Fish Canyon above the city of Azusa is and has been for generations one of the most popular hiking destinations in the front range of the San Gabriels. Unlike canyons elsewhere such as the Arroyo Seco where cabins were destroyed by the great flood of 1938, Fish Canyon's 100 or so cabins survived until a fire in 1958 and subsequent winter flooding. Today all the cabins are gone and little remains to indicate their former presence. Although some introduced vegetation has flourished there, much of the area has reverted to its wild state, and the canyon is even host to extremely rare native plants. From the mid-1980's until recently, access to this area was either non-existent or severely curtailed due to operations of a rock quarry at the mouth of the canyon. For some years the only way into the canyon was on a brutal and poorly-maintained trail high over Van Tassel Ridge. That trail is now closed, but thanks to a cooperative effort of the Vulcan Materials Company and the City of Azusa, fueled in no small part by public demands for greater access, a trail that passes through the Vulcan property has now been set aside which leads directly to the Fish Canyon trailhead, and once again the canyon is open to everyone. Hours are October-Mar 7-5 and April-September 7-7.
This is not an all-inclusive guide and does not contain photos of ferns or non-native plants. It includes primarily the more commonly seen native flowering plants and a few other lesser known but interesting species. Almost all the taxa represented here have been observed by me in Fish Canyon, whether blooming or not. The five with a (V) after the Latin name are included based on vouchers that were collected May 18, 2000 by Scott White and Pam DeVries. Taxa with a (VTR) next to the name were seen on the trail up Van Tassel Ridge. Some of my pictures were taken in other localities, but most were taken in Fish Canyon. It is my intention to make regular trips into Fish Canyon throughout the year so that all taxa shown here will have been photographed there. Visits to Fish Canyon were made on 5/7/05, 6/9/05, 5/10/13, 2/23/15, 2/27/15, 3/3/15, 3/13/15, 3/19/15, 3/23/15, 4/10/15, 4/22/15, 5/21/15, 6/12/15 and 4/6/16.
For more information about the trail and descriptions of his many hikes in Fish Canyon, check out Dan Simpson's page here
. A complete list of species we have seen in Fish Canyon is here