To relax after the Mount Disappointment 50k while also preparing for my next race (the Run to the Top of Mount Baldy) I decided this morning to run up the Beaudry North Fire Road to Verdugo Mountain. It's not a long trail, but offers a good 1200 feet of climbing in almost 3 miles, for a round trip of nearly 6 miles: a healthy and relaxing way to begin one's Sunday.
Like many trails in Los Angeles, Verdugo Mountain doesn't look like much at its trailhead. Judging by this inauspicious-looking razor-wire fence, you'd never know a beautiful trail awaits you just up the road. The trailhead is hidden away in a Glendale neighborhood, near the Oakmont Country Club.
(MapQuest "1300 Beaudry Boulevard" to get directions from your location.)
The trail begins fairly steeply, but levels off a bit as it continues up the hill. Essentially, it's a series of gradually-ascending inclines, totally runnable the whole way. It seems as though just as I'm getting winded from the climbing, the trail will level out a bit and give me a bit of relief. The surface is dirt fire-road, except for a bit of asphalt at the very top. (You'll know you're at the summit when you reach a series of ugly antennae, so thoughtfully erected by a few of our local radio stations.)
At the top, views of Montrose and Glendale spread out below you on one side, Los Angeles and Burbank on the other.
Today's visibility wasn't great, but on a clear day even the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles show up crisply on the horizon, and I've heard you can sometimes see to the ocean!
On one particularly magical run last February, I left the trailhead as rain was falling, and about a mile up, snowflakes covered the trail. Snow! In Los Angeles! It made my week!
I didn't have a camera along for that run, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Or give it a try yourself sometime, on some future rainy day.
See you on the trail!