Verdugo Mountains

The Verdugo Mountains consist of a mountain range close to the famous San Gabriel Mountains and are just outside of Glendale. If you want to see some of the famous Southern California countryside, then this is the place to do it, and biking and hiking are both popular in the area. The land here is not paved, so you will get a rugged experience where you will get to see abandoned fire roads and other paths, or you can take the La Tuna Canyon Trail, which stretches for over 2 miles. The Verdugo Mountains, also known as the Verdugo Hills or simply The Verdugos, are a small, rugged mountain range of the Transverse Ranges system in Los Angeles County, California. Located just south of the western San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Mountains region incorporates the cities of Glendale, Pasadena, and La CaƱada Flintridge; the unincorporated communities of Altadena and La Crescenta-Montrose; as well as the City of Los Angeles neighborhood of Sunland-Tujunga.

Surrounded entirely by urban development, the Verdugo Mountains represent an isolated wildlife island and are in large part under public ownership in the form of undeveloped parkland. The mountains are used primarily for recreation in the form of hiking and mountain biking, and as the site of communications installations on the highest peaks. The mountains arise directly from the eastern floor of the San Fernando Valley, exaggerating their height from some vantages. Beginning with foothills, they rapidly rise to rugged sections, with the highest peaks topping 3,000′, nearly as high as the nearby Santa Susana Mountains.

The northwest-trending range is approximately 8 miles (13 km) long by 3.25 miles (5.23 km) wide, and roughly parallels the southern front of the San Gabriel Mountains at a distance of 1 mile (1.6 km) to 2 miles (3.2 km), with the Crescenta Valley lying between the two. The southern front of the range forms part of the northeastern boundary of the San Fernando Valley; at their southeastern end the Verdugo Mountains are separated from the San Rafael Hills by the Verdugo Wash. The highest summit is the informally named Verdugo Peak (3,126 feet (953 m)), located near the center of the range and rising to approximately 2,200 feet (670 m) above its southern base. Other peaks include Tongva Peak (2,656 feet), recently named in honor of the Tongva (Gabrielino) people, the original inhabitants of much of the Los Angeles Basin, Santa Monica Mountains, and San Gabriel Valley areas. Other informally named peaks are Mount La Tuna on the north end and Mount Thom on the south end of the range. With the exception of Mount La Tuna, all these summits, as well as several others, are occupied by communications towers. The Verdugo Mountains lie within the corporate boundaries of the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and Los Angeles. The neighborhood of La Crescenta, most of which lies within Glendale, is adjacent to the range’s northern end, as are the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Tujunga, Sunland, Shadow Hills, and Sun Valley (the last of which includes La Tuna Canyon).

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