Photo by Jason Hickey

 

The saga of the East Fork chronicles a wild adventure of gold booms, mining towns, colorful old-timers and repeated natural disasters. The abandoned mines, old roads and bridges now leading nowhere are some remains of yesteryear. 

 From its headwaters in the northern backbone of the San Gabriels, the East Fork serpentines through a heavily wooded forest and a deep precipitous gorge before it coalesces with the other forks into the San Gabriel River…

EastForkMap

The East Fork begins at the confluence between Prairie Fork and Vincent Gulch. It has two main forks: Prairie and Fish Fork. It then turns west and flows into the San Gabriel Reservoir. [Click on image for larger view]

THE HISTORY

EAST FORK POSTS

Cape Horn Falls

[…]

The Bad & The Ugly: John Knox Portwood

John Knox Portwood was San Gabriel Canyon’s bad guy. He was a fugitive Southerner from Virginia who came to the canyon in 1895 where he mined and operated pack trains into camps. His cabin of [...]

East Fork Guide

The East Fork mob. Photo by Darryl Vigil. Thru-hiking the East Fork is a beloved adventure of the San Gabriels as the experience allows for an appreciation of its rich mountain history and spectacular scenery. The [...]

Devil Gulch Falls

Devil Gulch Falls drops 50'-60' feet off a vertical moss-covered rock wall into a lush grotto. It can not be seen from the start of the gulch so the height is enhanced from the surprise.  [...]

Buell’s Mining Folly and Found Lost Tunnel

Washing away the hillside at the Roberts Mine circa 1873. Courtesy of the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California Henry C. Roberts and William Ferguson dominated the large scale hydraulic mining scene [...]

Billy Heaton (Queenie) Mine

The Billy Heaton Mine (34°14'27.62"N, 117°45'37.26"W) is located right off the East Fork trail that goes to Bridge to Nowhere. The mine is in such close proximity to hundreds that use this popular trail and goes [...]

Allison Mine

High in the south face of Iron Mountain is a mine "discovered" by the experienced prospector, John James Allison and his three sons. The Allison mine was worked intermittently from 1915 until about 1942. Its [...]

LITERATURE

Mines of the East Fork, 1980. John W. Robinson

Mines of the San Gabriels, 1973. John W. Robinson

The San Gabriels II, 1983. John W. Robinson

A Guidebook to the San Gabriel Mountains of California, 1970. Russ Leadabrand

A History of the San Gabriel Mountains, Part I & II. Charles Clark Vernon

Early Gold Mining Days in the San Gabriel Canyon, Frank Rolfe

Los Angeles Star. Various issues from California Digital Newspaper Collection

Azusa Herald, Various issues from Azusa, city website.

Trails Magazine, Summer 1936, Summer 1938. From Department of Parks and Recreation Trails County of Los Angeles