Explore the most popular birding trails near Burbank with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Stough Canyon was closed due to mudslides, so I opted for its neighbor, Vital Link Trail. 3.2 mi doesn’t seem like a lot, until you’re a half mile in and realize the entire trail is basically a vertical climb (1,699 ft gain). The views make it totally worth the climb and you can bag a mini “peak” in under 2 hrs. There is a bit of erosion on the trail and definitely some sketchy spots due to rain. But a great little, quick butt-kicker of a hike!

A great winter hike, especially if there are clouds. We hiked this left to right, but I would reverse that next time. The downhill of going makes you loseseveral hundred feet you just earned, and the last 3rd of the hike is very steep downhill.

So, at the split, turn right and do the hard up first and you’ll have a nice, long, leisurely down hill for most of the loop back.

the first three quarters of a mile of this hike is all uphill and the whole hike is a fire Road but when you get to the top you have almost a 360 degree deal from the wishing tree and of course coming back it's all downhill so it's a nice hike overall

16 days ago

Excellent Hike. Difficult. Great views the whole way. Good parking.

This was a great hike! We actually started at the wrong spot we think, but ended up making it to the peak of Mount Thom! It was steep and slippery, but a great workout. While we were at the peak we walked over to the giant concrete structure and sat on top of it looking at the ocean views and city. We were almost to captivated to notice a mountain Iion climbing up to the trail that we had just been on, about 50 feet away! We got our stuff together and got out of there pretty quickly! Went down a back way because we wanted to walk with a girl who was alone on the trail just to make sure we all made it down okay. All in all great experience, just be prepared, and aware.

Great hike, great workout and a amazing view.

Beautiful and a good workout. Also parking was easy. You can even see the Pacific from the trail on a clear day.

27 days ago

We hiked from the nature center to the radio towers. The route is a dirt road and is uphill all the way up the towers. It’s a good workout all the way up with a cool chair offering a resting point. There’s also a few other routes you can take along the way up in case you don’t want to go all the way up to the towers. The views of Burbank and DTLA are great!

It is good for you to train yourself for a tougher hiking. After you finish this trail pretty much you can go hike any trails in Souther California.

1 month ago

Great and tough hike. Get there early, started hiking at 6:30am on a Sunday and the parking lot was almost full. Steep inclines and beautiful views at the top.

1 month ago

Have been doing this hike a lot and I love it. You can make it a loop if you park more towards the bottom and walk up the road to the trail entrance. Very nice views of Burbank and the Valley when you get up top. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can split off to the Vital Link trail. At the times I have gone usually late in the day there are very few people on the trail so you can get away from humanity for a bit. Love it!

1 month ago

New rules, park hours are sunrise to sunset. Railings are added to a large portion of the parking lot. I am sad I can no longer hike this in the winter.

1 month ago

It’s my favorite trail La

this was a fun hike a lot of different trails and they go down on all sides of the mountain we saw a lot of people and everybody was really friendly we will definitely be coming back again

this is a pretty easy hike but if you take the vital link Trail off of it it gets tough in a hurry

this is a tough hike the toughest we've done yet but the view from the top is breathtaking

1 month ago

Great trail! Beautiful views of the mountains and canyons. Great alternative to Griffith Park to avoid the crowds.

2 months ago

This is my go-to hike when I want a quick but tough workout. It takes me between 50min-1 hour to get from parking lot to the peak (summer heat + doggies wanting breaks makes it take an hour).

There is no shade along the way so plan accordingly. In the summer, it can get brutally hot so pack extra (cold) water and leave the dogs at home if it's really hot because it's too much for their paws.

You can go back down from where you came OR you can go down Stough Canyon to avoid the steep steps down. Ouch for the knees! Yes, it does take quite a bit longer to go down Stough (and then along the golf course back to parking lot) but it's worth it for the gradual descent, in my opinion.

on Vital Link Trail

3 months ago

Booty blast for sure. Cool views. Fun to run down.

As a visitor from Texas I would rate this higher than moderate but I’m not used to hiking mountains either. The other hikers are super friendly and my dog loved it as much as me. Great place to hike!

3 months ago

Difficult, yet approachable. Steep, but manageable. Great view! Will definitely be back.

It’s a tough hike definitely, I did it the opposite way round to most people. I started by parking on the Brand library road then headed off right past the kids park, there is a drainage ditch on your left you can head up to hit the trail but I walked past the chain barrier up an old windy access road that ends after five mins in a kind of clearing, look right and take the sharp incline path/scramble then head left up the ridgeline to join the trail. Five mins of hard slog up the hill then when the radio masts are in sight take the left path off the sharp incline, it seems to be dropping away and does for a while into the canyon but soon starts to rise again. This will then give you an hour of twisting path slowly gaining height but very hard still, especially with the sun beating down on you.
At the top of the mountain after taking in the amazing views you head for the radio masts again keeping on the high paths. You just need to eyeball the long semi straight path all the way down the ridge as the right turn off is easy to miss. Then it’s a jog and scramble down the sharp decline everyone has been mentioning for their initial start point of the hike. Took me two and a half hours. Trashed!

No phone service once you get to trailhead and no map available at trailhead and only partially marked on trail so got a bit confused. No shade, so best for cool weather or sunrise/sunset hike. Cute nature center when open 11am-5pm. Pretty views at top

The challenge was real! Quite the incline from the start, especially since I made my own starting point up an old access road and then scaled the side of a mountain to eventually find the trail.
Great workout and amazing views.

Just did this hike this morning. It was a great hike with amazing views and good incline. Saw 2 deer on the trail, which was exciting. My friends and I hiked it counterclockwise and there were areas near the top that were quite slippery to the first tower. I’m glad we did not have to go down that way. Coming down was a little boring, but I’d definitely do it again.

We hike from the nature center up to the last tower at the summit and then turn back down, so we do an out-and-back approach. Mostly because we couldn’t figure out the loop - haha. But it’s a solid nine miles with significant elevation gain and great views.

great easy hike along with spectacular views.

4 months ago

Trailhead easy to find, started at the Nature Center which has free parking, I was lucky to find a spot. The trail is almost strictly on a fire road and gravel the whole way. I passed hikers, mountain bikers & trail runners about every 15 min or so during the half up to the towers, didn’t see many people beyond that point. The hike has a fairly steep incline at the onset but then tapers out and continues a steady incline for the first 3 miles. Once you pass the towers, it evens out for a decline on the way back. The map on AllTrails gives you an option to take a few single track trails which follow the main trail, but these single tracks are steep and I slid down one of them due to the loose gravel and got pretty scratched up so I’d recommend staying on the main fire road. This trail is a good workout with great views. This area suffered in the fires but the trail is maintained. Very little to no coverage so bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. Clocked in 8 miles total (little over 3 hours) following the AllTrails map past the towers.

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