Saturday, June 1, 2013

Celebrating National Trails Day @ Verdugo Mountains

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To celebrate National Trails Day, I decided to do a backyard day hike around the Verdugo Mountains.  I've actually been thinking of doing the trail starting from Stough Canyon in Burbank all the way to Brand Park in Glendale for a few weeks.  Finally had a chance to do this today.

My wife dropped me off at at the Stough Canyon gate at 6:24AM - I wanted to get an early start so I can finish my planned 11 mile hike before it got to hot.

Start of the hike
20 minutes into the hike, I reached the first junction where you have the option to veer left to the Youth Camp Trail or continue right to head to the first Radio Tower...right it is.

Approaching the 2.5 mile mark, I see my first glimpse of the Radio Tower (first of three)

First Radio Tower (near the Vital Link Trail)
Making good time so far, around 3 miles down and an hour into the trail.  Weather was cooperating so far and the sun wasn't as hot yet.  The trail here is very well developed and wide.  The only issue is, walking on a trail that's packed can do a number on your feet, especially if you wear a near zero-drop trail runners.  However, my legs and feet were feeling strong and I was maintaining a good pace averaging 2.8mph.

Another viewpoint

Number 2 of 3 Radio Towers
Passed the second tower for this hike and still feel good.  At this point, I start slowly descending towards Verdugo Mtwy.  Shortly after, I pass by my third and final tower on this hike.

Number 3 of 3 Radio Towers

Glad I had my Golite Chrome Dome 
As I'm walking down this trail, I get side tracked and took a wrong turn and headed towards Elmwood Canyon for some reason.  On the photo below, is where I made a U-Turn and head up this trail that looks like it hasn't seen any foot traffic for some time.

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to re-check my map and realized I was heading down Elmwood helped that just to the right of where I was, I can clearly see the trail I was supposed to go - Brand Mtwy.  Though I nice trail to explore, this section gets overgrown as you go deeper where the trail becomes faint and resembles a game trail.

After turning back, I hit the right trail again and reach the Whiting Woods and Brand Mtwy.

Almost at the end...
I stayed at this junction for a few minutes to rest a bit. At this time, the weather is starting to warm up.  Luckily, I am not too far from finishing the trail.  A few more miles (all down hill) and I'll be at Brand Park.

Quick time check...realized GPS also stopped tracking :(
Looking back to where I was

Exiting Brand Park @ Mountain Ave.
At this point, I have done around 9 miles.  My feet still feel great but not even 1 minute walking on the paved road again, my feet start hurting bad.  Further realization how much I dislike walking on pavement.  

Final end time 10:31AM
Finally reached the front of my house at 10:31AM.  Total miles 11.27, completed in a little over 4 hours.  

More info on my route can be found @ MapMyRide

Till the next adventure...


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