In Spanish, Verdugo means "executioner", which is a fitting translation of some of the trails in the rugged Verdugo Mountains. The range is located just north of Glendale and south of Tujunga/Montrose. Entrances can be found on all sides of the park and its proximity to the city makes it one of the most easily accessed open spaces in the region. The mountains are prominent too, with topographical lows around 900 ft. and peaks just above 3,000 feet. Although most of the mountain biking is on fire roads, the climb up 2000 vertical feet can be quite daunting in some locations.
What Makes It Great
The Beaudry fire road is perhaps the most pleasant, but still challenging, route up the mountain. The route begins from Beaudry Boulevard in Glendale. The street travels to the west through a valley that ends with a debris basin, while the road continues up a steeper section and changes name to Beaudry Terrace; the fire road starts to the right of the basin. One on the fire road you will pass through a gate that signals the beginning of the climb.
After 0.3 mi you encounter a fork with the right leading to Beaudry North and left takes you to Beaudry south. It is recommended to climb the north road and descend the south. The north section is less steep and shaded in the afternoons, while the south is steeper and in the sun. Beaudry North climbs for 2.1 miles where it hits the Verdugo Mountainway, which traverses along the ridge of the entire range. Head left and ride one mile to get to Beaudry South and then it is another 1.8 miles back down to the Beaudry North-South fork. If you want to extend the ride, explore the Verdugo Mountainway by going right at the top of North Beaudry.
This counterclockwise loop is ideal for someone looking to explore new terrain that has amazing vistas of the mountains and the city, but doesn’t want to ride technical trails. The climb is aerobic, yet fun. The descent is surreal; it provokes the sensation of flight at you’re going down a tree-less ridge into urban Los Angeles.
Who is Going to Love It
Locals love this spot because of its accessibility, but everyone can ‘get into’ the Verdugo’s because of its mountain and city scenery.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Exit CA-2 highway at Mountain Avenue and head west. Turn right onto North Verdugo Road; continue to the left on Canada Boulevard. After 1.5 miles, turn left on Country Club Drive, drive for a .5-mile then turn left on Beaudry Boulevard. Fire road starts on the right of the drainage basin at the end of the road.