The weather was forecast to reach the 80s, so we wanted to hit the trail while the temperature was cooler — an important consideration on these trails as shade is scarce. The skies were clear with just a touch of morning haze hanging over LA. A perfect Verdugo morning.
Getting to the Trailhead
There is no parking lot for the Beaudry Motorway Trailhead, but there is free street parking in this hillside residential neighborhood. You will likely see other hikers and mountain bikers. The trailhead begins at the intersection of Beaudry Blvd. and Beaudry Terrace in Glendale (Google Map). You’ll see a paved pathway heading uphill beside a fenced in spillway. This is the Beaudry Motorway Trail.
Hiking the Beaudry Motorway Loop Trail
We followed the trail up the short paved segment, passsing around this gate, reminding us of the fire danger, and headed up the canyon.
As we hiked, we spied these steps ascending to a home that no longer exists.
We continued up the trail as it wound around and began to climb up the hillside. At the 0.4 mile mark, we reached the proverbial fork in the road. It was decision time. Do we head to the right up Beaudry North? Or take the Beaudry South trail to the left?
Either route will work, as this is a loop, but we opted to head left. We had an early start, and although we would have plenty of sun exposure we were ascending in the cooler morning weather. We’d enjoy a spot of shade on the way down.
This trail climbs gradually but persistently for nearly the entire three miles up. The trail is wide and well maintained, as it’s also used for utility vehicles that need access to the equipment on the summit. We saw a number of hikers, some with dogs (they must be on leash); and a number of mountain bikers.
As we climbed, we were rewarded with 360-degree views that included La Crescenta, Glendale, the San Gabriel Mountains, Griffith Park, downtown Los Angeles, the Palos Verdes peninsula, Santiago Peak in Orange County, and even Catalina Island!
Further on, we saw some artifacts that I’d love to know more about, including these lamp posts. There were several along the ridgeline such as this one, which appears to be pointing the way to downtown LA.
Next, we came across a large, short concrete box. According to another hiking on the trail, there are several of these in the Verdugos, and they are old reservoirs no longer used.
And there were the views.
They are spectacular. Just past the first antennae we reached a junction with the Las Flores Motorway (mile 2.4), which climbs from south end of the range. We continued straight on the ridge line along what is now signed as Verdugo Motorway. Turning around to look to the south, this was our view.
The ridge line trail gently rolls along until you reach the final climb up to a cluster of radio towers on Tongva Peak used by local alt-rock station KROQ FM. Oddly, the sign on the fence insists that the street address is 1250 Beaudry Boulevard, but don’t try to find it on Google Maps (it shows up about a mile further away).
We soaked in the views and we began the descent. At 3.3 miles we reached another junction. This time, we took a hairpin right turn to head down Beaudry North Motorway. This is the final leg of our loop. As they say, it’s all downhill from here.
We had some nice shade on parts of this trail, including some pine trees from a test forest planted years ago. Most of the forest burned in a wildfire, but the trees were originally planted to test their hardiness in the climate — something the tall pines that remain stand as testament to.
The last 2.6 miles stretch was easy downhill hiking. At the final junction with Beaudry Motorway South, keep to the left unless you want to hike another lap. This takes you the final stretch back to the trailhead.
We both agreed that this trail was a winner. The views are fantastic, especially on a clear day. We look forward to hiking here when the San Gabriels are blanketed in snow this winter. And it was a great workout.
Verdugo Mountains Beaudry Motorway Loop Trail Map
Beaudry Motorway Loop Video Overview
This was a first attempt at creating a video overview of the trail. I welcome your feedback.
Verdugo Mountains Photo Gallery
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Beaudry Motorway Loop Tips
- Take plenty of water to stay hydrated, and the 10 essentials.
- Obey the signs, particularly about no smoking (this risk of wildfires here is high)
- There is a lot of sun exposure. On hot days, I recommend hiking early or late to avoide the worst heat of the day
- The broad trail makes this hike a good candidate for evening hikes with headlamps or flashlights. The sunsets and the city light views would be fantastic.
- Aprés-hike libations? I recommend Golden Road Brewing near the 5 Freeway on the western edge of Glendale in Atwater Village. They have great food, too!