Great Falls of the Fox – 3B IV

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Last updated: August 20, 2014 at 15:34 pm

Summary: Great Falls of the Fox is one of the classic canyoneering routes in Southern California.  Though it does make you pay for your fun with a long approach that takes you down to the floor of the Big Tujunga canyon and up the other side along with a bit of route finding to the drop in.  The descent is fairly straight forward though the Station fire has caused quite a bit of debris to collect in the canyon which can make the going slow. Once you complete the canyon you get the treat of hiking up the east side of Big Tujunga Canyon.

If you have a small experienced group you can combine this with Classic Canyon.  The Classic Canyon Drop in is on the approach route and will require an additional 1.5 – 2 hours, but it does break up the long approach hike to GFF.

ACA Rating: 3B IV

USGS Topographic Map: Condor Peak

Weather: NOAA Point Forecast

SAR Contact: Los Angeles County

uCanyon Beta

Once you reach the ridge that over looks Fox Creek pick your descent down the scree slope carefully.  The slope is loose and it is easy to get cliffed out if you proceed too far down the ridge before your descent.  The canyon descent is fairly straight forward.  From the drop in you will hike down the creek until you reach the 10ft downclimb that is the start of the main technical section of this canyoneering adventure. The main technical section is narrow and the seven drops are packed close together.  Unfortunately after the 7th drop the canyon flattens out and you have about 45 min to 1 hour of hiking/creeking before you reach the final rappel.  The exit requires you to hike a short distance to the Big Tujunga and then up canyon until you reach the exit used for Josephine Canyon.  Since the fire several use trails have sprung up on the exit hike, make your choices carefully.

You can download PDF of the uCanyon Beta here.

uCanyon Beta (Click for full resolution jpeg)

uCanyon Canyoneering Beta for Great Falls of the Fox Canyoning Route

uCanyon Drop Map (Click for full resolution jpeg)

uCanyon Canyoneering Drop Map Canyoneering Beta

Approach and GPS

The approach for the great falls of the fox is one of the longer approaches in the Southern California area.  There is a short shuttle that can be done if desired, however you are only shaving off ~0.3 miles of road hiking so it is up to you. Most of the approach is on a fire road that descends from the trailhead down to the floor of Big Tujunga canyon and up the other side.  At the point noted in the map below you will leave the road and head cross country to the ridge that forms the canyon left side of fox creek.  The route is fairly brush free, so the route finding is not hard.  That will become less the case as the area continues to recover from the station fire.  Please follow tracks left by others to help form a trail, the people that follow you over the years will thank you.  The exit route is also included in the GPS file below, but is fairly straight forward.

Download the approach GPS file here

Photos

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Chris Brennen Last Update July 4, 2005

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Trip Reports

Notable trip reports or accident reports for this canyon.

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Great Falls of the Fox - 3B IV, 3.7 out of 4 based on 3 ratings

Comments

  1. Jason Willis says:

    Descended on 12/15/2012, hiked the Maxon approach which in is still fairly brush free. The upper canyon and the area below the main technical section is pretty choked with logs which makes for some unpleasant hiking. The technical section was pretty clear and beautiful as always. Webbing and anchors were all in pretty good shape. Our experienced group of 6 managed to get through in 8 hours car to car. We did unfortunately get a rope stuck at the Great Falls, if you come across it let me know.

    The Josephine exit trail has become a mess of use trails short cutting several switch backs.

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