Wednesday, March 29
Putting The "Go" In Verdugos
For whatever reason — let's call it spring fever — the last couple of years at the end of March have marked a tradition of undertaking "10 Rides In 30 Days" up in the Verdugo Mountains north of Glendale, pretty much the closest rideable trails to the city of Los Angeles, where mountain cyclists are considered lower than the dirt they're banned from setting tread on.
In the satellite image above (pieced together from the Terraserver-USA website) I've marked out the course of the climb up the Verdugos' Beaudry North trail (officially referred to as a "motorway" but I dislike that inappropriate term) that I travel on to get up to Tongva Peak (the dotted stretches represent approximations of sections that the camera was blocked from capturing by foliage overgrowth or topography). The network of fireroads is quite extensive throughout the range and even includes a thrilling singletrack I've heard referred to as "The Viper" (in homage to the Magic Mountain rollercoaster, I think). And there's plenty of wildlife. I've been paced by coyote pups, chased mule deer, spooked bobcats napping trailside, and marveled at coastal horned lizards, western toads, garter and gopher snakes galore. Then there's the serenity found atop Tongva Peak at sundown... priceless.
From the trailhead to the water tower is about 2.2 miles in length with an elevation gain of almost 1,200 feet. This Friday will be my first time offroad on my mountain bike since my tenth ride up the Verdugos last April so I'm expecting slow and unsteady going my first few trips. By the end though I typically "zip" up to the top in 30 minutes or so (wel... at least to me it's zippy).
Directions: Get on the Glendale (2) Freeway north. Exit Mountain Street. Left onto Mountain down to Verdugo Road. Right on Verdugo and then get in the left lanes to bear left onto Canada Boulevard where it splits off from Vergdugo at Glendale Community College. Another mile or so is the light at Country Club Drive where you'll make a left and follow it up to Beaudry Boulevard. Left on Beaudry and across one stop sign you'll find the entrance to the trailhead at the sharp curve in the road. Street parking.