The hike to 50-foot Switzer Falls is a roughly 4.5-mile out and back route located in the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest. The hike itself is a moderate route, with only a few technical sections, that leads hikers into the wonderful Arroyo Seco Canyon, with all its inviting cascades, streams, and punchbowl pools.
What Makes It Great
The terrain is typical of what you normally find in this area, replete with gravelly, dirt trails, shady oak-covered trails, and granite rock outcroppings. Some of the hike is exposed when you climb up the canyon wall, which affords nice, expansive views, but most of it is shaded, meaning that even during the hottest days, this is a great option -- especially considering the many swimming opportunities! After checking out the 50-foot Switzer Falls itself, head down to the Bear Canyon intersection to enjoy its splendor. Also, be sure to swim in the pools beneath Switzer. The water can be pretty chilly, but it's an experience you won't want to miss out on.
Who is Going to Love It
Adventurous hikers who want to get in a swim will love this adventure. It's a modest hike in and the reward of the swim and waterfall views is worth it. The surrounding forest is quite fetching as well.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Directions from Hikespeak.com:From the 210 Freeway in La Cañada Flintridge, take the Angeles Crest Highway (CA 2) northwest for 10 miles to the Switzer Picnic Area. Descent to the parking lot, display your adventure pass and begin hiking. If the lot at the picnic area is full, there is additional parking at the top of the road.