See Fish Canyon Falls Hike Description at Dan's Hiking Pages
It’s spring and that means Fish Canyon Falls! Since April 2005, when Vulcan Materials began providing free access days to Fish Canyon, hiking to this splendid waterfall has been my springtime ritual. Every year I have relished the shared experience of hiking to the falls with hundreds of others. All of that is changing now as Vulcan has suspended the access days for this year as it is nearly done with the new access trail heading through quarry, which is required to be completed by August.
With virtually no rainfall this year aside from a good storm three weeks ago, I suspect that the flowing water, flowers, and green vegetation of springtime will be short lived. The new access trail will be good and bad. The good is that anyone will be able to hike to Fish Canyon Falls 365 days a year. The bad is that with ease of access, all the reprobates who have horribly vandalize places like Eaton Canyon, Hermit Falls, and Bonita Falls, will be able to invade our pristine canyon and turn it into a hell hole. I fear that one of the most unspoiled and beautiful canyons in the San Gabriels has its days numbered. So it’s time for a farewell tour of my beloved Fish Canyon.
8:08 a.m. - Begin hike. As we stroll through the quarry I point out the parking lot for the new access trail and the route it will take. Steep canyon walls soar above us. The reclamation efforts that are required by the new mining plan are well underway. Soon the 50-foot so called “Mayan benches” will be transformed into 12-inch micro benches.
After the 0.6 mile walk through quarry, we arrive at the gate next to the bridge at 8:23 only to find it locked. I make a phone call and soon the security guard arrives and unlocks the gate.
As we round the first bend we encounter the results of the September 2013 Madre Fire, which consumed about 300 acres at the mouth of San Gabriel Canyon and portions of Roberts Canyon and Fish Canyon. The recent rains have washed tons of earth and rock from the burned mountainside to the canyon bottom. The creek has carved a trench through the debris. The deep pool near the trail is buried.
Fish Canyon Trail Plant Guide. See also my Fish Canyon Plants Hike - May 10, 2013 with photos of 18 plants and links to other pages featuring Fish Canyon plants). We see a couple newts (Taricha torosa) and I mention to the group that the toxin on their skin is highly poisonous.
see blog post from 7-7-11). Shortly we meet Chris as he is returning from the falls. As we approach the falls the other group is leaving.
11:47 - Leave falls. It’s still cloudy and cool. Our pace is leisurely. A group of about five young folks pass us heading to the falls. As we pass Old Cheezer’s, a group of three guys pass us heading up. And we encounter a guy with a dog without a leash. I mention that leashes are required in the National Forest but he has no sense that the laws apply to him. As we near the end, the clouds begin to break up and we get some sun and patches of blue.
1:19 - Arrive at bridge and locked gates. As I pull out my phone to call the security guard, she pulls up…great timing! She unlocks the gates and we begin our walk through the quarry.
1:44 - Finish hike. Sign out with the security guard.
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See Fish Canyon Falls Hike Description at Dan's Hiking Pages (including a link list for my other blog post for Fish Canyon)
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