I arrive at the trailhead at 9:00 a.m. and the parking lot is packed. The temperature is about 70 degrees and there is a gentle breeze.
I cross the bridge into the national forest at 9:33. The stream is flowing nicely and birds are chirping. It’s is a different feel from last month when I hiked it a day after a rain. Today is dry and the path dusty. I snap pictures of more plants in bloom: wild morning glory, phacelia, cryptantha, sow thistle, filaree, and blue dicks.
Van Tassel Ridge trail guide. See my hike from one year ago for narrative of my last adventure: Van Tassel Ridge Hike - March 15, 2015.
I stop to view two Humboldt lily plants that Michael Charters alerted me to. I’m so eager for these to bloom. I take a side jaunt to visit darling Donna and it is flowing modestly.
Past the Dudleya densiflora location, the city of Duarte has erected another interpretive sign highlighting the forces of nature and types of rocks. It’s interesting information, but I can’t help but to wonder if the FS signed off on this since the sign does not appear to comply with federal specifications for national forest signage. And I’m sure there are many hikers who would rather enjoy the pristine canyon in its natural beauty without more human trappings cluttering it up.
April 16 five years ago when the crowd here swelled to more than 100. It still stands as one of the busiest days in Fish Canyon history with more than 600 hikers for the day. Fast forward to today and there about 20 people here relaxing at the falls. And unlike five years ago when the water was gushing, today’s flow in quite modest. The lady who was struggling to get past the sloped rock is sitting and enjoying the beautiful scene.
It’s disappointing that some dog owners don’t comply with leash laws. There are so many important reasons to keep a dog on a leash in wild places. Today, several dogs are unrestrained and shaking their wet fur onto innocent bystanders, and the dogs get the rock areas wet making them slippery for visitors. Is it too much to ask dog owners to simply obey the law and respect other guests of the national forest?
I cross the bridge at 2:21 onto Vulcan’s access trail and enjoy my stroll through the quarry to my waiting car.
2:39 - End hike. The lot is still pretty full and it’s 88 degrees. My Fitbit recorded 13,696 steps for the hike.
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