Switzer Falls – Bear Canyon


Distance: 4.5 mile round trip

Elevation gain: 600sf

difficulty: moderate

Summary: This is a relatively easy hike into one of the loveliest sections of the San Gabriel mountains. The hike meanders back and across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon. The stream is lined with oaks and alder, with the water cascading over granite into mirror-like pools. The hike travels high above the 50 foot high Switzer falls, then drops back to the stream, where hikers can double back to stand at the base of the falls. After seeing the falls, travel down stream to the intersection with Bear Canyon, and travel up this spectacularly wild, steep walled canyon for another half mile or so to enjoy its wonders. More adventuresome hikes can continue up Bear Canyon for 2 miles to Bear Camp (not shown on my topo).

Trailhead: From Interstate 210 in La Canada, take Highway 2 north and drive 10 miles to Switzer picnic area on the right. Descend to the parking area outside the campground. You will see a footbridge over the stream leading to the trail head. (Lat:34.2663 Lon:-118.1436)

Trail Guides for Switzer Falls – Bear Canyon:
Trails of the Angles – 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson  (Wilderness Press)

Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney  (Olympus Press)

California Hiking
by Tom Stienstra & Ann Marie Brown  (Foghorn Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round

User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses

Ranger Contact:  Angeles National Forest – (818) 790-1151