Not many small or medium-sized cities can boast of three mountain ranges within its border, but Glendale, California, does. Stretching east and north from the San Fernando Valley, the city takes in substantial parts of the San Rafael Hills and the Verdugo Mountains, plus a small slice of the San Gabriel Mountains at the city's northern extremity. At this northernmost spot in Glendale, overlooking the foothill communities of La Crescenta and Tujunga, lies Deukmejian Wilderness Park, named after former California governor George Deukmejian. The park's 700 acres of chaparral-covered slopes are drained by two ravines with steep gradients: Cooks Canyon and Dunsmore Canyon. During the mid-20th Century, the area alongside the Dunsmore Canyon stream was used by the Le Mesnager family as a vineyard. An old stone barn at the trailhead is reminiscent of that time.
Dunsmore Canyon Trail 0.9 miles 1,448 meters 705 ft. elevation change Hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians will enjoy this trail. The trail parallels Dunsmore Canyon Stream and has gentle grades that are ideal for the first time trail user. The trail is shared with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District which maintains the stream bed and a series of weirs controlling the flow of water and sediment in Dunsmore Canyon.
Rim of the Valley Trail 1.6 miles 2,662 meters 1,195 ft. elevation change For the experienced hiker and mountain bicyclist. Equestrians are not permitted. This trail links Glendale with the Rim of the Valley Trail system at Haynes Canyon Road. Starting with gentle grades and becoming very steep in several locations, the trail becomes more difficult as you travel north. The trail passes through the picturesque Cooks Canyon Stream bed for several hundred feet with its year-round running water and lush native plants. As you ascend Cooks Canyon you cross four narrow foot bridges spanning deep ravines. This trail features the most spectacular views of the San Fernando Valley.
Le Mesnager Loop Trail 1.4 miles 2,253 meters 420 ft. elevation change Hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians will find this trail more challenging. The grades are steeper and the trail width is narrower than the Dunsmore Canyon Trail as it winds through the native chaparral and leads to the Le Mesnager and Cooks Canyon Lookouts.
Le Mesnager Lookout Trail 50 yards 46 meters 15 ft. elevation change Spectacular view of Glendale, the Los Angeles Basin and San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. On a clear day you can see Catalina Island.
Cooks Canyon Lookout Trail 265 yards 242 meters 55 ft. elevation change The lookout sits on a knoll allowing you to view the flora and fauna of the mountains. You will enjoy the serenity of this peaceful area tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Directions: From Foothill Boulevard in Glendale, go north on New York Avenue to the dead end at Markridge Road. Turn left on Markridge Road and go 200 yards to the park entrance. Follow the entry road to the parking area.