*** YOU MUST BRING A FACE COVERING to meet up at the trailhead and to use on trail when it is not possible to avoid close proximity to other hikers. Please be mindful of other people’s space. DO NOT APPROACH ANYONE WITHOUT YOUR FACE COVERING.
*** Hike is waitlisted. For the time being, you must have hiked with us previously. Put yourself on the list and I will add you if I feel you can complete the hike AT THE GROUP’S PACE SAFELY. Also, limiting the total number of attendees (~10) so please change your RSVP immediately if you cannot make it. Apologies for not being able to add everyone but safety is the main priority right now.
Bring a headlamp and layers for the stopping points.
We usually do a loop and come down Wildwood but let’s change it up a bit this time. We’ll hit a few lookout points and try to reach the Wishing Tree for sunset. Please read the parking instructions. We are meeting just outside of the Nature Center lot.
This write up is Don’s:
Distance: <6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1800 feet.
Rating: Moderate 5/10
Trail: Fire Road and Single Track w/very little shade.
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Parking pass/fees: NO – park OUTSIDE of the gate to the nature center lot
Above the top of the Upper De Bell Golf Course lies a valid reason to hike over the mountains. At the top of Walnut Avenue, near the Stough Nature Center, fire roads lead to the Verdugo (Wildwood) Mountainway Trail.
This is also referred to the “water tower” or radio station trail, as the crest of the trail comes over the top of the mountain from the back fire road into Wildwood park. The Verdugo Hills Mountainway is an extensive trail system migrating over the mountain toward Glendale for a brisk hike and back towards Pass Avenue much farther north in Burbank for a robust hiker’s pace.
The trails, which extend from the Sun Valley area North of Burbank to the mountainous Glendale’ adjacent Brand Park can test the strongest hiker. Bring water, a cellphone, sunblock and a hat on sunny days. A strong stick might be excellent leverage through steep and narrow rocky switchbacks, especially the north trail of Wildwood leading up from the water tower split. Restrooms of a distinctly primitive variety are located inside the nature center and at the base of the Wildwood lower and middle trailheads.
The other trails stemming from the Burbank Nature Center and the crest of the upper Wildwood paths lead northeast to the communities of Tujunga and La Crescenta.
Hiking and mountain biking are permitted on the fire roads. Stay to the side of the road consistently to avoid dust and being hit by speedy or careless bikers. Burbank hikers should wear a strip of bright clothing in case they get lost or fall into neighboring brush. Hillsides are steep, sandy and uncertain, wear shoes with traction.
The smaller trails are for hiking only and along with the fire roads lead to spectacular views of the San Fernando valley. The base of the Wildwood Canyon Park and mountain trails have grassy and cool canyon picnic areas. Unfortunately, the peace and serenity is clouded at times by the shooting range right near by. Paved roads run up the narrow canyon road to the base of the water tower fire road trailhead.
The Stough Canyon Nature Center has an exhibit hall with educational and interpretive displays about the natural history of the area and its plant life. It features a small nature library, a focal classroom, and an environmentally congruous outdoor amphitheater. The Stough Center provides information on local habitat and the natural history of the area. Visitors to Burbank, residents and hikers come for the nature workshops, classes and seasonal day camps.
Stough Canyon Nature Center was named after Oliver J. Stough, who donated land to the City for public parkland that includes Stough Park, Stough Canyon Nature Center, and the Starlight Bowl. The Nature Center was dedicated in 2001 and has an exhibit hall with educational and interpretive displays, small library, classroom, and outdoor amphitheater.
In Burbank from Glenoaks Blvd you want to take E Walnut Ave toward the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains. You’ll go past the Da Bell Golf Course and since the gates to the Stough Nature Center close relatively early we’ll meet on Walnut just before the park entrance. Parking is free and plentiful. The map is accurate.
The Fine Print
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)
RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!
1 – A long walk
2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain
3 – 5 mile hike w/up to1000 ft. elevation gain
4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)
5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)
6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)
7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)
8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)
9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)
10 – Use your imagination
Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.