Friday, April 27, 2012

Photo Essay: Fish Canyon & Creek, Limited Access

Fish Creek is known as one of the most beautiful trails in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Too bad its trailhead is open to the public only eight times a year.

And the only other way to get to the creek's three-tiered waterfall is a roundabout, grueling climb up and over a ridge.

Why? Because access is through the privately-owned and sinister-sounding Vulcan Materials, a quarry.

But as a public relations measure, the Azusa Rock Project opens its gates and shuttles eager hikers up through its property...



...to witness the splendor of the canyon...



...lush with wildflowers...







...littered with fallen rocks...



...and trampled by the masses.







Though narrow at points, the path is mostly clear despite its infrequent use...



...except for some fallen trees...



...which require some creative ducking and crawling.



There is also one brief and relatively easy creek crossing with a rock hop...



...and a boulder scramble...



...that lead you to one of the biggest waterfalls in the area.



The way up to it was crowded, but once hikers get to the waterfall and the cliff diving, they don't want to leave, and since shuttles stop running early in the day, the way back to the trailhead clears of foot traffic a bit...



...and you can pretend it's just you, the canyon, and the rocks.



Related Reading:
Twice Fallen, Twice Shy

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