Annual St. Francis Dam Tour set for March 23

Photo by George R. Watson

News release 

Tickets are now on sale for the popular tour of the ruins of the St. Francis Dam, presented by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, and scheduled for Saturday, March 23.  

Participants will join four SCVHS historians as they tell the story of the quest to bring water to the arid land of 1920s Los Angeles and how one man’s attempt to make it happen turned into the second-worst disaster in California’s history. 

The failure of the St. Francis Dam at midnight, March 12, 1928, killed more than 400 people, leveled farms and homesteads, destroyed property and livestock and changed the way dam safety is addressed across the nation. 

The tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a short presentation on the history of the dam by SCVHS President Alan Pollack, archaeologist Ann Stansell, Dianne Hellrigel and “Dam Man” Frank Rock. After the presentation, buses will take participants into San Francisquito Canyon for an immersive experience, narrating at important points of interest to the disaster. 

Tickets for the event are $50 and may be purchased on Eventbrite at  The tour is popular and sells out every year, so early reservations are recommended. The location of the presentation will be sent to those who purchase tickets.  

It is recommended that long pants, long-sleeved shirts and athletic shoes or hiking boots be worn for the hike, as well as a hat and sunscreen. Water and a snack will be provided. Funds raised will benefit programs at the Santa Clarita History Center. For more information, visit

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS