In 2017, this became the most popular hike in the Big Tujunga area, but few people venture beyond the waterfall at mile 2. If you opt to continue beyond the falls to the Condor Peak Trail or Indian Ben Saddle, you are treated to views of Mendenhall Ridge, Pacoima Canyon, and the west fork of Fox Creek. From here, there are multiple choices for backpackers to join other trail systems, including the Pacific Crest Trail.
The trail starts at the end of Trail Canyon Road #3N34
and follows a tributary up and over a small ridge then drops down to the main canyon where there is a foundation of a house burned in the Station Fire (2009). The trail follows the stream passing a shaded picnic table then climbs the shadeless west side of the canyon. It passes a very popular waterfall which is the main destination for most trail users. There are no official trails down to the base of the falls.
The trail then drops back down into the canyon with multiple crossings and occasional shade from alder, cottonwood and oaks trees. About 1 mile past the falls there is a single campsite with a metal ring and partial shade. It is usually referred to as "Lazy Lucas". From here the trail is rougher but easily passable as it continues up the canyon, climbing a switchback around a narrow part of the canyon then dropping back into the canyon again. There are several trees to step over and a few to go under. Tom Lucas Trail Camp is located at the upper end of a large meadow under a thick canopy of bay trees. Once a popular camping location that had three three grills, three tables, and a pit toilet (on the other side of the trail) only the grills remain.
The trail continues to follow the canyon upstream passing Big Cienega and another meadow, then climbs out on a series of long switchbacks. The trail condition deteriorates as it leaves the canyon bottom but is passable though a thicket of ceanothus and chamise. It reaches the top of the ridge where there is a junction with the Condor Peak Trail on the right. The trail follows an old fire road north to Indian Ben Saddle and a junction with the Mendenhall Ridge Road #3N32.
From the saddle, the trail drops down into Upper Pacoima Canyon and follows it upstream. It climbs out of the canyon and ends near Deer Spring on the Santa Clara Divide Road #3N17 a short distance west of Mt. Gleason. This section of trail has not been maintained in many years and is very difficult to find.
Please consider joining a volunteer trail crew to help maintain this trail. While it may be tempting to clear brush on your own, Forest Service authorization is required to ensure protection of forest users and natural resources.
Bobcats, raccoons, mountain lions, bears, deer. In the canyon bottom there is occasional shade from alder and oak trees. On the slopes, there is chamise, manzanita, scrub oak, mallow and bush poppies. Nice wildflowers in spring. Poison oak is abundant. Watch for rattlesnakes.