Southern California Creeking
© 1996-2010 by Gary Valle' and Gary Gunder

Big Tujunga Creek

Gaging station downstream of Angeles Forest Hwy bridge to Fireroad upstream of Big Tujunga Reservoir



Angeles National Forest, north of Los Angeles, California


Gaging station downstream of Angeles Forest Hwy. bridge (2640'). Parking area is 0.3 mi before bridge on Angeles Forest Hwy


240' in 1.15 miles
Average: 209 fpm

Take-out: Forest Service road FS3N27 (2400'). This road is not open to vehicular travel.

Generally, this run requires less water than the Upper Narrows run. We did the run with Kevin Mokracek, who had done the run twice before.

About a 1/4 mile after the put-in, following several drops, there is a major waterfall. The waterfall itself is easily passed on the right... The problem is getting back down to the creek. Previously Kevin had dropped his boat into the pool after the waterfall and jumped in after it. At our flow there was a significant rapid following the pool. There was a ratty rope on a questionable anchor that had been used to get back up to the top of the falls. No thank you.

A little downstream from the overhanging rope there was a steep face that we downclimbed. This is the start of the claustrophobic Narrows section. Immediately below is an interesting drop with at least one rock hidden in the aeration. I know, because in spite of an OK boof and not going in over my head, I pitoned the rock HARD in my Hammer. A better choice would have been to slide down a rocky ramp on the left. Kevin missed the rock (in his Probe) and ran the remainder of the rapid. I did a short carry to avoid the rocky middle section of the rapid.

Toward the end of the Narrows is a rapid that doglegs left that we portaged on the left. It looked marginally runnable, but if someone had a problem, they would be virtually unreachable. So we carried it. A 5.8 boulder move, or creative use of your boats, is required to get on top of the shoulder, where a rappel off an old anchor can be done. After this the canyon opens up (relatively speaking) and most of the remaining rapids are boat-scoutable and runnable.

From the takeout, it took us about 35 minutes to carry our boats up the fireroad to our cars.

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