City Hiking Guides

A Guide to Glendale Hiking Trails

POSTED ON April 28, 2022 BY Ralph S.


Introduction

Embark on a transformative journey through the picturesque landscapes of Glendale hiking trails, where every step unveils a blend of nature’s wonders and invigorating life experiences.

Nestled within this vibrant Californian city, Glendale boasts an array of captivating hiking spots, inviting adventurers to explore the synergy between urban life and the tranquility of nature. Discover hidden gems as you traverse diverse hikes, each with its own unique charm, promising a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle.

This blog post is your compass to unlock the secrets of Glendale’s hiking trails, seamlessly merging the thrill of outdoor adventures with the soothing embrace of nature. So, lace up your hiking boots and let the trails weave a narrative of discovery, connecting you to the heartbeat of life and the serenity of the great outdoors.

Hollywood Trail via the Hogback Trail

A Griffith Park hiking trail and downtown Glendale in the distance

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop

Nestled within the foothills of Griffith Park lies a hidden gem that awaits eager adventurers: the Mt. Hollywood Trail via the Hogback Trail. This loop trail is a popular choice for hikers in Glendale, offering a moderate level of difficulty and approximately 2 hours of hiking time.

As you embark on this picturesque journey, be sure to exercise caution, as the trail can have rocky and uneven terrain in certain areas. However, don’t let this deter you, as the rewards of reaching the summit are unmatched. With panoramic views of Glendale and beyond, this trail is a must-do for any avid hiker.

The trail begins with a gradual ascent through a lush landscape, providing glimpses of the surrounding area.

Firebreak Trail to Griffith Observatory

Mt. Hollywood - Griffith Park

  • Location: Griffith Park, Glendale, California
  • Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Type: Loop, but can also be done as an out and back trail

The Firebreak Trail trail leads hikers to the iconic Griffith Observatory. This easy-to-moderate hike begins at the trailhead parking lot and is perfect for all-level hikes.

As you make your way along the Firebreak Trail, you’ll encounter a gradual elevation gain, providing scenic views of Glendale and the surrounding landscape. The trail leads to an intersection where trail users can choose to continue towards the Griffith Observatory via either the East Observatory Trail or the West Observatory Trail.

Both trails offer stunning views and a chance to explore the observatory, one of Glendale’s most iconic landmarks. This hike is perfect for those looking for a shorter duration, making it ideal for families with young children or those with limited time.

Fern Canyon Trail

Glendale seen from Griffith Park

  • Location: Griffith Park, Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 1 mile (approximately 1.6 km)
  • Hiking Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Griffith Park, the Fern Canyon Trail is a hiker’s paradise. This easy trail offers a perfect blend to walk, hike, and run. Located in Glendale, California, this picturesque trail features plenty of free parking at the Merry Go Round Lot One, making it easily accessible for all.

While embarking on this journey, you can bring a dog on a leash for some quality outdoor time. The first 15 minutes of the trail may be steep, but don’t let that discourage you; the rest of the hike is relatively flat, offering a serene escape into nature’s embrace.

With plenty of trees providing refreshing shade throughout the trail, it’s an ideal spot for birdwatching and enjoying a stroll.

This trail is perfect for beginners and intermediates alike, offering a glimpse into the beauty of Glendale’s natural landscapes.

Beaudry Loop Trailhead

Beaudry Loop Trail

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 5.8 miles (9 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 3 to 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Located in the heart of Glendale’s Verdugo Mountains, the Beaudry Loop Trailhead is a popular hiking spot for locals and tourists alike. This moderate out and back trail offers a journey that takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete.

The hike begins with a gradual ascent through the foothills of Tongva Peak, providing trail users with stunning views of Mount Thom and La Tuna Canyon. As you continue along the trail, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, as this area is known to be home to a variety of bird species.

As you reach the top, take a moment to rest on the bench and soak in the 360-degree views of the greater LA neighborhood. This is also a great spot to snap some memorable photos with your friends, family, or dogs.

Hollyridge Trail

Mt. Hollywood - Griffith Park

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 0.5 miles (approximately 800 meters)
  • Hiking Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Located in the heart of Griffith Park, the Hollyridge Trail offers a unique and accessible way to experience two iconic landmarks of Los Angeles: the Hollywood sign and the vibrant neighborhood below. With its short distance, this easy out and back trail is perfect for hikers of all levels, including families with young children.

The trailhead is easily accessible by car or bike, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists looking to explore the stunning landscapes of Glendale. As you make your way along the trail, take in the breathtaking views of the Hollywood sign, a must-see for any visitor to LA. This iconic landmark is just one of many highlights on this captivating hike.

Brush Canyon Trail

Brush Canyon Trail and Downtown Los Angeles in Griffith Park

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 2.6 miles (4.1 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trail Type: Point to point

Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Griffith Park, the Brush Canyon Trail offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for backpackers. This trail is perfect for those looking for a slightly longer and more strenuous hike. The trail begins at the Brush Canyon parking lot, which offers plenty of free parking for visitors.

As you make your way along this picturesque trail, be prepared to encounter some wildlife, including various bird species and maybe even some deer roaming in the surrounding hills. With stunning views of the Hollywood sign throughout the hike, this trail is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

This trail allows users to walk, hike, or run. It’s also an ideal spot for birdwatching. Although the trail may be challenging, the stunning views and peaceful surroundings make it all worth it. For an even longer hike, you can combine this trail with the nearby Mulholland Trail.

Brand Library Hiking Trail

Los Angeles - San Fernando Valley seen from Mulholland Drive

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 2.1 miles (3.3 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 1 to 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Loop

The Brand Library Hiking Trail in Griffith Park is a perfect outdoor adventure for those looking for a beautiful and moderate hike in the heart of Glendale, California. This loop trail begins at the Brand Library and Art Center and offers stunning vista points overlooking Glendale, San Fernando Valley, and Los Angeles.

As you begin your journey on this green route, you will encounter a gradual elevation gain of 700 feet (213 meters) within the first 0.5 miles (800 meters). This challenging start quickly pays off with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail is suitable if you want to walk or ride a bike, making it a popular spot for all outdoor enthusiasts.

The trail itself offers a beautiful mix of nature and city views as you pass through shaded pathways surrounded by lush trees. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the stunning vistas.

Mount Thom and Tongva Peak Loop

Mount Thom and Tongva Peak Loop

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 6.2 miles (10 km)
  • and is Duration: Approximately 4 to 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Loop

Located in the heart of Glendale’s Verdugo Mountains, the Mount Thom and Tongva Peak Loop Trail offers hikers an exhilarating experience through some of the most stunning landscapes in Southern California.

The hike begins at the trailhead and quickly ascends into a steep path, challenging hikers with an elevation gain of 1460 feet (445 meters). However, the stunning views of Mt. Thom and Tongva Peak make every step worth it. As you continue along the trail, the verdant surroundings offer a tranquil escape from city life.

San Rafael Hill Trails

Hike through the San Rafael Hills

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Out and back

For those looking for a shorter yet challenging hike, the San Rafael Hill Trails are an excellent option. These out and back trails take you through the beautiful San Rafael Hills, offering stunning views of Glendale and the surrounding area.

The trailhead begins at a small parking lot on Linda Vista Road and follows a steep incline before leveling out into a more gradual ascent. Along the way, hikers will encounter man-made rock formations and various bird species.

As you reach the top, take a moment to rest and enjoy the scenic views before turning back and heading down the same way. This is also a popular area for mountain bikers, offering an exciting challenge with its steep inclines and descents. 

One of the most popular highlights in the area is the Earl Canyon Motorway Trail.

Flint Canyon Trail

Cerro Negro in Cherry Canyon Park, Glendale, in the San Rafael Hills

The Flint Canyon Trail/Flint Wash Trail is an out and back trail, perfect for an afternoon hike or leisurely stroll with your dog.

This trail can be accessed from multiple locations, including Hahamongna Watershed Park to the east, Cherry Canyon Park to the west, or from one of the numerous residential streets that intersect the trail. With its proximity to residential areas, this is a popular spot for locals looking to escape into nature without having to travel too far.

It also offers stunning views of Snake Ridge and Cherry Canyon Park. The shaded pathways are perfect for a hot day, and there are even picnic benches available for a quick rest or snack.

Silver Lake Reservoir Trail

Silver Lake Reservoir

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA (near Glendale)
  • Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 1 to 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop

Located just a short drive from Glendale in the neighboring city of Los Angeles, the Silver Lake Reservoir Trail offers a peaceful and scenic hike around one of the city’s iconic reservoirs. The trail is mostly flat, making it accessible for biking, trail running, or walking.

As you make your way along the trail, take in the views of the glittering water and surrounding mountains. You may even spot some wildlife, such as birds or turtles, along the way. The trail also offers plenty of benches and picnic tables for a quick rest or scenic lunch.  So, it’s the perfect spot for a leisurely hike with friends and family.

Brand Park

Brand Park, Glendale

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Size: 31 acres (0.125 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: 1
  • Total length of Trail: less than 2 miles (3.2 km)
  • Park map

Brand Park, located at the base of the Verdugo Mountains, offers hiking trails for all skill levels. The available 8 trails offer stunning mountain landscapes and some of the most breathtaking views of Los Angeles, including the Griffith Observatory, Downtown LA, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

The park also features a museum of art, a ceramic studio, picnic tables, and a polo field, offering an excellent opportunity for a family outing.

Deukmejian Wilderness Park

Deukmejian Wilderness Park

  • Location: Glendale, CA
  • Size: 709 acres (2.9 sq km)
  • Number of Trails: approximately 5
  • Total length of Trails: over 7 miles (11.3 km)
  • Park map

Located in the San Gabriel mountain foothills, Deukmejian Wilderness Park is the ideal getaway for trailblazers looking for an escape from the city’s noise. The park is home to an extensive network of trails that explore natural landscapes, including oak woodlands, chaparral, and gorgeous meadows.

The trails run from one to six miles, offering a variety of options for hikers. Wildflowers, wildlife, and stunning views are just some of the highlights of this wilderness park.

Other Hiking Spots near Glendale

Looking for more hiking areas near Glendale to enjoy with a friend, family, or a group? Pasadena and Tujunga are home to several amazing trails that offer beautiful outdoor adventures. From beautiful vistas to tranquil forests, these spots offer something for everyone.

Here are two of the best hiking areas:

Cherry Canyon Trail

Cherry Canyon Park

  • Location: La Cañada Flintridge, CA
  • Distance: 0.7 miles (1.1 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Out and back
  • Map: Get the direction

Located in the tranquil San Rafael Hills of La Cañada Flintridge, California, Cherry Canyon Park offers a short and easy hike that is perfect for all skill levels. The trail is a popular spot for hikers looking to escape into nature without straying too far from the city.

The trail itself is well-maintained and offers stunning views of Cherry Canyon Park, with its lush trees and vibrant wildflowers. As you make your way along the trail, keep an eye out for local wildlife, including birds and butterflies.

Switzer Falls Trail

Hiking the Gabrielino Trail to Switzer Falls in Angeles National Forest

  • Location: Tujunga, CA
  • Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)
  • Hiking Duration: Approximately 2 to 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Located just 18 miles (29 km) from Glendale in Tujunga, California, the Switzer Falls Trail is a popular route for hikers looking to explore the beautiful Angeles National Forest. This trail takes you through lush forests, trickling streams, and stunning mountain vistas.

The highlight is the magnificent Switzer Falls, located at the end of the trail. At a whopping 50 feet (15 meters) high, the waterfall cascades into a deep gorge, making for a breathtaking sight and a perfect spot to cool off on hot summer days.

However, this trail is not just about the destination; the journey itself is equally enchanting. The trail is primarily shaded, making it an ideal option for a day hike during the warmer months. But remember that it can be crowded during peak season, so plan accordingly, and don’t forget to carry an adventure pass or national park pass for parking space at the lot.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Glendale is a hiker’s paradise, with plenty of beautiful and diverse trails to explore. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy stroll or an experienced hiker seeking a challenge, there is something for everyone in this city. If you happen to go for a hike in Glendale, make sure to bring some Silverlight socks with you:

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So pack your hiking gear, grab some friends or family, and head out to discover the natural beauty that surrounds Glendale.


RALPH S.

Ralph S. is the founder of Silverlight, an avid hiker and trail runner he enjoys spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle and swimming at the beach when he's not busy replying to customers or developing new Silverlight gear.

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