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October 2007

Top 3 Easy Canyoneering Hikes

If you've always dreamed of descending into the center of the earth, try one of these creekbed hikes.

Heading deep into a narrow canyon gets you inside nature in a whole new way. You’ll plunge into secluded chasms that twist in a maze of twinkling grottos and hanging gardens, sometimes with only a sliver of sky above.

Big Tujunga Narrows, CA

Discover L.A.’s hidden canyons

Anyone who thinks Los Angeles is nothing but smog-choked sprawl should check out the gorges of the San Gabriel Mountains and hike the Big Tujunga Narrows to idyllic coves and scoured-bedrock canyons. From the parking area half a mile south of the Big Tujunga Narrows Bridge, cross the highway and descend a steep trail to the canyon bottom. About an hour downstream, you’ll reach a 20-foot waterfall plunging into a pool. Check the depth, then jump or slide in. If it’s too shallow, take the moderate shelf route leading around the cleft to the right. This bypass scramble will eventually lead back upstream into the gorge, where you’ll swim between polished vertical walls. The last section allows for drying time as you exit at the concrete bridge and hike 2 miles along the Fall Creek fire road to your car.

Wind Down

Grab a deep-dish pie with extra cheese and mushrooms at Leo’s in Tujunga. Locals say it’s a slice of heaven. (818) 352-2222

The Way

From La Cañada, take CA 2 N to the Angeles Forest Hwy. The trailhead is half a mile before the highway crosses the bridge.

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