Verdugo Peak

My first hike in the Verdugo Mountains was very tough.  The first part, a two mile climb up Wildwood Canyon Trail and Vital Link Trail, wasted me.  I had read online about how steep these trails were and found this to be accurate.  I explored and hiked around once I got to the top and the whole hike ended up being just under 10 miles.  I got lost on the drive home. Thank you to the kind souls who put me on the right path.

1     2   Wildwood Canyon Trail starts steep and stays steep.  Below the trail is a firing range for the Burbank P.D.  On the way back I could hear gunshots ringing through the canyon.

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5  In the middle of photo 1 is the barely visible antenna where headed first.

6   A mile to the top from this sign.

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Downtown LA on zoom

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10   You can see how windy and steep this trail is.  The sandy quality of the dirt made things slick in some parts.

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There are several twisty and steep sections – once I got past one another came into view.  These tight switchbacks are close to the top.  Well engineered but nasty to climb.

12    On the trail, a puddle turned to ice by the night before.

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15   Photo 1 – Just a bit further – this ever present antenna always looks within striking distance but never seems to get any closer.  Photos 2 and 3 – Finally at the top.  A trail leads to the right and a couple of these antennae.  The trail that goes left will took me down to Verdugo Motorway.

16     17   These group of trees is called Warden’s Grove – an experimental forest planted in the 1920s, I think.  There are several kinds of trees not native to the area.

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The mountains across from this small range are enormous.

19     20   I hiked up to Verdugo Peak.  This building is sitting on top and takes up just about all of the flat area.  You can walk around the building in a circle on a narrow trail outside the fence.

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24   From Verdugo Peak

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I backtracked to Warden’s Grove a.k.a. Plantation Lateral.    I rested under the pine trees and ate lunch.

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This little tree is just getting started.  I’d like to come back in a few years and see how much it’s grown.

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After the hard climb up I felt like I was ready to call it a day, but decided to push on.  I followed Verdugo Motorway away from Verdugo Peak, looking for a trail junction with La Tuna Canyon Trail.  This fire road turned out to be super steep as well.

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Photo 1 – I was already tired and knew that I was going to have to climb back up every step I was now going down.  I turned and slowly headed back uphill.  I was exhausted by the time I reached the junction for Vital Link Trail.  Photo 2 – On my way down, looking back at Verdugo Peak.

34   Down at the entrance to Wildwood Canyon Park.  This sculpture is known as “Tree Spirit”.

 

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