On Friday 7/18/14 I hiked down into the deep gorge of Big Tujunga Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. Big Tujunga Creek is one of the largest streams in the range, with a drainage area of 130 square miles, and because of this also flows year round. Note also that Big Tujunga Creek is a major tributary of the Los Angeles River. The water level in the creek is now rather low by normal standards because of our two consecutive years of drought, but still flowing well in comparison to most smaller creeks in the mountains now.
You can see in the photo above taken on 7/13/14 that it’s still verdant in the gorge, but the water level is also very low for this stream, in fact the lowest I’ve ever seen. Compare to the photo below, taken 7/15/12 after a more normal winter. Or the second photo below, taken 9/9/12, when there was still much more than at present.
It’s still a beautiful place, and an important water source for mountain wildlife, but the drought is clearly having a pronounced effect on the water level, here and in all other locations as well. Hopefully we’ll get some good summer thunderstorms to help rejuvenate our mountains soon!