The West Fork Day Use Area is a stop at the confluence of the West Fork and North Fork San Gabriel Rivers along Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains. It has no available campsites, but it is an excellent staging ground for adventures in the area and a great place to escape the summer heat in the cool waters of a mountain stream.
With enough room for about 45 vehicles, there is ample space to park, but at the height of the season, be sure to make an early start as the area is heavily frequented. The day use area features picnic tables and restrooms, but the most attractive feature of the area is access to the West Fork and its riparian habitat. Adventurers will find the shade of sycamore, white alder, and willow to relax under and cool waters to dip a toe into. Not a classic swimming hole, the West Fork is slow-moving in this area and ideal for swimming during the hot summer months. For those seeking a headier adventure, the West Fork Day Use Area is a great place to stage a biking journey along Highway 39 or Forest Route 2N25 (Devils Canyon Dam Truck Road), which parallels the West Fork San Gabriel River to Cogswell Reservoir several miles upstream. The journey is well-protected from the sun. The river ecosystem supports one of the largest stands of big-cone Douglas fir and canyon oak in the Angeles National Forest, and it is an important reserve for the federally threatened Santa Ana sucker, the western pond turtle, and imperiled species including the Santa Ana speckled dace and the arroyo chub.
Note: The Forest Service has found the river corridor to be reaching its recreational capacity, and for that reason it’s extremely important to tread carefully, tread lightly, clean up after yourself and use the restroom facilities at the West Fork Day Use Area.