Big Santa Anita Canyon
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Location Cautions
Things to Watch Out For
Poison Oak is abundant along the trails in the canyon.  During the Summer and Fall it displays beautiful red and orange foliage and it's tempting to pick some branches to take home for Fall colors - DON'T TOUCH IT!  A very few people are not allergic to this plant, but most are, and it causes a very painful and itchy rash on the skin that often becomes infected.  All parts of the plant are toxic, including the stems and berries.  If it burns, even the smoke can cause lung problems.

The best antidote if you think you have come into contact with this plant is to thoroughly wash the affected areas with lots of soap, and according to the old-timers, Fels-Naptha Soap (if you can find it!) is the best.
Rattlesnakes, though common in the canyon, don't pose much of a threat unless you disturb them.  Leave them alone, and they'll leave you alone.  Click here for more about rattlesnakes.
Mountain lions and bears reside in the canyon, but because of the thousands of people that hike here throughout the year, they tend to stay away from the trails and areas where people are.  And like the rattlesnakes, if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone.  That is if you even get a chance to see a bear or a cougar - although they're around, they are seldom seen.
Stringent fire restrictions prohibit all stoves and fires in the canyon.  Check at the Arroyo Seco District office for current fire restrictions.  To report a fire or other emergency, phones are available at Chantry Flat and Mt. Wilson -  dial 911.  In Big Santa Anita Canyon, you may use one of the old emergency phones which will connect you with the Pack Station at Chantry Flat.