Switzer Falls feels kind of like a gateway hike for the Angeles National Forest. It's close to Los Angeles (only 23 miles outside of the city), and it's not too hard of a hike. I've read that it gets super crowded, but we went on a weekday morning in March and had no problems with crowds.We parked right by the trailhead (don't forget your adventure pass!) and saw only a few people while we were on the trail. This might be a new favorite trail, due to the fact that it's mostly shaded. We'd rather be in Switzerland or Switzer Lake, Switzer Falls will have to do for now. And actually, there's a hike-in camping spot in an area called "Switzer-Land" that you encounter while on this trail, it was an early wilderness resort in the 1920s and there are still ruins laying around from it! Pretty cool. I really enjoyed this article about it.
While on the trail, you will find yourself mostly down in Bear Canyon by a small stream and lots of trees, there's only a small part of the trail that goes steeply upwards out of the canyon up to some nice views of the surrounding hills, then you go back down again for the duration of the trail. It's 7 miles out and back, but we went extra distance off one of the forks of the trail in search of more pools of water (we didn't really find any. Probably due to the drought.) We brought Lily with us, but she wasn't in good enough shape to finish the whole 8 miles! We had to carry her for the last mile and a half, sorry Lily girl. When we got back to the car and had our picnic lunch she was already feeling better.
Definitely recommend this hike for a nice half day excursion to the mountains, but we'd advise getting there early if you're going on a weekend, especially now that the weather is hotter out since it's summer!
|happy little hiker dog|
|Beautiful flowers all over along the way.|
|the pools were mostly dry :(|