Explorology visits beautiful Fish Canyon to cool off in the trail’s spectacular waterfall. The dynamic scenery of the winding canyon path allows you to sample the diverse California landscape. After witnessing breathtaking views, ample wildlife, and amazing waterfalls, this trail has made it to the top of our hiker essentials checklist.
Who?: Lauren Cave, Cristian Ruiz
What?: hiking, rock climbing, cliff jumping, swimming, salamander hunting, quarry viewing, wildlife sighting
Where?: Duarte, CA
When?: Water flow to the falls is usually adequate, but due to frequent droughts and high temperatures in SoCal, it’s best to visit the falls in winter or spring if simply viewing the waterfall is your desire. To swim/cliff jump, summer is the best; the chilly water will leave you refreshed after the journey.
Why?: The grass is actually greener.
How?: Once parked, the “pre-trail” begins at the northeast corner of the parking lot (to the right if the mountains are in front of you). By “pre-trail” we mean the short walk through the gated quarry to actually get to the trail-head itself. The path is self-explanatory with good signage. There isn’t a great consensus about the length of the hike; some sights claim 4.8 mi while others say around 3.5 mi. It’s definitely not a short journey and yes there will be some elevation changes so be prepared for a bit of uphill hiking. Don’t forget water-shoes and a swimsuit if swimming is on the agenda!
**Directions and general info about Fish Canyon can be found here:
**Fish Canyon is unfortunately located in a highly fire-prone area so always check online ahead of time to confirm any trail or road closures during droughts and hot summer months.
**Like the song that played in this video?
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition (Alto Remix)
You can find it on Alto Beat’s Channel or download it for free at:
******WARNING: Fish Canyon Falls is becoming quite a popular spot for cliff jumpers. Please remember that cliff jumping is inherently dangerous, and although the spot at Fish Canyon Falls isn’t that high, it is still risky! First off, only strong swimmers and those is good physical condition should even attempt jumping; secondly, if others have already jumped we encourage you to speak with them about where to jump, where to enter the water, and if they hit the bottom or not; thirdly, if this is your first jump at this location and no one else is around, we highly recommend someone scout the water before entry. By this we mean swimming around in the area feeling for rocks and other possible obstructions and getting a rough estimate of water depth. People are injured and or killed every year due to unsafe cliff jumping, so do your homework and jump smart! Always remember to be safe first, have fun after, and that no cool pic for social media is worth your life! This is a really good resource for first timers and those that need a little extra confidence:
**This site describes the spot where you can cliff jump at Fish Canyon Falls: