Switzer Falls Hike

Switzer Falls - Angeles Forest
Trailhead: From the 210 freeway, take highway 2 10 miles north.  You'll see a small ranger station about a 1/4 mile before the parking lot for the trailhead (Map here). 

Type: Outdoors
Category: Hike
Company: Friends, Dogs
Cost: $5 vehicle fee (more on that later)

Review: While somewhat of a trek depending on the starting point, the drive is worth it.  From the main trail, there are multiple trails that break off, a little bit of everything for hikers of all skills.  The Bear Canyon hike has 600 ft of elevation gain over 4.5 miles (round trip), while Upper Arroyo Seco is slightly longer at 10 miles and 1400 feet of elevation gain.  Both trails begin at the main parking lot.

Parking is $5, but I arrived after 3:00 PM on a Saturday, when the ranger station was closed, so I just parked and wished for the best (no ticket).  While I would never condone attempting to sneak past Park Fees, it is something to keep in mind. 

OTC Tip:There is a main parking lot right off of Highway 2.  Avoid it.  Follow the sketchy looking road down the mountain (I would generously call it a lane and a half wide).  There is ample parking at the bottom.  I love an uphill hike as much as the next person, but when it is on a paved road to get back to a parking lot, I'll go ahead and skip it.  Save yourself the trouble and follow my lead.

The trail itself is mostly wide, enough to comfortably walk next to a friend or two.  There are numerous sections where balancing over rocks is needed to cross streams, which adds to the fun.  Even on a nice day, the trail was chilly, so bring a jacket.  These trails are a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in LA, with friends and/or a dog. 

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