How to get to Switzer Falls, California

Switzer Falls, California

It's nice to have a balance in life especially when you live in the city where everything is just moving really fast.  I love spending my days in nature and away from my phone as much as possible on our nature trips.  It's nice to have some clarity and peace of mind.

Our next trip is to Switzer Falls located in the Angeles National Forest.  I like this hike because of the big trees along the way which provide shade and protection from the heat of the sun.  Let’s go! 

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Travel Tips
  • For flights, Skyscanner is excellent for comparing the best airline deals.
  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.

How to get there

Location: Switzer Picnic Area, Switzer Truck Trail, Altadena, CA 91001
Entrance fee: Free
Parking: Adventure Pass needed (purchase @Big 5 Sporting Goods)

Route: Switzer Falls via Gabrielino Trail
Distance: 4.3 miles (back and forth)
Elevation: 725 feet
Duration: 3 hours (back and forth, depending on pace)
Highlights: 50-foot tall waterfall

We started early to make sure we had a parking spot and to avoid human traffic.  It's a popular hike so expect a lot of fellow hikers and sightseers. 

The first part of the hike was beautiful and relaxing.  We saw many large trees, hiked a rugged trail, and breathed in the cool morning air. 

This is the coolest hike I've done so far here in Los Angeles.  Most of the time the trails are wide-open spaces with no trees at all for shelter.  However, this trail to the waterfalls had numerous flora that covered the path and provided shade for all. 

There are signs to get to the falls, but it can get confusing when you reach an elevated area that opens up to the clear blue sky.  This part of the hike is not covered and you're exposed to the grand heat of the morning sun — but you get to see the beautiful mountains. 

Don't go up to this sign, keep going on the same path to Switzer Falls. 

Hike early for parking space and to enjoy the cooler morning air.

After getting your daily dose of sunshine, you'll see trees again.

Follow the sign.

Interesting find: a rock that has a shark face, smiling and watching over those people who throw their trash anywhere.  Don't litter!

Invest in a great pair of hiking boots. We love our Columbia boots and have no regrets.

Behind the scenes!

If you see a river, it means the waterfalls are nearby.  We heard its roar from afar and that got us all excited. 

We found an old kind of metal which could be part of farm equipment from long ago.

The 50-foot tall waterfall looked beautiful and refreshing.  We didn't go for a swim as the water was icy cold.

We had our snacks here for a few minutes before heading back to the trail.  

It's always nice to see flowing water as it reminds you about life, that we just have to let it go, trust the process, and see where it leads us.

Make sure to clean your mess and don't leave anything behind. 

We followed the same path back to the parking area. I would definitely recommend this hike for beginners.  The terrain is friendly and it's only about a 3-hour roundtrip to see the waterfall.

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go Hike Los Liones Trailhead to Parker Mesa Overlook, California.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is driving 3 hours away from Los Angeles to see the famous Potato Chip Rock of San Diego, California.

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