Historical Hike to St. Francis Dam Disaster Site

Date: May 15, 2016
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Powerhouse No. 2

(followed by an Optional 10 Mile Hike)


At two and a half minutes before midnight, on March 12, 1928, William Mulholland’s St. Francis Dam crumbled, sending an immense wall of water crashing down San Francisquito Canyon, turning west at the Santa Clara River. It did not stop until it reached the Pacific Ocean five and a half hours later. Towns across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties — Saugus, Castaic, Piru, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Montalvo — were decimated.  431 Men, women, children – citizens, immigrants, landowners, laborers lost their lives ….. the floodwaters did not discriminate.

We will begin our day at California Historical Landmark# 919, located on the grounds of Powerhouse No. 2, 33967 San Francisquito Canyon Road.
CHC Board Member and President, SCV Historical Society (Dr. Alan Pollack), will share his in-depth knowledge of the circumstances and events surrounding the disaster.

At Powerhouse# 2  Alan will review the management of LA water supply at that time and the role the St Francis Dam was intended to play.  We will then drive up San Francisquito Canyon Road and park again near the dam before walking to the actual dam site.


At the dam site:  Alan will point out the parts of the dam that are still visible and recount the events of that ill-fated night and the aftermath that met citizens of SCV and beyond, as the sun rose the following morning.  Alan will conclude his talk by ~ 10:30AM and head back to the cars.
Anyone who does not to wish to participate in the 10 mile hike option can leave at this point.

Additional Hike Option:
The remainder of the group will take a loop hike West and then South West on a ridge trail called the old San Francisquito Motorway.   High above San Francisquito Canyon, we will be able to see the dam ruins again and where the original reservoir water level had been above the dam.  We will continue South along the ridge, passing very large rock conglomerate outcroppings, enjoying views of the surrounding areas and the California aqueduct pipes carrying water to the Powerhouse #2 below.  We will return down Forest Route 5N16 to Powerhouse #2, and then along the old washed out San Francisquito Cyn road, by the river, to get back to our cars .
For More Details:

%d bloggers like this: