Fall Creek

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Fall Creek Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
 For other features with similar names, see Fall Creek (disambiguation)
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Fall Creek Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3B III (v3a2 III)
Raps:‌4, max ↨70ft
Overall:4-6h ⟷4.6mi
Approach: ↑230ft
Exit: ↑670ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Condition Reports:
21 May 2023

"Combined Fall Creek w/ Classic. Total time was to do both (and wandering around a bit in Big Tujunga Creek). We took the classic approach and droppe

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Best season:


Fall Creek is a short beautiful canyon with a series of 4 rappels in quick succession. It usually has water flowing year round but dies down to a trickle or completely dries up over the summer months. Just after a lot of rain, water flow could pose a concern, or just make it a lot more fun!

It is a great beginner canyon with a relatively short approach hike on a disused fire road and all of the drops are bolted.

To break up the hike and make things a bit more interesting it is common to do Fall Creek with Classic Canyon. To do this, descend Classic into Big Tujunga Canyon and hike upstream until you hit the old fire road that takes you up to Fall Creek. There is an excessive amount of Poison Oak in this drainage that can be hard to avoid. Take Hand Shears and/or loppers.

It is also possible to drop-in via Lucas Creek (Lower), Camp Five Canyon, Overlook Canyon or Overlooked Gulch. These options require a short car shuttle but cut the approach hike down a bit. All 3 of these canyons are marked on the kml.

  • As with all the Big T canyons your help is needed to keep access open. This entire area is still seeing a slow recovery from the old station fire which means lots of invasive plants and overgrowth in general can quickly close off access to these areas and/or make your time in them miserable. Consider adding a pair of hand shears and/or small bypass loppers to your gear list when descending these places.
Educate yourself on how and why [1]


Leave nothing visible in your car as there have been break-ins and even stolen cars in this area. From the parking area go through the white gate and down the fire road. At just over 1 mile you will pass Classic canyon (marked on the kml). You have the option of leaving the edison road here, descending Classic and hiking upstream a little ways in Big Tujunga Creek, eventually joining the Edison road again as it climbs the North side of Big Tujunga Canyon.

Otherwise continue on down the Edison road. A little over 1.5 miles from the white gate the road crosses Big Tujunga Creek. The road is no longer maintained for any portion of this hike and as such is completely washed away here. There is an old section of the concrete ford & Low Water Bridge still on the creek bed. Find your way across the creek and up the Edison road on the other side. As you climb the road, stop and carefully survey the route back up the creek to the road crossing -- it can be surprisingly difficult to find the crossing later when you're down in the canyon because brush will divert you around the bridge. About 1/2 a mile from here is where the first drop-in is.

There are 3 option of where to drop-in. They are listed shortest to longest. The first option being the quickest access the technical portion of the canyon.

1. The most direct option is from the edison road around 34.3078, -118.1633 you will see a use trail on the side of the ridge that heads down into a small tributary and into the canyon. The trail may be faint depending on brush growth. Follow this drainage (staying on the right side of the ridge) into Fall Creek. There is a short down-climb at the bottom where it joins Fall Creek.

This option puts you closest to the top of the technical section. The other 2 options put you progressively further up the canyon.

2. Continue along the edison road until you see a metal drainage channel (slide) that goes down into the canyon on your left. If you choose this option be VERY careful of the sharp metal edges and ALWAYS wear gloves.

3. The classic drop-in where the Edison road crosses Fall Creek. Turn left and follow the creek down. As of Feb 2018 there is one tricky log jam that requires crawling on the ground and some poison oak to negotiate, but it is doable.


Rappel 1: 40 feet. Anchored to 2 bolts DCR. A short waterfall that drops into a small bowl. Very slippery. It can also be rappelled further DCR to avoid the water.

Rappel 2: 45 feet. Anchored off 2 bolts DCL. In the past rappel 2 & 3 have been done as 1 rappel. There are bolts now to break these up and make the rope pull easier. Check the bolts on the 3rd rappel before pulling your rope. There can also be a pool of water here depending on conditions.

Rappel 3: 25 feet. Anchored off 2 bolts DCR.

Rappel 4: 75 feet. There are 2 sets of bolts DCL, the ones farther back provide a more comfortable start and do not present any pull issues. This rappel drops you straight down into Big Tujunga Canyon. It's a nice rappel and you most likely get a sprinkling of water depending on flow. At the base of this waterfall there can be a pool.

Fall Creek Water Flow


After the last rappel start heading upstream in Big Tujunga Creek. The easiest way back to the fire road is to stay DCL left when exiting Fall Creek, as you travel N-NE UPSTREAM. You will pass through a narrow gap. After this, when Big TJ Creek widens and turns to the right, cross the creek and continue on the right side. If you stay close to the hillside on the right (south side) of Big TJ there will be several obvious ways to get back up onto the fire road. If you find the creek turning to the left, you have gone too far. Head back up the road to the white gate where you parked your vehicle.

Fall Creek was majorly washed out as of Oct. 2015, it is now mostly free of brush for the entire route.

Alternate Exit--After the last rappel in Fall Creek, follow the stream to Big Tujunga Creek and continue about 100' DOWNSTREAM (Big TJ Creek DCR) At 34.305647, -118.163109 you will see an obvious rock chute that can be up-climbed with only moderate difficulty. Climb up to the fall creek edison road, about 140' of elevation gain, to the gravel road at 34.30580, -118.162603 This exit will save about 30-40 minutes and some unpleasant bushwhacking in Big TJ Creek.

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Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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Test incidentNo loss2014-05-21
Test incidentNo loss2014-05-21