Beginning and ending at the Brand Park in Glendale, the Verdugo Crest Trail takes you to the Verdugo Motorway
fire road. On Verdugo Motorway
you can hike along the ridge of the mountain range while exploring the many radio-tower-topped peaks of the area. While up there you'll have a constant panoramic view of the greater Los Angeles area including Downtown LA, Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island, and Griffith Park.
The Verdugo Crest Trail passes by a multitude of other interconnecting trails that cover the entire Verdugo Mountain Range. Be sure to always know which trail or motorway your are on because it is very east to get turned around up there.
The Verdugo Crest Trail begins behind Brand Library located in Glendale. As you follow the paved road north behind the library, locate the switchbacks located on your right to begin the climb up the Brand Ridge Trail
. These will take you up to the outlook plateau, ascending 500 feet in just a half mile. Here you can enjoy a decent view while taking a break on a bench or under a tree.
From here the trail continues up a large firebreak located at the back of the plateau. This the toughest part of the trail; rising over 1000 feet in a little under a mile, the second half of the Brand Ridge Trail
is steep, very hot with little shade, and tends to have a loose top layer in the dry season. At the top of the ridge you'll intersect with Las Flores Motorway
, and if you look up you'll notice that you are standing directly under a radio tower. This is Mt. Thom, one of six peaks in the Verdugo Mountain Range that has a radio tower marring its summit.
Now turn left and head north to link up with the Verdugo Motorway
. Hike along this access road for 1 mile passing by Tongva Peak, also marred by a radio tower, keeping a lookout for a 3-way intersection marked by a park bench and yellow road sign. Turn left onto the dirt fire road marked Brand Park Fire Road
. This road, which is the final leg of the Verdugo Crest Trail, is comprised of a series of switchbacks descending over 2000 feet in just over 3.5 miles while leading you back to the Brand Library parking lot and your car.