Sunday, November 21, 2010

fish canyon

DUARTE - The mouth of the canyon is owned by Vulcan Materials. Their public relations people bill the company as "the nation's largest producer of construction aggregates" - which they define as "primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel."

Vulcan Materials is the latest owner of the mining operation at the mouth of Fish Canyon. It's been there since the 1920s or 30s. Vulcan Materials allows access through their property from time to time, with a van shuttle to a trailhead. The access calendar current as of today is here.

The last time Vulcan Materials allowed access was Saturday Nov. 13. A few miles in is Fish Canyon Falls, described by author and historian John W. Robinson as "one of the top natural attractions of the San Gabriel Mountains." The tarantula was at the base of the falls eight days ago.

The falls plunge "some eighty feet in stairway fashion," Robinson says in his popular guide "Trails of the Angeles." The view above is before the sun crept into the canyon.

The Fish Creek watershed is regulated by the dam keeper at Cogswell Reservoir on the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, so it's unclear how much natural runoff contributes to the falls.

The canyon is shaded in places by sprawling oak and other chaparral species.

There is an alternate trail up and over the ridge pictured to reach the canyon trail and the falls. Some locals say it is steep. Robinson says "the hike into the canyon and on to the falls is no longer the easy walk it once was."

The Vulcan Materials calendar for the "Azusa Rock Project" does not list a date for the next time access is allowed through the quarry property.


Photos by Guy McCarthy

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