During my previous trip to Hollywood-Burbank (during which I met a few cats and a goldfish), I arrived one day earlier than my planned festivities, not only because I like to have one buffer day for travel, but also because I wanted to go hiking in the Verdugo Mountains.
For those of you who know my friend Doug Wreden, you probably know how that went… rather than hiking, I instead got intercepted by Doug as I was about to walk into my hotel. I ended up taking part in one of his Twitch live streams where we went to ten fast food restaurants and did the “I’ll have what he’s having” challenge, wherein we re-order and try to finish anything and everything the previous drive-through customer purchases. Needless to say, the challenge took a very long time, and I did not have another opportunity to go hiking before departing SoCal.
That was a week and a half ago. I am in SoCal again now for unrelated reasons, and I decided this was a good chance to try that hiking trip again.
I hopped in my rental car (which, with great misfortune, ended up being a very small and uncomfortable Ford Mustang sedan instead of a pickup truck like I usually drive, because pickup trucks were about US$50/day more expensive), and drove up to the Stough Canyon Nature Center. From there, I got on Stough Canyon Mountain Way and started working my way up.
I headed over to hike after I landed from my afternoon flight and had already stopped by the hotel to check in, so it was already approaching sunset time by the time I made it to the trail. This had an interesting effect on the scenery, in that some areas were brightly illuminated and some were covered in dark shade, while others still had a mixture of both where the vegetation was casting long, sharp shadows on the ground.
As I got close to the summit, I connected onto Old Youth Camp Trail, then finally reached Overlook Trail all the way up to the Henry Cook Lookout Point. This opened up sweeping 180° views of the San Fernando Valley, Glendale, and the Los Angeles city skyline.
There was quite a bit of smog obstructing the view, which you’d expect from Los Angeles County, but overall, this was a very rewarding view relative to the ease of completing this very short hike.
I also met a very friendly lizard at the top.
I started my tracker a little bit late, so the distance on my map is a little short, but my GPS said the hike was 1.23 miles, or almost exactly 2 kilometers. The elevation gain was approximately 360 feet, or 110 meters.
I haven’t really been on a good hike for months, and I don’t think this even counts as a proper hike considering how short and easy it was, but it was nice to get out and exercise outdoors again, instead of on workout machines indoors in a gym.