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Verdugo Mountains
Verdugos
Mountain Range
Verdugo Mountains, south view
Country United States
State California
District Los Angeles County
Parts Transverse Ranges
Coordinates 34°13′2.016″N 118°17′2.276″W / 34.21722667°N 118.28396556°W / 34.21722667; -118.28396556
Highest point Verdugo Peak
 - elevation 2,959 ft (902 m)
Timezone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Topo map USGS Burbank
location of Verdugo Mountains in California [1]

The Verdugo Mountains are a small mountain range located just south of the western San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, Southern California, USA. The range is commonly known simply as the Verdugos. It is also sometimes referred to as the Verdugo Hills.

Contents

History

The Verdugo Mountains were named for the Verdugo family, holders of the Rancho San Rafael land grant which covered the mountains during California's Spanish and Mexican period. On October 20, 1784 Pedro Fages, the military governor of Alta California, granted Jose Maria Verdugo permission to use the rancho referred to as "La Zanja".[2] The rancho's boundaries were primarily defined by the Verdugo Mountains, Arroyo Seco, the Los Angeles River: the boundary followed north along the east bank of the river, and wrapped westerly around Griffith Park to a point near Travel Town.[2]

Geology

The Verdugo Mountains are a rather rugged offshoot range of the San Gabriel Mountains located in Los Angeles County, California, and consist almost entirely of igneous and metamorphic rocks similar to the basement rocks exposed to the north in the San Gabriel Mountains, south of the San Gabriel Fault. These rocks consist of gneiss, and gneissic diorite and quartz diorite, intruded by irregular bodies of equigranular granitic rocks, predominantly quartz diorite and granodiorite, with accompanying pegmatite and aplite.[3] Exposed rocks in the Shadow Hills neighborhood at the extreme northwestern end of the Verdugos are typically marine sedimentary rocks of Miocene age, predominantly sandstone and shale. A half-inch-thick vein of blade-shaped evaporite crystals can be found in the exposed shale just south of Wentworth Street, between Foothill Boulevard and the Foothill Freeway overpass.

Geography

The range runs roughly southeast to northwest between the City of Glendale and the community of Tujunga. The Verdugo Mountains lie within the corporate boundaries of the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles neighborhoods of Tujunga, Sunland, Shadow Hills, La Tuna Canyon, and Sun Valley are all adjacent to the range on its north end.

The Verdugos are part of the Transverse Ranges. They form part of the eastern boundary of the San Fernando Valley and part of the southern boundary of the Crescenta Valley. North of the range, it is separated from the San Gabriels by an area of connected valleys containing the Sunland and Tujunga neighborhoods of Los Angeles, between the Tujunga Valley at the mouth of Big Tujunga Wash and the northern end of the Crescenta Valley. The Foothill Freeway (US 210) climbs for a few miles up and over the northern end of the Verdugos after passing through the Crescenta Valley, descending into Sunland to continue along the northeast edge of the San Fernando Valley. Near where the Foothill Freeway begins to climb the Verdugos is another pass across the north end of the range through La Tuna Canyon along La Tuna Canyon Road. On the southeast end of the range, it is separated from the San Rafael Hills to the east by the Verdugo Wash. The routing of the Glendale Freeway (SR 2) along these hills north of its junction with the Ventura Freeway (SR 134) provides a largely unimpeded view of the eastern slope of the range across the valley.

Peaks

The highest peak in the Verdugos is the informally named Verdugo Peak (3,126 feet) in Glendale near the northern end of the range. Another peak to the south of Verdugo Peak near Brand Park in Glendale was recently named Tongva Peak (2,656 feet) in honor of the Tongva (Gabrielino) people, the original inhabitants of much of the Los Angeles Basin, Santa Monica Mountains, and San Gabriel Valley areas. Other named peaks are Mount La Tuna on the north end of the range and Mount Thom on the south end of the range.

Maps

Flora and fauna

Except for a tenuous link to the Angeles National Forest through Big Tujunga Wash to the north, the Verdugo Mountains are an urban wildlife island. Native-plant landscapes that may survive and even thrive in many places at the higher elevations include chaparral and oak woodlands. Hazards that the wise hiker will learn to avoid in these landscapes include poison oak ("leaflets three: let them be!"), black widow spiders, gopher holes (ankle sprainers), and rattlesnakes.

Mountain lions are present in the Verdugos. Visitors should take appropriate care.

Protected areas

  • Brand Park, Glendale
  • Stough Canyon Nature Center, Burbank
  • Wildwood Canyon Park, Burbank
  • La Tuna Canyon Park, Los Angeles
  • Tujunga Ponds, Los Angeles

The Verdugo Mountains are being considered as part of the proposed Rim of the Valley Corridor National Park.

State conservation

The purpose of the Verdugo Mountains property, in Los Angeles County, is to preserve and protect as urban open space a remnant of natural lands located near the city of Glendale in the north portion of the heavily urbanized Los Angeles basin. The mountains are California state-protected property.

Hiking and biking

The Verdugo Mountains have many hiking trails. The trails are rather short and intermediate in difficulty.

In addition to hikers, mountain bike riders do their off-road sport on the many trails in the Verdugo Mountains. The trail that starts on La Tuna Canyon Road in the northwest end of the mountains is popular with bikers as it is one of the wider and easier trails in the mountains, with one of the easiest grades.

The entrance to the Upper Verdugo Park from the Villa Cabrinis in Burbank is a park popular with hikers who walk up the Cabrini hill.

See also

Nearby mountain ranges

Sources

  • Tectonics of the San Gabriel Basin and surroundings, southern California. Robert S. Yeats. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, Department of Geosciences, 2004.
  • Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth. Blake Gumprecht. Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8018-6642-1.
  • Afoot & Afield in Los Angeles County, 2nd edition, Area B-5. Jerry Schad. Berkeley, California: Wilderness Press, 2000. ISBN 0-89997-267-5.
  • Tectonics of the San Gabriel Basin and surroundings, southern California. Robert S. Yeats. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, Department of Geosciences, 2004.
  • Paleoseismology, active tectonics, and seismic hazards of the Verdugo fault zone, Los Angeles County, California. James F. Dolan. The University, 1997.
  • Segmentation, slip rates and earthquake dimensions in the active fold-thrust belt of northern Los Angeles Basin, California. Robert S. Yeats. Dept. of Geosciences, Oregon State University, 1996.
  • Geology of Earthquakes. Robert S. Yeats, Kerry E. Sieh, and Clarence R. Allen. Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19507-827-6.
  • Living with Earthquakes in California: A Survivor's Guide. Robert S. Yeats. Oregon State University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-87071-493-7.
  • The geology of a portion of the western Verdugo mountains. Robert L. Johnston, 1938.
  • Geology Underfoot in Southern California. Allen Glazner. Mountain Press, 1993. ISBN 0-87842-289-7.
  • Assembling California. John McPhee. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1993. ISBN 0-37410-645-2.
  • Cycles of Rock and Water: At the Pacific Edge. Kenneth A. Brown. HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0-06016-056-X.
  • Birds of Los Angeles: Including Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange Counties. Chris C. Fisher and Herbert Clarke. Lone Pine Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-55105-104-4.
  • A Flora of Southern California. Philip A. Munz. University of California Press, 1974.
  • Native Trees of Southern California. Victor P. Peterson. University of California Press, 1970.
  • Illustrated Guide to the Oaks of the Southern Californian Floristic Province: The Oaks of Coastal Southern California and Northwestern Baja California. Fred M. Roberts, Jr. F. M. Roberts Publishing, 1995. ISBN 0-96438-470-1.
  • Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates: California, Chile, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean Basin. Peter R. Dallman. University of California, 1998. ISBN 0-52020-808-0.
  • Island Called California: An Ecological Introduction to Its Natural Communities. Elna Bakker. Second Edition. University of California Press, 1984. ISBN 0-52004-947-0.
  • Natural History of Vacant Lots (California Natural History Guides). Matthew F. Vessel and Herbert H. Wong. University of California Press, 1987. ISBN 0-52005-250-1.
  • Growing California Native Plants. Marjorie D. Schmidt. University of California Press, 1981. ISBN 0-52003-762-6.
  • Introduction to California Beetles. Arthur V. Evans and James N. Hogue. University of California Press, 2004. ISBN 0-52024-035-9.
  • Geography and evolution in the pocket gophers of California. Joseph Grinnell. USGPO, 1927.
  • Evolutionary Dynamics of the Pocket Gopher Thomomys Bottae, With Emphasis on California Populations. James L. Patton and Margaret F. Smith. University of California Press, 1990. ISBN 0-52009-761-0.
  • The Verdugos of Hispanic California. Marie E. Northrop. 1978.

References

  1. ^ "Verdugo Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:::NO::P3_FID:274330. Retrieved 2009-05-04.  
  2. ^ a b Kielbasa, John R. (1998), "Adobes of Rancho San Rafael", Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County, Pittsburg: Dorrance Publishing Co., ISBN 0-8059-4172-X, http://www.laokay.com/halac/RanchoSanRafael.htm.htm  .
  3. ^ Weber, F. Harold, Jr., and others, 1980, Earthquake Hazards Associated with the Verdugo-Eagle Rock and Benedict Canyon Fault Zones, Los Angeles County California. Calif. Div. Mines and Geology Open File Report 80-10

External links








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