RUGGED VERDUGOS

Los Angeles Times - - SATURDAY - By Charles Flem­ing

The Ver­dugo Moun­tains sep­a­rat­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of Mon­trose and La Cres­centa from Glendale and Bur­bank rise sharply and present im­pres­sive city and val­ley views. Here’s a brisk hike that will get you to the top in a hurry — huff­ing and puff­ing. Go early in the day to beat the heat. Take lots of wa­ter. Go clock­wise on this loop trail for the fast, steep route; go coun­ter­clock­wise for a shadier, more grad­ual ap­proach. Ei­ther way, be mind­ful that you share the moun­tain with rat­tlesnakes and, ac­cord­ing to posted signs, moun­tain li­ons.

1Be­gin this walk on Beaudry Boule­vard, just off Country Club Drive near the en­trance to the Oak­mont Country Club. Leave Beaudry on a nar­row, paved al­ley that ap­proaches a wide yel­low gate and be­comes a dirt road.

2Stroll un­der oak, sycamore and pine trees as the trail be­gins to rise slightly. At the in­ter­sec­tion of Beaudry South and Beaudry North Mo­tor­ways, go left for the steep route or right for the gen­tler climb.

3Fol­low the main trail, climb­ing until Beaudry Mo­tor­way meets

Ver­dugo Mo­tor­way, which con­nects to trails lead­ing to La Tuna Canyon, Glendale or Bur­bank. If you’re climb­ing the North route, turn left and walk down­hill. If you’re on the South loop, bear right.

4The scenery as you climb in­cludes wide vis­tas of Mon­trose, La Cres­centa and La Cañada Flin­tridge be­hind you and, in­creas­ingly, mas­sive views of Glendale, Bur­bank, Pasadena and down­town Los Angeles ahead of you. The city view can be murky on a June gloom day but is par­tic­u­larly good on clear ones.

5At the top, you’ll find a plaque for Tongva Peak, which at 2,656 feet will tell you that you’ve climbed more than 1,300 feet from the 1,300foot el­e­va­tion at the start­ing point. No won­der you’re tired! En­joy the big views.

Head­ing down, take the North loop to en­joy the shade and the gen­tle de­scent, or take the South loop to feel the burn in your calves and quads. When you get back to the trail in­ter­sec­tion, con­tinue

down­hill to your start­ing point.

Flem­ing is the au­thor of “Se­cret Stairs: A Walk­ing Guide to the His­toric Stair­cases of Los Angeles” and “Se­cret Walks: A Walk­ing Guide to the Hid­den Trails of Los Angeles.” Each month, he leads a free walk at one of his fa­vorite spots in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Find out more at his Face­book page, Se­cret Stairs. He can also be reached at charles.flem­ing@la­times.com. Twit­ter:@mis­ter­flem­ing

Pho­to­graphs by Glenn Koenig Los Angeles Times

BICYCLISTS test the steep grade on the Beaudry North Mo­tor­way trail in Glendale, where the oc­ca­sional rat­tlesnake and even moun­tain lion could share the turf.

A WALK­WAY leads up through oak, sycamore and pine in the Ver­dugo Moun­tains sep­a­rat­ing Mon­trose and La Cres­centa from Glendale and Bur­bank . See more pho­tos at la­times.com/lawalks.

Lou Spir­ito Los Angeles Times

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