The Grizzly Flat Trail departs from Stonyvale Picnic Area. We will follow it on a single track crossing the Tujunga River several times. It is usually possible to keep your feet dry but will depend on water levels. If we get any rain over the weekend, the water levels may be higher than normal. Wear shoes you can get wet. We will be exploring a nearby creek. With the unpredictable water levels, it may be more of a challenge than usual. Expect creek crossings, rock hopping and bushwacking. If we are successful, we will be rewarded with a view of a hidden 75′ waterfall. We’ll stop here for a few minutes to regroup and take pictures, returning the way we came and make our way over to part of the Grizzly Flat Trail. We will stop at Grizzly Flat for a quick snack break. Snacks to share are welcome but not required. Bring layers to keep warm when we stop.
Should you join us, you MUST be okay with scrambling, possible bushwhacking, water crossings, mindful of poison oak, loose rocks, etc.
A snack for the trail
Warm layers – a JACKET is highly recommended
Poles might also be helpful for the creek crossings
Maybe an extra pair of shoes to change into after the hike
Distance: 5 miles, out and back
Elevation Gain: <1000 feet (a guess)
Rating: 4 for creek and scrambling lovers; 7 if you’re not
Trail: single track, overgrown, a little bushwacky at times, multiple creek crossings, rock-hopping.
ADVENTURE PASS REQUIRED
This location does require a National Forest Adventure Pass for parked vehicles. These passes can be purchased at most ranger stations (if open) in the area of our hike, most sporting goods, convenience stores and gas stations. The cost is $5/day or $30/yr. When buying an annual pass for $30 you can also buy an additional annual pass for $5. Splitting this fee with someone is the most economical way to get the passes. A National Parks Pass can also be used for parking as well and should have come with a rear view mirror hanger.
If you are interested in carpooling, leave a comment. We can meet at the west end of the Ralphs parking lot right off the 210 fwy on Sunland. Leaving this location no later than 4:30 pm.
From Interstate 210 in Sunland, exit on Sunland Boulevard and head east. It turns into Foothill Boulevard. Continue east to Oro Vista Ave. Turn left. Follow Oro Vista which veers right and turns into Big Tujunga Cyn Rd. Proceed to Vogel Flat Road and turn right again. The road drops to a stop sign. To the right is a Forest Service fire station. Turn LEFT and park in the Stoneyvale Picnic area. We will start our trek at the end of the parking lot. Pit toilets are on site.
In the 1800s, a large population of grizzlies roamed the San Gabriel Mountains. The bears frightened early miners and settlers and in later years had many run-ins with sportsmen and forest rangers. Big Tujunga Canyon was a particularly attractive habitat to the big bears; in fact, the last wild grizzly in Southern California was killed in the lower reaches of the canyon in 1916.
These days you won’t find any grizzlies atop Grizzly Flat; just a few hikers enjoying a pine-shaded retreat in the Angeles National Forest. Grizzly Flat Trail explores Tujunga Canyon, then rises into the storied hills where notorious highwayman Tiburcio Vasquez eluded a posse in 1874. Vasquez, after robbing a San Gabriel Valley rancher, rode over the top of the San Gabriels, descended north along a then-unnamed creek to Big Tujunga Canyon and made good his escape. The unnamed creek, which cuts through the eastern edge of Grizzly Flat, has since been known as Vasquez Creek.
The hike: The trail, signed with the international hiking symbol, begins at a vehicle barrier at the east end of Stonyvale Picnic Area. Almost immediately, you cross Big Tujunga Creek. Small trail markers keep you on the path, which crosses a boulder field and fords the creek three more times.
(John McKinney, LA Times)
The Fine Print
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)
RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!
1 – A long walk
2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain
3 – 5 mile hike w/up to 1000 ft. elevation gain
4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)
5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)
6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)
7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)
8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)
9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)
10 – Use your imagination
Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The VHC Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any VHC Meetup events, you are releasing the VHC Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.