Big Tujunga Creek
Camp Colby Rd. to gaging station downstream of Angeles Forest Hwy.
Angeles National Forest, north of Los Angeles, California
Bridge on Camp Colby Rd. (3160')
1) 260 2) 160 2.6) 167
Gaging station downstream of Angeles Forest Hwy. bridge (2640'). Parking area is 0.3 mi before bridge on Angeles Forest Hwy
This is an adventurous run through the granitic "Upper Narrows" of Big Tujunga Creek. This run could be combined with the "Lower Narrows" run at an optimum flow, but usually when there is enough water for the Upper Narrows run, there is too much for the Lower Narrows run.
The gradient in the first mile is 260 fpm! We ran most of the drops except for a 15' waterfall with a nasty lead-in. Kevin Mokracek has run the falls by putting in the pool immediately above the falls. Many of the drops in the first mile were fairly clean granite ledges, perfect for boofing. The gradient was clearly evident when looking back up the creek.
Not too far below the 15' falls (perhaps a 1/4 mile) the canyon walls close in, and a big multi-drop rapid is encountered. A jumbled drop leads to a curving slide, which leads to a 10'-12' waterfall. There is an undercut slot in the main flow, just large enough for a boat, in the middle section of the rapid.
At the water level we had, we could drop down to a small eddy on the left and gain access to the portage "path" on river left. This might be difficult to do at higher water. The path leads to the top of a gully that leads down to a chimney/slot at the base of the waterfall. We used a junky rope to lower ourselves and the boats 20' or so down the slot. The paddle out from the slot was stimulating and would be especially so at high water. After this the canyon opens up and after a long mile (or so) you reach the Narrows highway bridge. We continued down about 1/2 mile until there was a gaging station on the left. A trail leads up from the top of the gaging station, but other options exist between the gaging station and a gully just downstream, including a loose trail that goes up the gully.
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