April 28th, 2010


Hike-ku at Fish Canyon

Last Saturday, the hills were purple with blue dicks, thistles, vinca and lupine. The creek bubbled with poetic moments. Water gushed down rock faces. It was paradise for poets.

back: Kendall Evans, Susan Rogers
center: Peggy Castro, Deborah P Kolodji, Kraig Keeler, Victor P. Gendrano, James Won
front: Ash Baldon

Fish Canyon Falls is a perfect ginko hike, in my opinion. At four miles round trip, it's long enough that you become immersed in the experience, short enough that its doable for most people. At this time of year and on through the next month, it's abundant with wildflowers and butterflies.

canyon breezes
the butterflies I cannot

Access to the canyon is limited, due to the ongoing presence of Vulcan Materials Company. Although there is a bypass trail that goes up the canyon wall and around the rock quarry operations before dropping back down to meet the original moderate trail, it has been said in local guidebooks that "this should only be attempted if training for Nepal." I have never tried it. My sons did once and said it was grueling.

This means that the best time to hike, to what I consider to be one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the San Gabriel Mountains, is on one of Vulcan's "Public Access Days." The schedule can be found here: http://www.azusarock.com/fishcreek/calendar.html. I have been told that you can also call the company and make private arrangements for hiking access.

And I do need to mention that there is controversy brewing again. Vulcan wants to expand their mining operations. They've been talking about this for years, but now it appears more likely to happen. For more info: http://www.saveourcanyon.org/falls-trail.html

See also: http://www.accessduarte.com/GeneralInformation/latestnews.asp?NewsPage=429
The company response: http://www.azusarock.com/docs/20100414-press-release.pdf