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Prairie Fork to Upper Fish Fork Trail

Contact Info
701 N. Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006

Phone:
626-574-5200
Basics
Length:
8 miles round-trip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3.5 - 4.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
1000 feet

Description

The upper Fish Fork, a tributary of the East Fork of San Gabriel River, is one of the more wild and isolated areas of the Angeles National Forest. Fish Fork flows west from Pine Mountain, Dawson Peak and Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy), the highest peak in the San Gabriels. This is Bighorn Sheep country, so keep your eyes open! Sometimes trout may be caught in the snow-fed streams. Much of the area is forested with pine, fir and cedar, although many of the trees were cut for lumber during World War II. There is a trail to two trail camps in the area, one called Little Fish Fork, on a side tributary of the same name, and the other about a mile further along the trail to Fish Fork itself and called Upper Fish Fork Campground. There is no trail up or down the stream of Fish Fork, although it is passable part way. Don't try to go very far along the stream, especially down. It is wild and beautiful but rough and dangerous, and should not be traveled alone.

Details

Length:
8 miles round-trip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3.5 - 4.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
1000
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Mt. San Antonio

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

To get there, take Angeles Crest Highway about fifty miles from La Canada or (if coming in from the Cajon area) two miles from Big Pines and turn off on a dirt road heading in an easterly direction from Blue Ridge to Prairie Fork. Follow this dirt road (open only in summer on account of snow) 8-1/2 miles toward Lupine Campground. Just before reaching the campground, park in the parking area and hike up on a narrow old logging road that leads up 1-1/2 miles to Pine Mountain Ridge. Turn left up the ridge for about 1/2 mile more to an old logging road southeast around the ridge and look for the trail across the ridge. Follow the trail 1-1/2 miles down to Little Fish Fork and the first campground. Upper Fish Fork Campground is another 1/2 mile down, by the main Fish Fork stream. Just before reaching Little Fish Fork is a trail junction. Left leads to the trail traversing Devil's Backbone from Blue Ridge to Mt. San Antonio; right takes you to Fish Fork.

The old logging road from near Lupine Campground up to Pine Mountain Ridge is not passable for motor vehicles due to the establishment of the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area in 1984.


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