Fish Canyon Narrows
WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd, 8:00 a.m.
MEET UP LOCATION: 37773 Templin Hwy, Castaic, CA 91384
Fish Canyon Narrows is located on the west end of the Angeles National Forest in the Sierra Pelona Mountains northwest of Santa Clarita. A hidden gem of the Forest, this 9 mile out-and-back trail starts out on an abandoned road, broken up by the passage of time and eroding forces. The crumbling road eventually gives way to a single track trail before it reaches a stunning slot canyon, with sycamores, oaks, cottonwoods, alders, and willows packed in densely against red canyon walls.
The first several miles are a mixture of shade and exposed trail, so be sure to wear sun protection and pack plenty of water. Four miles in, the landscape transforms. Steep red rock walls rise sharply, enclosing you in a shaded riparian wonderland of flowing water and small, clear pools. This is where we’ll stop for lunch and rest before hiking back to our cars.
This hike just got a little more adventurous. Your hike leaders visited the trail this past Saturday to review current conditions. There is more water flowing in the stream and across the trail than usual. You WILL get wet! There are several stream crossings with water up to shin level with no way across except straight through the water. We suggest wearing hiking sandals or hiking shoes that you don't mind getting wet and potentially covered in algae. Although not required, consider bringing hiking poles or a walking stick to help you across, as the algae can be slippery. Bringing bug spray will help with the flies/gnats.
Also note, the start time for this hike has changed to 8 a.m. We're in a heat wave, so starting earlier will help us avoid the worst of the afternoon heat on the hike out. This hike is a mix of sun and shade, but the sun can be intense. One helpful tip to stay cool is to freeze a water bottle the night before so you have cool water to sip as it melts. Lastly, no Adventure Pass is needed to park.
Difficulty and Stream Crossings:
(See update above.) Overall, the hike is relatively flat, with only 400 ft of elevation gain. However, the trail can be at times be challenging with frequent stream crossings and rough terrain when we reach the slot canyon portion. This may include rock hopping and navigating a disorganized or missing trail with fallen trees and other debris.
Due to this year’s wet winter, water is anticipated to be actively flowing. There is likely to be several stream crossings without a clear way across except for hiking directly through the stream, with water potentially up to shin level. Wear waterproof hiking boots, pack a pair of sandals for crossings, or just embrace the wet and enjoy the cooling effect of soggy shoes on a warm day! You might want to keep a hand towel and a fresh pair of socks/shoes in your car for the drive home. As with all Great Outdoors hikes, we recommend having the ten essentials.
Start Time and Parking:
To reach the trailhead, follow Templin Highway to the closed gate, here. (37773 Templin Highway). We’ll meet at the gate at 8 a.m. Return time of 3 pm is an estimate.
Hike Leaders: Jeremy Munns and Matthew Bokach.
Registration is free and required. Reach out to hike leader, Jeremy Munns, (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions. See you on the trail!
Health Issues/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency. Discuss any relevant medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.