Monday, February 18, 2013

Photo Essay: Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve, Along Edison Road

I haven't been doing much hiking lately. I've been too exhausted, too exasperated, too cold, and trying too hard to cram too much into my days off.

But when I was already in the Crescenta Valley on Saturday morning and was faced with what I was going to do next, I couldn't resist the nearby Verdugo Mountains. I was going hiking.

After all, the Verdugos house so many delights: from the weird unidentified ruins of Brand Park to the old campgrounds of Stough Canyon, you never know what you might find up there in that anomalous patch of mountains between the Valley and the Angeles National Forest.

In the case of the Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve in Glendale, near the Beaudry fire road, I found nothing.

And nothing - or, rather, peace and quiet, and no fellow hikers - was exactly what I was looking for.



The loop trail starts on another paved fire road, in this case Edison Road...



...which you follow until the pavement ends...



...and then you keep following it, first up into the mountains...



...and then down...



...the trail intermingling with power lines that are as populous on this trail as at the top of the Beaudry trail.



It's still early in the season, so while there was new green growth underfoot, the wildflowers haven't really sprouted yet.



The loop trail then takes you outside of the Open Space boundary (as marked by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy signs)...



...through a grove...





...and along Edison Road to some private property....



...whose private road is the only access point to the preserve from that location.



The private road soon turns public, and Edison Road gives way to Eilinita, a public avenue that soon intersects with Emanuel Drive...



...which takes you back to Edison Road and back into the open space.



Although the trail starts out flat...



...past a graffitied metal pipe...



...you soon have to make up for the loss of elevation on the way down, and start climbing back up.



The city of Glendale opens up below...



...as the power lines come back into view...



...and the dusty trail rejoins with the paved fire road...



...and returns you to the gate at your starting point.



It only took about an hour to do the loop, which is as long as the Runyon Canyon loop takes, without all the people and the poop.

And on a bright, sunny, warm February day, I was glad to be in LA, in California, up in the mountains, wiping sweat from my brow.

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