On Day 14 in 365 Things To Do in Glendale, CA we are doing the Brand Mountain Hike.
Take the fire road that starts at the Doctor’s House. The first part of this hike is a bit wicked as the fire road consists of several really steep switchbacks (Man, I really hate switchbacks). About halfway through these switchbacks is a Cool Thing.
The C.J. Brand family was a notable founder of our fair city and the Brand Art and Music Library was their private residence and the entire park was their backyard. The family is buried in their own, private, cemetery. The main monument in this family plot is a large pyramid with the family plots scattered around.
At the end of all the switchbacks and past the debris basin you will come to a large, flat, bend in the road. The fire road will continue at a sharp left. However, there is a fairly tall berm straight ahead with two rather narrow trails going over the top. Take this route for a more verdant and interesting hike! This is not a manicured trail, and there has been quite a bit of erosion from the ’05 rains, but the wildflowers are impressive and the poison oak is not too bad.
The hike, from here, is pretty straight forward to the old reservoir. I am not really sure if the huge, flat place really was the site for a cistern, of sorts. It certainly seems large enough. What I can tell you is the views from this mesa are tremendous. Unobstructed, 360 degree views encompass the entire Los Angeles Basin, no joke.
The second part of this hike is simply wicked. If you look up, toward the mountain, you will see a line of medium sized power poles. Under these poles is a trail that looks like a mountain goat track. It is stupidly steep, covered in loose scree and wizened old men clamber up this trail like it was a walk in the (flat) park. I huffed and wheezed my way up and all I can really tell you is that a.) I made it to the top, b.) no less than 3 old men calmly passed my sorry behind on the way up, and c.) said sorry behind got a serious work out.
Once at the top you do a bit of a victory jig and then take the fire road back down. Not even the old men go back down that scary steep goat track.