Waitlisted. COVID-19 guidelines applies.
Distance <6.5 miles
Rating 6-7/10, not for beginners
Elevation gain: 2000 ft.
Trail: Fire Roads and Trails w/ some steep uphills
Warning: This route starts uphill 1950 feet in less than 2 miles so don’t say I didn’t warn you!! Depending on your abilities gloves could come in handy and you could be doing some portions on all fours.
We’ll start by the Brand Park Library, after a brief portion of the Brand Park Mtrwy we’ll be taking a direct and steep route up to Tongva Peak. At the top we’ll enjoy the views returning via Brand Canyon on the Brand Canyon Mtrwy.
According to peakery.com data, Tongva Peak ranks as the 4072nd highest mountain in California and the 37798th highest mountain in the United States.
The Tongva lived in villages on vast tribal lands that stretched from Orange County to Ventura County and from Riverside County to the Pacific Ocean, including the Channel Islands. The skilled seafarers and hunters were knowledgeable and astute stewards of their land and its resources, according to the Gabrielino/Tongva Tribal Council based in San Gabriel.
Their culture began to crumble in the late 1700s when the Spaniards forced them to build the missions and farm the surrounding land for the mission padres. The priests established the road from Mission San Gabriel to the San Fernando Mission along a path the Tongva had used for thousands of years. Portions still exist as La Crescenta Avenue in La Crescenta, Honolulu Avenue in Montrose and La Tuna Canyon Road in Tujunga.
The mission road crossed an arroyo near what is now Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Avenue and continued north along the Verdugo Mountains.
The Verdugo range stretches about 10 miles across the eastern San Fernando Valley from La Tuna Canyon to Glendale. Its trails are a magnet for mountain bikers and hikers, who say that although the mountains are surrounded by a population of millions, recreation seekers can often ride or hike for hours without seeing anyone.
Home to mountain lions, deer and bobcats, the Verdugos remain largely unspoiled by development, much as they were when the Tongva built encampments in the foothills.
When the mission system collapsed in the 1840s, the Tongva culture and language all but disappeared. During the last three decades, however, Tongva descendants have been working to gain federal recognition as members of a Native American tribe, which would make them eligible for health benefits, housing assistance, scholarships and gaming rights.
About 350 Tongva descendants live in the Los Angeles basin today, according to the tribal council’s cultural affairs officer.
Unofficially, the peak has had several monikers over the years–Star Peak, Flat Top and Mount Tom among them.
Exit on Western Ave. from the 5 freeway and go North toward the mountains. At the end of Western you’ll see the entrance to Brand Park across the street and a few feet to your right. Enter here and go past the ballfields to the parking lots by the library. Parking is free.
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.
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.