Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fish Canyon Falls


Date:
June 2, 2012

Nearest City:
Azusa, CA

Driving Directions:
Due to the quarry at the  mouth of the canyon they have restricted access to the trail to only a few days a year. To see updated dates on when they are having shuttle days click here

From the 210 West Freeway Exit Irwindale Ave. in Irwindale, Ca. Turn right and go 0.2 mile. Turn left onto Foothill Blvd. and go 0.7 mile to Encanto Parkway. Turn right and continue driving up the road to the main gate for Vulcan Materials.

For the 210 East Freeway Exit Mt. Olive ave. in Duarte. Turn right onto Huntington Drive and go 0.6 miles and make a left onto Encanto Parkway. Continue to drive up the road to main gate for Vulcan Materials.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
None- Shuttle rides through the mine are free

Hours:
Shuttles start at 7am - 11:30am Closes at 3:00pm

Difficulty:
Easy- Moderate

Why?
Easy hike but I wouldn't recommend rushing out there with the young ones just yet. The trail is easy to follow and mild elevation gain/ loss through out the whole hike, however there are a few spots that can be scary to some inexperienced hikers and young children. Take these parts slow and watch where you step.

Elevation:
Trailhead (Bridge)- 920'
Fish Canyon Falls- 1320'
Total Gain- 400'

Seasons:
November - May

Waterfall Height:
Fish Canyon Falls- 80ftt.
Darlin' Donna Falls- 15ft.

Trails:
Fish Canyon Falls- 4 Miles round trip
Darlin' Donna Falls- About 4 Miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is in great shape considering theres a mining company very close by. I didn't notice very much trash, but once at the falls it become apparent its a party area for local teens.

Trail Directions:
From the parking lot head over to the van area back near the front gate. Hop on the free van ride through the quarry to the trailhead for Fish Canyon Falls.Once there cross the metal bridge leading into the canyon, the trail is extremely easy to follow and with all the people there you can always ask someone or follow one of the groups heading to the falls. Follow the trail up a few switchbacks, at 1.25 miles from the trailhead the trail heads down what looks like a spiral stair case, use the tree and steps to get down to the trail below. A few feet from this the trail makes a sharp bend to the right, at this a small creek is visible to the left, this is the way to Darlin Donna Falls. 

There is no trail to Darlin' Donna Falls just slowly navigate around the plants and rock a little ways up stream to the 15 foot waterfall. After you have enjoyed the fall go back the way you came and continue on the main trail to Fish Canyon Falls.

The trail will pass by a few information signs talking about cabins and local plant life in the area. The trail eventually descends and crosses a creek, once across the creek the trail can get a little tricky to follow. The trail then climbs high above the water below and in about 0.25 mile the falls become visible. Take the trail around and down the side of a large flat rock to the base of the falls.

Other Activities: 
Hiking
No Bikes
Dogs Allowed- must be on leash!

Links:
Jessie's Thoughts:
After waking up early and getting to the Vulcan Materials Company main gate at 6:30am the being told to wait for a half hour for the security guard to open the gate we finally parked and got on the first shuttle of the day. The drive was very short and realistically we could have saved the gas and just walked. The van drops off about 13 people at a round about trailhead with a pop up canopy and a porter potty. Use the bathroom now, the trail is so busy and over grown on both sides its almost impossible for a woman to get somewhere private to pee. The trail itself is a great up and down trail with minimal elevation gain/ loss, there are a few parts that children, dogs, and the inexperienced could get a little scared but if these short parts of the trail are taken slow it is very doable. I do have to say that even though this trail get extremely busy on the open days the waterfall at the end is one of the best I have seen in Southern California. However I would never do this trail again on an open day.

Map:


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