Sunday, September 1

Big Tujunga Narrows Group Swim - San Gabriel Mts

As summer comes to a close (only on the calendar), there are several hikes that I did not want to slide by me again. The Big Tujunga Narrows is a summer only hike that absolutely blows 90% of all the others we have done out of the water (no pun intended).

The Big Tujunga Narrows is a wonderland of rock pools & high canyon walls, closing into 15 feet apart at some sections. It's also wonderful b/c it is a non-technical canyoning trip, there are some ropes in place to help assist travelers down steep rock slopes, but nothing terribly challenging.

After dropping almost straight down from an unmarked turn out on the highway, we met the first two rope sections, with large groups it allows for resting, hoots & hollers & anticipation to build. Fun stuff all around.

We all hopped a section of shoreline boulders & within the first 5 minutes we came to our jump in point. Everybody in the pool! The next half hour of travel, brings us to several open rock basins that we would have to swim across to continue down the canyon. Saw a Garter Snake swimming with us in one pool & a soaked bat at another.

It had grown to a warm day, being constantly soaked was a welcome respite from the large day time star. A bit before the halfway point we came to the best obstacle on the trip, a curving waterfall slide. There is only one way to get past this point.... slide! There is potential to rock jump off the sides, but the water levels are a bit on the medium side here, maybe 5ft at deepest, moving to 3 ft on the shallow side.

The hike continues through several more pools & spectacularly perplexing canyon sections. At times, the rock curving overhead like a massive wave. Much of the last forty minutes of hike was directly in the creek, while avoiding mossy areas & vegetation. 

The hardest part about this hike (in my opinion) is finding the exit route if you don't know where it is, we had no trouble, but others said they would have had no clue where to go. An ancient forest service road that is now a trail meets the canyon floor & winds up to the highway in a very exposed, slow & sunny 1.5 miles. The trail is no visible until one is basically standing right on top of it. Search Fall Creek Falls hike for more details on this exit trail, & if you're lucky, a seldom visited 5 tier waterfall in the winter & spring seasons.

No comments: