I had never hiked Fish Canyon in Augustfor good reasonsummer is not the ideal time to be hiking the front of the San Gabriels, particularly in a location where water is supposed to be the highlight. But Vulcan Materials put the date on their access days calendar to provide free shuttle rides through the quarry to the trail. My suggestion to Vulcan was to concentrate more of the access days in the spring when the conditions are outstanding. But they spread the days out into the summer months with August 8 being the last date for the year. So with limited time for hiking this weekend and the absence of motorized wheels, at the last minute I decided to go. It was more out of curiosity. I really didn’t suspect many people would show up.
I jump on my bicycle at about 9 a.m. for the 20-minute ride to the Vulcan Materials site at the month of Fish Canyon. To my surprise there is a long line of cars. I ride to the front and the guard says they have already reached 500 and are letting people in only as people are leaving. Thankfully I have to wait only a couple minutes. I chain up my bike, jump in a van, and two minutes later I’m at the trailhead ready to begin.
I am pleasantly surprised to see a flow of water at Darlin’ Donna Falls. As I arrive at the creek crossing, I find it strange to see it bone dry. I meet a gentleman named Bob Jones (no relationship to the university). We chat as we continue up the trail together. Still streams of people leaving. I figured since we’ve seen hundreds leave the falls, there would not be many people there. I was wrong. As we approach the falls, there is not the sound of flowing water, just a cacophony of human voices and the splashes of kids throwing large rocks into the lower pool.
1:25 - Done. A couple dozen people are waiting for the shuttle.
See Fish Canyon Falls Hike Description at Dan's Hiking Pages
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Here are some suggestions for excellent summer and early fall hikes: