooking the Valley

Continuing along, you’ll take the middle of the three trails branching off (not counting the one on which you ascended). Your steep ascent continues to  another split where you’ll stay right.  You head west and then make a sharp switchback to the east.   Here, you’ll not only get great views of the San Gabriels to the left, but of the Hollywood Hills and downtown L.A. on your right. For the next 1.2 miles, you’ll

1:38 – “When you come to a fork, take it.” (To the right, in this case.)

follow the ridge. A few side trails branch off, but the main route carries you up two steep ascents, finally reaching the Chandler Fire Road, 4.4 miles from the start. Here, you can enjoy vistas that include Orange County’s Santa Ana Mountains, as well as more of

1:58 – Along the ridge

what you’ve seen on the way up. Head right and make an easy descent on the fire road, 0.9 miles back to your car.

Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and

2:18 – Steep ascent before the Chandler Fire Road

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

2:30 – View of L.A. from the Chandler Fire Road

publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or 

2:54 – View from near the bottom of the Chandler Fire Road

inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail.  Check the informational links provided for up to date trail conditions.

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