Past Meetup

Ridge Motorway Ramble


Needs a location


IF WE ONLY HAD A BRAIN, maybe we’d relax in the AC at home and watch the “Wizard of Oz,” on this, the anniversary of its premiere at Grauman’s in 1939. But instead, we’ll follow the dirt fire road, follow the dirt fire road . . . and try to dodge any apples tossed by talking trees enroute.

Think of this as a conditioning hike with views. Maybe, Debs Park on steroids? What it lacks in shade it more than makes up in other amenities, e.g., easy freeway access, civilized restrooms and water near the trailhead and surprising views of city skylines, the surrounding San Rafael hills, and Verdugo and San Gabriel ranges.

There are myriad connector trails and fire roads in them thar hills, so this may expand or contract based on the weather. But the base plan is to take the single track Catalina Verdugo trail for a long, steady uphill to the Ridge Motorway. After a short stint there, we’ll “summit” two small, steep-ish peaks, each of which offers great views of the Emerald City/downtown LA and Glendale. After a few more up-and-downs on Ridge, we’ll pause near the lookout tower at Cerro Negro, for a brief break. Finally, we’ll take Cherry Canyon Motorway to Fern Motorway, which will snake us back down to the Sports Complex.

Here’s a general trail map ( the area

We’ll try to keep a decent pace on this to beat the heat, and may delay our longer snacking ‘n socializing until we’re done to beat the heat (and take advantage of the shaded picnic tables at the Complex).


Level: Moderate

Gain: ~ 1,600+

Distance: ~6.5-8 miles

Time: 3-1/2+ hours

Type: Single track, dirt and paved fire roads, loop, entirely exposed

Dogs: Permitted on leash

Water: Available at trailhead @ Glendale Sports Complex

Restrooms: Available at trailhead near the complex office

Parking: Free lot at Sports Complex

Bring: Hat, sunscreen, at least 2-3 liters of water, snacks to share (it IS Indian Independence Day). Poles could be helpful for the downhill on one of the mini-peaks, but otherwise the gain throughout is gradual.


For GPS purposes, the address of the Glendale Sports Complex is 2200 Fern Lane, Glendale, 91208.

From the Glendale Freeway (2), exit at Mountain Ave. and head west to Verdugo Road. Turn right/north and proceed about 1.3 miles to Fern Lane. Turn right/east, passing below the 2 freeway. Fern dead ends into the parking area of the Sports Complex. We’ll meet in the first parking area.

Here’s a map to the trailhead. (,+Glendale,+CA+91208/@34.0750502,-118.3397826,10z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x80c2c1efdce9c593:0x4a6ae3fd04392913?hl=en)

Shawn’s mobile: 213/[masked]



The always-helpful resource is hosting a crowdfunding campaign kickoff party in the ‘hood, at Golden Road Brewing, (near the intersection of the 5 and 134) from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday. Assume guests straight off the trail would be very welcome! More details here. (


The next fee-free National Parks Day is Aug. 25, celebrating the birthday of the National Park Service. More info here. (


The Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts in this group are not professional guides. The function of the organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/meetup/ or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers and event hosts of this Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.