Fish Canyon Falls


9/12/19  Update:  This trail is indefinitely CLOSED due to fire damage since 2016.

Fish Canyon Falls trail is located in Duarte, CA and the trailhead is located in Vulcan Material Plant. At the end of Fish Canyon Road, there is a sign for the trail. Follow the sign to the parking lot. This is a popular hike due to the waterfall attraction so I made sure to get there early. We arrived at 7:15 am and shocked to see many cars already! Oh no! As I was getting us ready, I realized that most of them were in a group. It must have been a Boy Scout Hike with Dad event or something because father-son pairs came out of every car. Now, I was on a mission to hurry and get a head start.

We hiked this trail in April when the wildflowers were still in bloom. So many interesting smells!



At about 0.7 miles, you will come to a bridge. You are now leaving the Vulcan Material property and heading into Fish Canyon. Soon you will forget about the quarry. Small dogs will need to be carried over the bridge. Those gaps are big! I had to carry Xena too. She didn’t even want to try it. Smart girl.

You kidding, right?

After the bridge, we hiked along the creek. You can hear the creek along the path. That’s another reason why I recommend hiking this trail when it’s not crowded.


We went down to the creek to scope it out too.


The trail was well-maintained. An interesting history of Fish Canyon was provided at several locations.


At one time, there were over 100 cabins in Fish Canyon. Unfortunately, they were all destroyed by fire and flood but remnants of some of the cabins are still visible from the trail. The last stretch to the waterfalls is uphill. Watch those little paws on rocky terrain! A bit of scrambling is required in one short section but it’s very doable.


We made it after 2.5 miles. Here are the 3-tiered 80-foot waterfalls in front of us.



We took a break here until the Boy Scout troop caught up with us. It’s time to head back. 🙂 But kids asked if they can pet Xena and she is so cute. So we stayed a bit longer so kids can give her treats and pet her in turn. Xena gets overwhelmed with a group so I use the “one at a time” approach which is more manageable for her. My highly sensitive introvert fur baby. We share a lot in common. A perfect match. 🙂

It was no longer overcast and the blue sky was stunning against the canyon. And by now, more hikers were on the trail. A group after a group after another group… I am not sure if it had anything to do with the Earth Day was the day before but we came across LOTS of hikers on the way back and Xena wasn’t the only 4-legged hiker any more.


Good to Know:

  • Hike Date:  4.23.16
  • Distance:  5 miles RT, out and back
  • Elevation Gain:  844 ft
  • Trailhead:  34.157175, -117.923836 (copy/paste in to your GPS app)
  • Permit/Fee:  None
  • Open to the public April – September 7 am to 7 pm & October – March 7 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. Dogs are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays only.




Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here. Enjoy!

Happy Hiking!

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