Verdugo Mtrwy

Los Angeles County, California

Elevation Gain4,372ft
Trailhead Elevation2,666ft
Elevation Min/Max2048/3100ft
Elevation Start/End2666/2669ft

Verdugo Mtrwy

Verdugo Mtrwy is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Los Angeles County, California. It is 6.3 miles long and begins at 2,666 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,372 feet. Robert Katz Peak, Verdugo Peak, and Tongva Peak (elevation 8,645 feet) can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Plantation Lateral, Las Flores Motorway, Skyline Motorway, Verdugo Crest, Hostetter Fire Road, Stough Cyn Mtrwy, Beaudry North Motorway, Beaudry South Motorway, Chandler Mtrwy and La Tuna Canyon Trail.

Verdugo Mtrwy Professional Reviews and Guides

"Hike along a fire road to the highest reaches of the Verdugo Mountains and experience amazing views of the entire Southland."

"The Verdugo Mountains stand as a remarkable island of undeveloped land—a haven for wildlife such as deer and coyotes—completely encircled by an urbanized domain. Public access to the network of trails and fire roads on the mountain is by foot, horse, or mountain bike—great news if you’re looking for a quick escape from the ubiquitous automobile and the pressures of city life."

"The Verdugo Mountains are an isolated mountain “island,” completely detached from other nearby mountain ranges. Millions of years of faulting and uplifting have created the Verdugos.

Two Verdugo rides are featured in this book. This one, the “Panorama Ride,” penetrates the Verdugos on dirt trails, climbing nearly to their 3,126-foot crest. The other, the “Perimeter Ride,” completes a full lap around the Verdugos—feasible, given that the range is only 8 miles long by 3.25 miles wide."

Verdugo Mtrwy Reviews

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I found a dead hiker in Vasquez Creek on June 30, 2012. I strongly encourage people to bring clippers to do some trail work, extra water, good gps route and budget extra time. I would normally give this five stars, as it has spectacular views of Silver creek waterfalls, but the brush overgrowth is bad. Wear long pants. After reviewing much information including Ertug's intended route from his work computer, it is clear to me that extremely poor trail conditions, hot weather, and inadequate water were the major factors in his death. His mapped route is exactly correct, but there are NO signs and NO websites giving current trail conditions. The trail has not been maintained since the Station Fire, and there are more trees falling down all the time. It's really hard to find the trail, even when you know where it is. The poor man ended up in Vasquez creek, missing one shoe and his glasses, and descended unsafely down eight waterfalls before he died. You can get water here but you can't get out. Sadly, had he found the right trail, there was also water available there on the west fork of Vasquez creek. The trail has weeds over your head. We trampled some with search and rescue, but it is terrible.
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As of January, 2012, This whole area of the National Forest is still closed from the Station Fire in 2009. Check here for current closure map:
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Trail and conditions better than reported overall. (Some recent signs of brush clearance on the descent past Grizzly Flats.) Watch out for ticks which were quite common above about 2500' (not near Tujunga Creek). True, the summit is somewhat industrial and the stretch along the Mt. Lukens fireroad somewhat dull, but the compensating up/down stretches made it well worthwhile. The more gentle descent through Grizzly Flats certainly made it worth taking the longer loop.
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The way up was fine, except for an enormous rattlesnake in the road. I chucked rocks at it form 20 feet away until it slithered away. It's tedious, but well marked. The trail is fairly overgrown too. You will be barreling through prickly bushes.. When you are headed down you follow Mount Lukens road, a road but with almost no traffic, just the occasional maintenance vehicle. Then you turn left onto a less traveled road. I was on this forever. It seemed to have no correlation to the little map in this guide, so be warned. Then there was a 4 way stop which was simple. The problem was at Grizzly flat. The description said to take this trail to the left. It mentioned a water tower as a landmark. I never saw it. The trail is horribly overgrown. Again you will be diving through prickly bushes wondering if you are on the right trail. The description in this guide had no correlation to the trail. It mentioned wild strawberries and maple forests. It was mainly bushes. It gets worse when you get down. You end up at the creek and the guide says to follow it for a mile. There is no trail. I was leaping on rocks, diving through bushes, praying for a path. The wooded area around it was overgrown. The creek is stagnant and I wouldn't want to walk in it for any amount of money. It was miserable trying to follow it. I was having a panic attack.You don't know if you are going the right way or not and you're exhausted after 12 miles of hiking. I would honestly skip this trail. I didn't see another human the whole way and it's somewhat dangerous. Most of this is not maintained at all.
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The trail information was fairly accurate. The first 3 miles are pretty intense, given the 3200 elevation gain. There are trail markers, although they are difficult to find at times. There was a fire thru the first section so the climb is pretty exposed. Once at the summit, continue on the road you came up - the description is somewhat confusing - it says to take the road that goes SE, but the road initially goes East. The descending trail on mile 10 is very eroded and is a difficult descent, and the trail is not apparant at all when you reach the river at the bottom. We just put on water shoes and hiked in the river until we found the trail again. This was a great workout, and it did take us every bit of the 8 hours stated. We also agree that a cool day is best - we had a warm day and that made it a tough hike, especially on the top section. I would recommend this hike, but would use the same cautions given in the description.

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Trail Information

Los Angeles County
Nearby City
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-min Burbank
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018