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Switzer Falls and Bear Canyon Camp via Gabrelino Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(579)
San Gabriel Wilderness

Switzer Falls and Bear Canyon Camp via Gabrelino Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near La Canada Flintridge, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 1,548 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No shade

Description
Waypoints (4)

This is a beautiful hike - it starts off paved and calm with a nice little stream running through it, but soon switches to an off the beaten path adventure. Nice stream crossings as you journey along the bottom to Bear Canyon campground. If you just want to see Switzer Falls, turn left at the bottom of the trail. Beautiful scenery, some rigorous crossings, and at times some irritating bugs. Bring water, lots of it, and a little snack to enjoy at the picnic benches that seem to appear out of nowhere at the campground. Remember you need an adventure pass to access this trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (579)
Photos (1508)
Recordings (505)
Completed (1258)
Casey Hodgson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingBugs
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Katelyn Szatkowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingRocky

Fun trail. You have to park on the side of the road and whatever you do use the directions provided by all trails and not online. Took us an extra 2 hours to drive through the mountains. I would highly recommend but if you don’t like heights you may not enjoy it too much. We only went to the falls but the worst part was the hike back up to the road from the actual trail head. It’s mostly shaded and a very nice trail, kinda like a little forest. Recommend walking sticks, water, and shoes with a good grip.

View Katelyn's Recording
Steffani` Mahan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 25 2020
WalkingFeeOver grownRocky

First time on this trail. We had to park on Hwy 2. Part of the trail is shaded and part no shade. Past the waterfall is less trafficed. Waterfall was nice. You could probably swim. Lots of people were at the waterfall and it seemed like more kept coming. Nice trail. Will do again.

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Ty Kubart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 18 2020
HikingOver grown

beautiful trail! however, when you go past the waterfall there is a bit of poison oak and I couldn't go all the way to Bear Canyon because of it.

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Xiao Xing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingBugsMuddy

Beautiful trail. Mostly shade and cool. Going in is super easy, mostly downhill. The falls are nice and some people were swimming. I tried to make it to the upper level but this father n daughter just told me to turn back. Going back isn’t too bad, it goes by fast. Beautiful campgrounds and many places to chill and meditate. Or have lunch at a picnic table. Restrooms are closed due to covid. Lots of cute dogs!

Lindsay Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking

It was a good hike, waterfalls not as impressive as I was expecting but still great trail and wasn’t overcrowded for going on a weekend.

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Blair Huizingh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 08 2020
Hiking

So yeah, as the other reviews should have said, skip the falls right now. Someday it’ll be back to normal, go then if you really want to see the falls. It was crowded going down to the river but everyone was having a good time and mostly masked. When we turned right to go downstream everything changed. Literally one of the most quiet and beautiful sections of trail in these mountains. We went up Bear Canyon through granite pools of crystal clear water, towering cliffs and flowers in every direction. If you go up soon, when it’s hot and the water is still flowing you can picnic and soak in solitude. We parked one car at Millard so we continued past Bear Canyon Campground and hopped over Tom Sloan Saddle to make it a through hike. A nice decent past Dawn Mine and it was taco time. It really was a wonderful hike, you just have to deal with crowds at the beginning and end. The middle is worth it.

A A
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking

If you are a real hiker/backpacker don’t go. Literally hundreds of people with bags, sandals, umbrellas. Acting as if they are going to the beach. Worse part everyone is having their kids pee at the falls, all the dogs are shitting in the water, trash all over. Lots of idiots getting hurt as well, people bleeding in the water the last 3 times we went. These people have never been outdoors and have zero trail common courtesy, I wont even get on the leave zero trace behind. Thank you for destroying an area that was beautiful. Bravo Californians!

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Yirong Xü
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue May 26 2020
Hiking

MAD crowded and hard to find parking! A beautiful trail nonetheless with lots of watering holes to swim in between the falls and bear canyon. The endpoint has lots of bugs so a little bit annoying of a place to rest and eat a lunch.

Kristoff Fajardo
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Walking

Great trail! Definitely needs cleaning up towards Bear camp but definitely enjoyed a lot of stream action. You’re able to take dips into the water at certain spots. Lots of bugs as it gets hotter and at Bear camp. Lots of people going to the falls so to too much people during Covid, go super early! Parking can be an issue if u go too late since you have to park at Angeles highway.

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Corey Schramm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking

This trail is awesome good hike and workout for you and beautiful little ponds and waterfalls to look at . Would highly recommend however going back up is very fun

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Lucia Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
HikingRocky

You walk along the cliff face with a steep drop off

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Jiri Balsinek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 22 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Felt strenuous but it was my first time out and about in two months so it may just be my perception. There are a few stream crossings where you can get your feet wet if you misstep, at least right now - there may be little or no water during dry months. There is also one exposed section in the first half where you walk on a ledge 2 or 3 feet wide with a steep and long drop on one side, caution is required. I parked on Angeles Crest Highway and the walk down (and up, on the way back) I was exposed to the sun, but for the most part you hike through the canyon which is cooler and shady thanks to a lot trees and vegetation. There are a few overgrown sections in the Bear Canyon half of the hike where your legs will inevitably brush against bushes and plants. Despite COVID-19 guidance still in place, I encountered many people on my way back - at least a half of them - that had no face covering and made no effort to keep distance. If you want to avoid being potentially exposed, go very early or choose a less popular trail.

Mitchell Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 19 2020
HikingOver grown

Beautiful trail, good creek, over grown, needs maintenance.

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Ernesto Rudon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 18 2020
Hiking

Great trail ...... we had a great time. There was a great deal of hikers; but everyone was so courteous. We give it a thumbs up. Love it.

Kyle Tyler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail with a nice mix of rocky mountain, forest shade, creek and falls. We did encounter a rattle snake about 2 ft away from us on the mountain side about shoulder height. As we got closer to the falls some hikers returning warned us they had also spotted a rattle snake along the creek. The trail was fairly packed, but everyone was polite and courteous in the narrow passes. Overall we had a great experience.

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Steve Nugent
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 21 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike the entire way. A little different because you start at the top and work your way down to the waterfall. The hard part is getting back up to the road. The park is technically closed right now so you have to park on Angeles Crest and walk down the road to the trail head in the picnic grounds. Parking fills up early so you may have to park a little ways away. The stream is full so the 7 or 8 times you cross it along the way may get you a little wet. If you have the time continue on past the falls to Bear Canyon campground. The trail is empty after the falls and is even more beautiful than the first half. I will definitly be doing this hike again.

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Jeffrey Asher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 22 2020
Backpacking

Great hike. Maybe about 3.5 miles each way if you skip doubling back to Switzer falls. Lots of water this time of year. Recommended for a quick trip out of the city for a night.

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Julie Jenkins
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BackpackingFeeOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

Nice heavily trafficked trail. We actually started at Bear Canyon trail head and went to Switzer that way. 7.6 miles point to point and it was great. no one much on the trail...we cord at Bear Canyon and packed out this am....didn't see anyone til Switzer really

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Anthony Arvizu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jan 28 2020
HikingBugs

First part of trail to Switzer falls is pretty popular and right now the falls are pretty cool and the water level for the stream was low enough to use logs and rocks to avoid getting shoes wet. The Bear Canyon trail after it splits from Switzer falls is really nice as it follows mostly along Bear Creek and I did not see one other person on this path till I got back to the Switzer Falls split.

Matt Escalante
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 19 2020
HikingBlowdownRockyWashed out
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