The route to Bliss uses both Van Tassel Fire Road and Van Tassel Trail. The fire road—and others in the front range of the San Gabriels—came into existence after the monstrous fire of September 1924, the worst fire in the history of the mountains. The fire began in San Gabriel Canyon and rapidly spread westward. Despite the best efforts of fire fighters, the blaze burned for three weeks and for a time threatened the town of Monrovia. As then Angeles National Forest Superintendent Rush Charleton put it: “The greatest difficulty in fighting the fires was the lack of roads over which to transport supplies to the men.” Determined to prevent the occurrence of another fire of this size, the Forest Service began building roads and firebreaks throughout the San Gabriels. One of these roads was the Van Tassel Fire Road.
© 2006 John McKinney/The Trailmaster. All Rights Reserved.