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The VERDUGO MOUNTAINS are a small, rugged mountain range of the Transverse Ranges system, located just south of the western San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
County , Southern California
California
. The range is sometimes known as the VERDUGO HILLS or simply the VERDUGOS.

Surrounded entirely by urban development, the Verdugo Mountains represent an isolated wildlife island and are in large part under public ownership in the form of undeveloped parkland. The mountains are used primarily for recreation in the form of hiking and mountain biking, and as the site of communications installations on the highest peaks.

The mountains appear to be low-lying to local residents; however, there are a number of rugged sections, and the high portion of range reaches nearly as high as the nearby Santa Susana Mountains .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Geology * 3 Flora, fauna and climate

* 4 History

* 4.1 Glendale at their southeastern end the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
are separated from the San Rafael Hills by the Verdugo Wash .

The highest summit is the informally named Verdugo Peak (3,126 feet ), located near the center of the range and rising to approximately 2,200 feet (670 m) above its southern base. Other peaks include Tongva Peak (2,656 feet ), recently named in honor of the Tongva (Gabrielino) people, the original inhabitants of much of the Los Angeles Basin
Los Angeles Basin
, Santa Monica Mountains , and San Gabriel Valley areas. Other informally named peaks are Mount La Tuna on the north end and Mount Thom on the south end of the range. With the exception of Mount La Tuna, all these summits, as well as several others, are occupied by communications towers.

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
lie within the corporate boundaries of the cities of Glendale , Burbank , and Los Angeles
Los Angeles
. The neighborhood of La Crescenta , most of which lies within Glendale, is adjacent to its northern end, as are the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
neighborhoods of Tujunga, Sunland , Shadow Hills , and Sun Valley (the last of which includes La Tuna Canyon).

GEOLOGY

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
consist of an east-west-trending antiformal fault block , bounded on south by the Verdugo Fault, a north-dipping reverse fault , and on the north by the Sierra Madre thrust fault near the front of the San Gabriel Mountains, thus including the sediment-covered Crescenta Valley within the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
Block. The Verdugo Fault lies slightly south of the topographic range front and is completely covered by sediments.

The rocks within the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
block are almost entirely igneous and metamorphic rocks similar to the crystalline basement rocks exposed to the north in that portion of 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 . Exposed rocks in the Shadow Hills neighborhood at the extreme northwestern end of the Verdugos are typically marine sedimentary rocks of Miocene
Miocene
age, predominantly sandstone and shale .

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
are part of the western Transverse Ranges , which have risen in the last 7 million years as the result of contractional deformation resulting from transpressional motion and rotation of crustal blocks in the "Big Bend" region of the San Andreas Fault . The amount of crustal shortening since the beginning of the Pliocene
Pliocene
has been estimated to be on the order of 7 kilometers (4.3 mi). The Verdugo fault and Sierra Madre thrust are part of a complex system of faults that accommodate some of this shortening and generally become younger to the south, with the Verdugo Fault possibly being the youngest member of this system and forming the current boundary between this portion of the western Transverse Ranges and the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
basin. Uplift along the Verdugo fault may total approximately 2.5 km (1.6 mi), at a minimum rate of 1.1 km (0.68 mi) per million years since 2.3 million years ago, moving the crystalline rocks of the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
up and over younger Tertiary and Quaternary sediments to the south. The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
are, therefore, young and rapidly rising, reflected in their steep topography and rapid rates of erosion.

FLORA, FAUNA AND CLIMATE

See also: California
California
chaparral and woodlands

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
lie almost entirely within the chaparral plant community, as defined by Munz and later authors, including Sawyer et al. This dense, shrub-dominated community of the California
California
chaparral and woodlands is more highly developed on the north-facing slopes than on the drier, hotter south-facing slopes. Among the shrub species that characterize this community, prominent in the Verdugos are laurel sumac ( Malosma laurina ), toyon ( Heteromeles arbutifolia
Heteromeles arbutifolia
), poison oak ( Toxicodendron diversilobum ), chamise ( Adenostoma fasciculatum ) and two species of California-lilac ( Ceanothus crassifolius and Ceanothus oliganthus ). Native trees are restricted to protected canyons and sites along the largely seasonal watercourses. Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia ), California
California
bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), California
California
sycamore ( Platanus racemosa ), California
California
walnut (Juglans californica ), and several species of willow ( Salix
Salix
spp.) are the most common. Non-native trees, particularly pines ( Pinus spp.), cypress ( Cupressus spp.), locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia ), and Australian eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus spp.) have been planted locally along the fire roads and, most notably, in the Fire Warden's Grove, established in the wake of a wildfire in 1927.

Except for a tenuous link to the large wild area in the San Gabriel Mountains through Big Tujunga Wash at their northwestern end, the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
are an urban wildlife island completely surrounded by development. Among the large mammals, coyote ( Canis latrans
Canis latrans
) and mule deer ( Odocoileus hemionus ) are the most common; mountain lions ( Puma concolor ) and black bears ( Ursus americanus ) have occasionally been reported. The many rodent species support a population of western rattlesnakes ( Crotalus viridis ). Of the numerous bird species present, the most characteristic of the chaparral here, and throughout California, is the small, seldom seen but often heard wrentit (Chamaea fasciata ). With its call of three or four chirps followed by an accelerating trill, often likened to the sound of a dropped ping-pong ball, the wrentit provides the most characteristic sound of the chaparral.

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
have warm, dry summers and cool wet winters. Snow infrequently falls along the crest during the coldest winter storms, but melts rapidly. Annual precipitation varies from about 18 inches at the base to about 25 inches at the crest. Most of the rain falls between November and March during periodic frontal passages.

HISTORY

The mountains were part of the indigenous Tongva people's homelands for over 7,000 years, with villages at some springs in the canyons.

The Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
were named for Jose Maria Verdugo, holder of the Rancho San Rafael land grant , which covered the mountains during California's Spanish and Mexican periods . On October 20, 1784 Pedro Fages , the military governor of Alta California
California
, granted Jose Maria Verdugo permission to use the rancho, known officially by the name San Rafael but informally called "La Zanja" by Verdugo. The rancho's boundaries were primarily defined by the Verdugo Mountains, the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
River , with the boundary following north along the east bank of the river and wrapping westerly around Griffith Park to a point near the Travel Town Museum in the park.

GLENDALE & MOUNT VERDUGO RAILWAY

One of the earliest attempts to access and develop the interior of the Verdugo Mountains
Verdugo Mountains
was the 1912 proposal by Colonel Lewis Ginger to build a cable incline railroad to the summit of Mount Verdugo, now known as Mount Thom. The proposed Glendale ">

* ^ "Verdugo Mountains". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2009-05-04. * ^ A B Arkle, Jeanette, C, and Armstrong, Phillip A. (2007). " Quaternary exhumation of the Verdugo Mountains, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Basin, constrained by low-temperature thermochronometry." Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 39, no. 6, p. 83. * ^ Weber, F. Harold, Jr., and others (1980). Earthquake Hazards Associated with the Verdugo-Eagle Rock and Benedict Canyon Fault Zones, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
County California. Calif. Div. Mines and Geology Open File
File
Report 80-10 * ^ Luyendyk, B. P. (1991). "A model for Neogene crustal rotations, transtension, and transpression in southern California". Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol. 103, pp.1528-1536. * ^ Schneider; C. L., Hummon, C.; Yeats, R. S.; and Huftile, G.J. (1996). "Structural evolution of the northern Los Angeles
Los Angeles
basin, California, based on growth strata." Tectonics, vol. 15, pp. 341-355. * ^ Arkle, Jeanette C.; and Armstrong, Phillip A. (2009). "Exhumation of the Verdugo Mountains, Southern California; constraints from low-temperature thermochronology and geomorphic analysis." Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 41, no. 67 p. 300. * ^ Meigs, Andrew; Yule, Doug; Blythe, Ann; and Burbank, Doug (2003). "Implications of disturbed crustal deformation for exhumation in a portion of a transpressional plate boundary, Western Transverse Ranges, Southern California." Quaternary International, vol. 101-102, pp.169-177. * ^ Munz,Phillip A., in collaboration with David D. Keck (1968). A California
California
Flora and Supplement. Berkeley: University of California Press. * ^ Sawyer, J., and Keeler-Wolf, T. (1995). A Manual of California Vegetation. Sacramento: California
California
Native Plant Society. * ^ Groves, Martha (May 29, 2015). "Meet the Verdugo Mountains\' very own mountain lion: P-41". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times . * ^ Tchekmedyian, Alene (July 8, 2016). "Bear spotted at Burbank golf course". Burbank Leader . * ^ Quinn, Ronald D., and Keeley, Sterling C. (2006) Introduction to California
California
Chaparral. Berkeley: University of California
California
Press. * ^ Gumprecht, Blake. The Los Angeles
Los Angeles
River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8018-6642-1 , page 31 * ^ A B Kielbasa, John R. (1998). Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County. Pittsburg : Dorrance Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8059-4172-X . . * ^ Duke, Donald (1998). Incline Railways of Los Angeles
Los Angeles
and Southern California. San Marino CA: Golden West Books. * ^ Barbour , Michael, Keeler-Wolf , Todd, and Schoenherr, Allan A. (2007). Terrestrial Vegetation of California
California
, 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California
California
Press. * ^ Quinn, Ronald D., and Keeley, Sterling G. (2006). Introduction to California
California
Chaparral. Berkeley: University of California
California
Press. * ^ Carle, David (2008). Introduction to Fire in California. Berkeley: University of California
California
Press. * ^ "The 1927 Burbank Canyon Fire". Burank Fire Department website (former posting). Retrieved 12 February 2011. * ^ A B "The 1955 La Tuna Canyon Fire". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Fire Department Historical Archive. Retrieved 12 February 2011. * ^ A B Boucher, David, 1991. Ride the Devil Wind: a History of the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
County Forester ">(PDF). Glendale Fire and Rescue News. October 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2011. * ^ "Southern California
California
Wildfires 2005". Wildfire.com: the Home of the Wildland Firefighter. Retrieved 12 February 2011. * ^ Alpert Reyes,, Emily; Curwen ,, Thomas; Tchekmedyian Reyes,, Alene (September 3, 2017). "210 Freeway reopened, all evacuation orders lifted as firefighters gain upper hand on Verdugo Mountains fire". KTLA
KTLA
. Retrieved September 3, 2017. * ^ "Rim of the Valley Corridor Special
Special
Resource Study". National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-12-30. * ^ Kamal, Sameea (March 4, 2015). "Three lawmakers urge Park Service action on Rim of the Valley study". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. * ^ McKinney, John (1994). Walking Los Angeles
Los Angeles
New York: HarperCollinsWest.

FURTHER READING

* Tectonics of the San Gabriel Basin and surroundings, southern California. Robert S. Yeats. Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis, Oregon
: Oregon State University , Department of Geosciences, 2004. * Los Angeles
Los Angeles
River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth. Blake Gumprecht. Baltimore & London
London
: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8018-6642-1 . * Afoot "> * Burbank, California, 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle map. United States Geological Survey . * Pasadena, California, 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle map. United States Geological Survey . * Mount La Tuna - 34°13′24″N 118°20′15″W / 34.22327°N 118.33763°W / 34.22327; -118.33763 * Verdugo Peak - 34