Hidden treasures of Big Tujunga
Lucas Creek originates on the northwestern slopes of Strawberry Peak, traveling for 2.25 miles into Big Tujunga Creek. The Angeles Forest Highway cuts across the canyon, dividing the creek into upper and lower sections. This lower section, Lower Lucas Creek has two secret short waterfalls of 25 feet and 20 feet that flow seasonally.
From Angeles Forest Highway, hike down Forest Service Road 3N27 to Big Tujunga Creek, a total of 1.7 miles. En route are spectacular views of rugged Big Tujunga Canyon and an overlook of the 200ft multi-tiered Falls Creek Falls seen across canyon. Furthermore, at about the one mile mark there’s a hidden small waterfall on the right and the remains of a car to the left.
Finally, once at the bottom of Big Tujunga Creek, leave the road and continue upstream. Depending on the flow, you’ll have to hike in and out of the water, requiring the typical bush-whacking, boulder-hopping, and anxieties of uncertainty that off-trail hikes usually require.
Less than a quarter mile you reach Lucas Creek canyon. Once there, enter the canyon and stay right on higher ground to avoid the impenetrable brush at the base of the falls. Be weary of biting ants, poison oak, and collapsing branches. Toppled trees keep this gem hidden from view by the mainstream hiker coming down from Monkey Canyon.
The main falls of Lower Lucas Creek. Photo by Daniel Ventura, LA Hikes.
At last, enjoy this overlooked treasure after some good rains. There is a second tier that is about the same height, but use caution and discretion if you attempt to climb it without equipment.
The upper falls of Lower Lucas Creek. Photo by Daniel Ventura, LA Hikes.
Daniel traversing the walls above the jungled mess of the main falls
Big Tujunga was home to “Barefoot Tom” Lucas, an early-day ranger for the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. Lucas roamed this neck of the woods barefoot, with a waist-length beard, dressed in tanned deer skins, and a shotgun at his side. He spent over 30 years wandering, patrolling, tracking, and hunting in Big Tujunga. Ranger Tom Lucas is said to have killed one of the last grizzlies in the area too! Tom Lucas Campground and Lucas Creek denote his memory….
For logistics and to visit Fall Creek Falls in the same day, please visit Nobody Hikes In LA
Pioneered online by Christopher Brennan