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    Switzer Falls via Bear Canyon Trail

    Pasadena, California

    Switzer Falls via Bear Canyon Trail

    Switzer Falls via Bear Canyon Trail Professional Guide

    Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

    "The first half of this hike is a pleasant meander along a boulder-strewn creek to the remains of a turn-of-the-twentieth century resort, then the trail edges upward along a rock wall before dropping back down into the canyon near a small pool fed by a 15-foot waterfall."

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    Belmont Shore, CA
    Trailblazer | 618 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    Great day trip that is a nice drive out of LA and mostly shaded until you meet the cliff portion overlooking the canyon below (and beyond). The early part of the trail is almost flat and follows the creek until you make your way up and around the actual falls. You will eventually come back down along a relatively steep trail that will follow the lower part of the creek and finally to the falls. You can scramble your way up along the edges of the canyon to pools above the falls and in the summertime I would imagine that it would be crowded. Our rainy, Sunday in March kept the masses away and made this more enjoyable. Turn around and head back the way you came in but not before a side trip down bear canyon for more solitude and some more pools. The steep section of the trail that brings you back up will give you a (Very short) workout until you reach the flat and sheer cliffs up above. Perfect Sunday trip.
    Robles del Rio, CA
    Explorer | 40 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    On a foggy day with few people this spot was more beautiful then I expected. It vaguely reminded me of a foggy day on the Big Sur River.
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Pathfinder | 60 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    Tons of people on the weekend. While hiking out you loose elevation all the way to arroyo seco. This 200' canyon surrounding the trail is very picturesque. We chose the hike to see Switzer Chapel, but all that remains are a foundation and ruins. Lots of nice canyon views and views of surrounding peaks.
    Los Angeles, CA
    Pathfinder | 120 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    I am actually reviewing a trip that's not on It's Bear Canyon Camp via Switzer Falls trail. The trail up until the falls is exactly as the description states. In and of itself it is a nice day hike. But the really beauty of this hike is making it an over nighter a few more miles in. Bear Canyon Camp is a great sight along side the creek. It is a bit civilizied as it still has the park benches from years ago and each site has a fire ring and an oven/stove. The trail to the falls always has some traffic with the weekends being fairly annoying, but get beyond the falls and traffic drops off abrubtly. Boy Scouts are a Saturday night possibility. We camped on a Sunday and were by ourselves. I did this with my 10 year old son and the 2 year old lab. It's approximately 8 miles round trip and is strenuous enough to feel like you hiked, but moderate enough for beginning backpackers. This area is very dog friendly. Although leash is required, we found it too dangerous to backpack with a leashed lab and let him off across water ways where there is substantial rock hopping and along the high, narrow ledges with steep drop offs where a stong tug on the leash could have sent us toppling to an early retirement from this world :-) The few hikers we encountered didn't seem to mind and were mostly amused by a lab with his own backpack.

    More Switzer Falls via Bear Canyon Trail Professional Guides

    Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

    Allen Riedel
    "Switzer Picnic Area is a heavily utilized section of the Angeles National Forest, and the Gabrielino Trail to Switzer Falls gets a large amount of traffic, especially on weekends and holidays. There is good reason for its popularity, as this slice of the front range contains some of the loveliest and most idyllic scenery in the Angeles range, complete with a relatively easy yet arresting hike leading to a 50-foot waterfall. Be certain to arrive early to enjoy the most solitude (and the best chance of finding a parking spot)." Read more

    Trail Information

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    60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Los Angeles


    100 Classic Hikes in Southern California

    Trail Type
    Skill Level
    2.25 hours
    Local Contacts
    USGS Condor Peak; posted at Clear Creek Ranger Station just west of Switzer Falls parking lot
    Local Maps

    Trail Log