Ever have one of those days when you feel like doing something a little differently, like you need to break out of your usual routine? I had that feeling this morning when I headed out for a run up Verdugo Mountain. There was something about the foggy sky, the rain practically hanging in the air, that made me want to do something different today.
I've always taken the Beaudry North Fire Road up Verdugo Mountain when I needed a quick uphill run and a great view over the city. Today I decided to try the Beaudry South road instead.
To reach this trail, follow the directions in my blog on Beaudry North, bearing left at the first fork in the road rather than continuing straight ahead. Posted signs label each road Beaudry South or Beaudry North, so it's pretty tough to get lost. The trail conditions are very similar: both are fire roads with their predictable mix of packed dirt and some gravel -- and very runnable.
Where Beaudry North tends to hug the hillside and climb very gradually in switchbacks, Beaudry South often crosses exposed ridges and extends across the "backbone" of the hills rather than tracing their sides, giving great views over the velvety hillsides on the north and the city on the south. This also leaves you a bit more exposed, though -- so if intense sun or lightning is in the forecast, Beaudry North is probably the better choice.
Close to the top of Verdugo Mountain, you'll encounter a crossroads with the Las Flores Fire Road. Continuing straight ahead takes you to the top of Verdugo Mountain (where, if you like, you can descend via Beaudry North). Turning left and following the Las Flores Fire Road to its end will take you to the top of Sunshine Drive in Glendale, not far from Verdugo Park.
There seemed to be fewer people on Beaudry South than I usually encounter on Beaudry North, but maybe it was just the weather. The skies advertised rain (though I felt nary a drop on the trail) and the wind gusted, teasing at my hair. I guess the less intrepid runners stayed home this morning. But between the 360-degree views of the city and the mountains, the dramatic skies, and the soft footing, I had a wonderful run on the Beaudry South Fire Road, making me glad that I didn't stay inside today.
See you on the trail!