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“Switzer Falls just beyond La Canada”

Angeles National Forest
Ranked #4 of 19 things to do in Arcadia
Attraction details
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Switzer Falls just beyond La Canada”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Overall easy hike, some moderate levels of hiking.
Great for all ages and nice views of nature and trees.
Just north on the 2, above city of La Canada. Make sure to get your adventure pass for $5.
Waterfall not too big in the summer, but still a large enough pool at first tier to wade around in.
Low key, lots of things to see and would definitely go back.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank scgrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
384 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“Beautiful Drive and We Got a Surprise”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

When we left Los Angeles it was sunny and dry, and we had an easy drive to the national forest. We enjoyed the Colorado-like roads and the fantastic views. We stopped at Newcombs Ranch Restaurant and Bar for a late lunch, and when we came out it was sleeting. We decided to head back to LA and the weather progressively got worse. At one point there was measurable snow on the roads. So heed the advice of the other reviewers and be careful when traveling here during the winter. It was a long, slow drive back to LA.

Visited January 2013
3 Thank Kim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malibu, California
Level Contributor
235 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Very Beautiful”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

If you are looking for a nice ride with lots of views, this is the place. Beware of traveling in the winter months as the roads may be snowed in. Don't be suprised if you find snow on top of some of the hills in the spring early summer months.

Visited May 2012
6 Thank Troy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
245 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“Switzer Falls: Cool, cool water!”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

If you don't mind hopping rocks, walking across logs, and ducking branches to get to the falls, then try Switzer! This hike should be on everyone's bucket list. Located above La Canada on the Angeles Crest Highway (don't forget Adventure Pass), it's an easy drive to the Switzer Truck Trail. Get to trailhead early for premium parking at the BOTTOM of the fire road. Otherwise, it's an UPHILL walk to your car after the hike in the overflow lot!

Restrooms and picnic table located near parking lot. Some tips: wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes; poles optional but useful on stream crossings; hat or visor for sunny days; dress in layers; watch for poison oak; bring water and snacks.

Think of this as an upside-down hike. First part is downhill so nice, shady with a number of stream crossings...use poles here for support. Next part is uphill with with some drop-offs and exposed. Last part drops down into a canyon where you'll find a beautiful pool with a waterfall. Once there, relax, take pictures, eat snacks, and enjoy the beauty! This is a popular hike so expect to share the view with fellow hikers. Depending on time at falls, roundtrip approximately 2.5-3 hours.

This was a perfect hike for late spring. Some years after heavy rain, water level can get high so stream crossings can turn into river crossings! Check conditions ahead and you won't be disappointed. Switzer Falls is a cool place to be!

Visited May 2012
7 Thank Shimadog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Coast
Level Contributor
129 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Real Nature real close to L.A.”
Reviewed July 9, 2012

If you are in L.A., or visiting, you can be hiking and/or skiing in less than an hours drive. This place is a real treasure.

You need an "Adventure Pass" to park and hike around. They are $5 and available at well marked stops along the "highway". No pass needed to just park at a turn-off and enjoy the view.

Buckhorn is my favorite campground in the area.

Hikes, boldering, streams, shade... there is just a lot to do from this spot. Rangers warned me that this campground and Monte Cristo especially, get loud at night. And advised going to "Chilao Flats" for Family camping. But I have stayed here plenty and I like the more secluded aspects of this site. Noise, especially before the 10 o'clock, does not bother us. Low class litterbugs are the biggest turn-off and that is usually not an issue here. The trail-head to numerous destinations is located here and one can even access the PCT from here. When most of the campers leave and all is quite the Bears and Rattlesnakes do come out. As they do live there.

No mater how hot the days are, It gets VERY COLD at night! Be prepared!

The trails are newly fixed up and the toilette's are new and still very clean. They might stay that way if people stop trying to levitate above the seats and get poop on them. Simply cover the seat with TP, sit down and try to relax! It's camping!

The fire missed this spot so one can see what the forest used to look like before the fire cleaned up the dry undergrowth and older trees.

Newcombs Ranch restaurant is the only restaurant in the entire forest. And the food reflects the lack of competition. Good place to stop for a beer or to hang out but the food is average at best.

If you see a dead rooster hanging upside down surrounded by burnt candles, well that is people practicing Santeria (a Catholic Voodoo mix) and is usually found at the entrance to the forest around the early turn offs. Rangers say "freedom of religion" stops them from policing the activity and supposedly there is little chance of being abducted and ritualistically murdered. At least not by the practitioners of Santeria..

Visited July 2012
3 Thank Bentheredunthat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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