Hike to Switzer Falls
Difficulty: ModerateDistance: 4 Miles RoundtripGain: Approx. 600 ft.Time: 3 hoursPace: Moderate / Group Based
Switzer’s Camp was once one of the most famous resorts in the San Gabriel Range. Whether by horseback, burro or foot, hundreds of people traveled up the Arroyo Seco to see this wonderful place.Perry Switzer along with the Bob and Liz Waterman fashioned this wilderness resort in 1884. Twice a week Switzer would lead his burros up the torturous trail in the Arroyo sixty stream crossings and dozens of switchbacks. A cow horn was left hanging from a Manzanita bush ½ mile below the camp with instructions to issue forth one blast for every hungry guest. When the visitors arrived they were greeted with a hot dinner. Trout was the featured feast, caught in the adjacent stream.
This hike starts at the Switzer Picnic Area parking “lot” It is located approx. ½ mile passed the Angeles Crest / Angeles Forest Highway Junction. (about 10.5 miles north of La Canada) From here we will proceed down the road, across the stream and follow what remains of the trail as it climbs up and along the west slope above the falls. Approx ¼ mile is the main trail, we will proceed southeast dropping into the gorge of the Arroyo Seco below the falls.
Beware of poisonous poodle-dog bush
No it does not look like this..
but like this…
The lavender-flowered plant thrives in areas scorched by wildfire, such as parts of the Angeles National Forest. Skin contact can cause rashes, blisters, swelling and general irritation.
Unless you want to spend a few weeks scratching like a dog, don’t even think of petting this pretty little poodle. Campers, hikers, emergency crews and park rangers are learning the hard way about a little-known poisonous plant that has painted the hillsides of the Angeles National Forest a lovely lavender this summer.
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