Castaic

69,812 acres on the Angeles National Forest

Photo by Dianne-Erskine-Hellrigel

Photo by Dianne-Erskine-Hellrigel

The Castaic potential wilderness is a jewel of the Castaic region. Its Fish Canyon area includes dramatic red rock canyons, lush riparian areas, old growth chaparral, vernal pools, a trout-filled creek, a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail and Red Mountain. The canyon is part of the vital Castaic Creek watershed that feeds into Lake Castaic – an important drinking water source for Greater Los Angeles.

Stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Castaic Lake and the Los Padres National Forest are visible from higher elevations in Fish Canyon.

Many endangered plants and animals are found here, including: the Bald eagle, California condor, Two-striped garter snake, Southwestern Pond turtle, Least Bell’s vireo, the Southwestern Willow flycatcher, Yellow-legged frog, Red-legged frog, Spade-footed Toads, Unarmored Three Spine stickleback, Chalk dudleya and Yellow Mariposa lily. The wild lands are also home to bobcat, mule deer, coyotes, cougars and black bear. Groves of enormous California Black oaks cloak the northern ridges.

Fish Canyon is also notable for its prehistoric and Native American sites, including petroglyphs and grinding mortars – evidence of early human use.

More recent history includes the Old Ridge Route, that was once the primary route for Model Ts traveling across the mountains from Bakersfield to Los Angeles, and now listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. This historic route defines the area’s western boundary, and provides views of Fish Canyon and Redrock Mountain, largely unchanged from the early 20th Century.