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Fish Canyon Falls

March 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

Fish Canyon Falls is an eighty-foot tall three-tiered beauty in the San Gabriel Mountains near Azusa. Spring is the perfect time to visit the dynamic waterfall, but access is limited because there is a rock quarry blocking the trailhead. The creation of the quarry resulted in decades of disputed access to what was once one of the most popular destinations to the range. The quarry chewed up the first mile of the trail, reducing the trek to Fish Canyon Falls to four miles round trip with 400 feet of elevation gain. Even in it’s abbreviated form, this still deserves to be one of the most highly regarded hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains.

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Since the quarry operators will not allow you to just stroll through their active work zone, there are only certain days when the quarry opens the trailhead to hikers. Typically, hiking to Fish Canyon Falls is permitted two Saturdays per month throughout the spring. The calendar of these dates is available on the quarry website.

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After checking in at the quarry parking lot, a shuttle will drive you to the trailhead. From there, hike straight up the canyon to the falls. The trail takes the left bank of the canyon and climbs above the creek past seasonal wildflowers like sunflowers, wishbone bush, blue dicks, and wallflowers. The trail dips back to the creek where sycamores, bays, and alders provide relaxing shade. Boulders in the creek create small rapids and pools that make the creek that much more soothing.

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The trail climbs gradually up the canyon through sun and shade. After a creek crossing, the trail switches to the right bank and approaches Fish Canyon Falls. It is quite a sight! Water tumbles from the lip of the canyon to an upper pool, then pours down a short falls before streaming down the third and longest tier. There is a decent sized pool at the base of the falls and plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy a snack. The pool beneath the upper falls is not accessible to hikers, but could make for an adventurous climb for those with proper gear.

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For more hiking trails visit Hikes Peak.

WHAT: Fish Canyon Falls 
WHEN:
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WHERE: 
3901 Fish Canyon Road, Azusa, CA 91702

SOCIAL MEDIA: Yelp

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On the former grounds of Gurdon Wattles’ 1907 Mission Revival style mansion (a registered Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and a relic of Hollywood’s pre-film industry agricultural roots), lies Hollywood’s only community garden. Designed by Myron Hunt (Rose Bowl, Montalban Theatre) and Elmer Grey (Beverly Hills Hotel) in what they called an “American adaptation of the Mexican type.” The house sits atop a series of terraced gardens on 90 acres in the foothills of Hollywood.

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Wattles brought in prestigious Scottish landscape artist Alexander Urquhart to create the gardens, and moved into the house that the LA Times called “one of the most notable showplaces of the Pacific Coast” in the fall of 1908. He called it “Jualita,” and with Urquhart’s help he cultivated a Japanese garden, an Italian Rose garden, and several orchards.

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Wattles died in 1932, though his wife and son stayed at Wattles Mansion through 1965. When the City of Los Angeles purchased the mansion in 1968, the lower grounds had fallen into disrepair.

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As part of his Community Gardens initiative in 1975, Mayor Tom Bradley put out a call to community farmers, about “a dozen or so” of whom volunteered to clear out dead trees, as well as the vagrants who’d taken up residence in the Wattles’ former avocado grove, according to Reed Poverny (VP of the Wattles Farm Board of Directors, and a volunteer since 2003).

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The purple border encompasses the mansion, the blue border the front lawn, and the pink border the garden.

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After the land was cleared, volunteers built a greenhouse and tool shed and started farming Wattles Farm’s 4.2 acres. Today the garden has 172 plots, worked on by 300 members–all of whom live within five miles of the grounds. Membership is currently full, though Poverny says they’re close to catching up on their waiting list.

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Runyon Park is accessible via a trail above the mansion. Park by the large iron gate and take an immediate left up the hill to find the trail.

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To see what Wattles looks like today, check out this video.

WHAT: The Wattles Mansion And Gardens
WHEN: Sun up to sun down
WHERE: 
1824 N Curson Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90046

CONTACT INFO: (323) 874-4005

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

Thank you for visiting the social calendar.

Mr. Events.