Fish Canyon Falls Public Access Path Professional Reviews and Guides
"A quick trip to one of the loveliest waterfalls in the San Gabriels, this moderate trek on a recently restored trail takes you through a working rock quarry and into a beautiful riparian canyon before ending at a threetiered, eighty-foot-tall waterfall. You’ll pass the ruins of long-gone cabins along the way and more than earn a dip in one of the canyon’s swimming holes."
-- Casey Schreiner , Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books).
"You’ve heard “fish stories” before—tales of secret spots, anglers’ heavens and the big one that got away. This is a story about Fish Canyon and its enchanting but elusive waterfall, whose story has become as legendary a tale among Southland hikers as any fish story concocted by local fishermen. For earlier generations of hikers, Fish Canyon and its handsome 80-foot waterfall enjoyed a reputation as one of the most attractive destinations in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The five-mile round trip hike to the falls was considered a most pleasant front-country saunter. The good times ended in 1956 when the Azusa Rock Company began quarry operations in the mouth of Fish Canyon. This was in the era of dig-first-ask-questions-later, and the company was not required to explain—much less mitigate—the adverse environmental impacts caused by moving and removing millions of tons of rock."
--John McKinney, Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster).
"Time-traveling visitors from a century ago would have a hard time recognizing Fish Canyon today. Long gone are the dozens of vacation cabins lining the canyon and the dance hall at the canyon’s mouth. Today, the lower canyon is being chewed apart on an astounding scale by rock quarrying operations. These operations, however, extend only as far into the canyon as the Angeles National Forest boundary. Beyond lies perennially green Fish Canyon, its sparkling stream, and its magnificent, multitiered waterfall."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"Time-traveling visitors from nearly a century ago would have a hard time recognizing Fish Canyon today. Long gone are the dozens of vacation cabins lining the canyon and the dance hall at the canyon’s mouth. For the past quarter-century, the lower canyon has been chewed apart on an astounding scale by rock quarrying operations."
--Jerry Schad , Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County (Wilderness Press).
"Hike to one of the San Gabriel’s loveliest waterfalls. The 80-foot, three-tiered cascade puts on a tremendous display."
--Allen Riedel, Best Easy Day Hikes: San Gabriel Valley (Falcon Guides).
This was a rewarding and beautiful hike! I don't know how much today's scenery represents that typical of the trail, as this was an exceptionally wet winter/spring in So Cal and there were more waterfalls and greenery than I am accustomed to here. My year old daughter picked it out for me as a mother's day present knowing my love of hiking. Once we finally reached the falls, she and her sister (age 7) were too beat to climb all of the way back up and over the peak. So, we went out via the quarry which according to the trails.com guide is open on Sundays only, but actually it is only open SATURDAYS. So, we had to talk our way around a security guard to pass through that way. It was a fantastic trip, though, and although tough it was within the abilities of a 7 and 9 year old girl. If you hike it on a Saturday you can either catch a shuttle through the quarry to the trail head and come out through the Fish Canyon Trail or, better, hike in the hard way and out to the shuttle the easy way.
Some weekends in the spring and summer Duarte has family days to the falls where they shuttle you through the quarry to the trail head and hike back a few miles to the falls on what is a relatively easy hike.
If you want to see the falls on another day, you have a bit of a hike in front of you. You go up a couple hundred feet in a short amount of distance and then have a nice easy trail till you reach the boundry of the quarry again where you get to hike some steeps again till the peak. Then you get a steep decent which drops you off at the main trail just North of where the shuttle would drop you off on family day. The hard part is on the way back when you start heading up the steeps again. On a hot day it can be relentless as it seems to go up and up and up. Bring a lot of water as you will need it, a snack will help too. Once you get back to the peak though it is pretty much all down hill from there and you are home free.
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