Great L.A. Walks: This short, steep hike takes you high above Burbank

The Verdugo Mountains rise sharply and form a striking backdrop to Glendale and Burbank. Here is a short, steep hike that gets a good feel for them, and for the broad views they offer on the way up. Wear good shoes and be prepared for a good holiday season workout.

1. Begin this walk high above Burbank, where Harvard Road meets the entrance to Wildwood Canyon Park, near the famed Castaway restaurant. Leave your car in the lot on Harvard, then enter the park and take the first trail to your left, about 50 feet from the entrance, just past a public restroom and drinking fountain.

2. The trail rises steeply from the canyon, over a series of switchbacks and sections lined with railroad ties. Bear right at the first V-intersection, and again at the next sharp hairpin, staying always on the main, wide trail.

3. At the next V-intersection, stay left — skipping a trail that drops back down in the canyon to the right — and keep climbing. Behind you are great views of Burbank, with Forest Lawn Memorial Park a green swatch to the left and Hollywood Burbank Airport a wide open space to the right. And then.... It gets steeper!