Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Brushing Up With The Verdugos
Ahh my Verdguos, it has been too long since I hiked my favorite mountains in SoCal. As some of you might know, I have joined Glendale Trails Patrol and I will be spending a lot of time in these mountains over the coming years so I thought a brush up was in order and decided to hike the Beaudry loop.
The trailhead is tucked into a residential neighborhood on the Northeast side of the Verdugos but quickly you lose humanity in your dust and the trail gains quickly up into the mountains.
The air was crisp today my friends, beautifully crisp air which is always such a great antidote to city air (LA has done a lot to reduce smog and bad air days so now I just say city air, suck on that LA-haters!). Because LA has no real seasons other than the amorphous "rainy season" that passes for Winter out here, the trees are all kinda screwed up. This one thinks he is back East and in its Fall for some reason:
I decided to tackle the Verdugos via the Beaudry loop trail. They give you a choice whether to hike the "South" loop or the "North" loop:
For some reason, I am drawn to hiking the South trail up the mountain, much like Michael Bay is drawn to explosions.
The bonus of hiking the South loop up the mountain is that the grade is slightly less steep (except at the very end) and that you have killer views of all of LA when hiking this trail.
(is that the ocean, yes that's the ocean)
Then Mount Thom comes into view in all its tower-bespeckled glory
and then its just a short hop to the top.
To complete the loop you amble along the aptly named Verdugo Mountainway
Before dipping down onto Beaudry North, I did a quick stopover on Tongva Peak which has more radio towers but a nice flat spot to look out onto LA County.
The trip down Beaudry North is not as picturesque as the South trail but what it lacks in views it makes up for in cold spots. This is the same trail, kid you not, that I saw ice and snow on a few years back (I was secretly hoping to see it today). Today, while there was no snow, the shadows were 10 degrees cooler than the sun so try and hike this midday if possible.
I kid you not, the shadows are brutal and they creep over everything on this North side.
Not that shadows and cold are the only things going on in this trail, there is some room for color here and there.
I know this trip report reads a bit like "I went here and then I went here and then and then" but really I just enjoyed the heck out of my trip to the Verdugos and I hope you get up there, especially with the great cold Alpine environment that is going on right there now.
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 7:52 PM