Saturday, May 30 - "HIKE BEYOND NOWHERE" - East Fork of the San Gabriel River to Iron Fork Creek
Distance: 12 Miles
Duration: This will be an all day hike, due to distance and commute time
Difficulty/ Classification: Moderate+, some boulder hopping, wet feet, with a touch of adventure
There is a lot of history in this canyon but the scenery is monumental, on a scale seen nowhere else in the San Gabriels. The gorge of the East Fork cuts deep into the eastern high country, separating such giants of the range as Mt. Baden-Powell and Old Baldy. We will pass Swan Rock, a towering wall west of the river with the outline of a giant swan etched in gray. As we hike past the "Bridge to Nowhere" we will watch bungee jumpers jump off the bridge.
After we cross the bridge, the trail becomes narrow and drops into "The Narrows". Some think this is the most impressive gorge in the Angeles. Just above the tumultuous river but across the canyon, is Narrows Trail Camp. We will hike 1 mile upstream, through the creek at some locations, on the side of mountains other times, to Iron Fork creek.
Note: For the last 1/2 mile we will be hiking in the stream, about 1' deep and there are many locations were we will need to boulder hop across the stream. Hiking poles will really help here. There is a good chance your shoes will get wet. We suggest you bring dry socks and shoes to change into for your ride home or alternatively you can pack some water-hiking shoes and change in/out of them.
We will stop for lunch at Iron Fork Creek before heading back the way we came in.
Meet your Leader: For those wishing to carpool we will meet at Towsley Canyon SCV (directions below) at 6:00AM for a 6:15 AM SHARP Departure.
Alternately you can meet at the trailhead at 07:15 AM for a 7:30AM SHARP departure.
Please be respectful of your driver's support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas - THX.
Directions to the Towsley Canyon, Santa Clarita, Carpool meeting spot: From Valencia, take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there.
Directions from Towsley to the Trailhead:
Take the 210 freeway and exit on off ramp #40 at Azusa Blvd/Highway 39. Watch for it as it is easy to miss!!
Turn towards the mountains. After you drive through downtown Azusa the street name changes to San Gabriel Canyon Road. After about 10 miles turn right on East Fork Road. Drive 8 miles to the end of the road.
!!!!Beware, before the trailhead, the road makes a U-Turn and in the middle of the turn, the road that you need to take goes off to the left. (During the U-Turn the street name changes from North Fork Road to Glendora Mountain Road but there are no street signs. The road to the trailhead continues on North Fork Road. You need to turn left in the middle of the U-turn to stay on the same road). This all happens in 50' of space. In the past we have had hikers miss this turn to the trailhead and get lost, so be alert! We turn during the U-turn going in but going out we go straight).
The parking lot fills up fast, so there is a good chance you will need to park on the side of the road and walk to the trailhead. Be sure you park correctly as the rangers love to ticket cars at this location.
Dogs: OK, on leash and if well behaved around people with hiking poles/ other dogs. If you bring a dog, please drive yourself to the trailhead. Bear in mind that there will be water crossings and this is a long all day hike for Fido.
Adventure Pass: Yes , 1/car. Available at Acton Ranger Station, the Little Tujunga station, REI Nothridge, Sport Chalet, Stevenson Ranch ($5 a day/ $30 a year) or any other Ranger Station.
BRING: Hiking Poles, lunch/snacks, boots with good tread, lots of water and electrolytes, camera, hat and sunscreen. This is a great hike but because of the water it could be buggy. Pack a bug screen for your face ($4 at Walmart) and insect repellant just in case.