Switzer Falls via Gabrielino Trail

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San Gabriel Wilderness

Switzer Falls via Gabrielino Trail is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Wilson, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.3 miles Elevation Gain: 725 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

NOTE: It has been reported that the parking lot is CLOSED due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. This is a relatively easy hike into one of the loveliest sections of the San Gabriel mountains. The hike meanders back and across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon. The stream is lined with oaks and alder, with the water cascading over granite into mirror-like pools. The hike travels high above the 50 foot high Switzer falls, then drops back to the stream, where hikers can double back to stand at the base of the falls. After seeing the falls, travel down stream to the intersection with Bear Canyon, and travel up this spectacularly wild, steep walled canyon for another half mile or so to enjoy its wonders. More adventuresome hikes can continue up Bear Canyon for 2 miles to Bear Camp.

hiking
bugs
rocky
12 hours ago

Beautiful trail. There are trees all around the area. I suggest going up and down the mountain. You will find the waterfall area where you can swim. There are a lot of bugs and I saw a rattle snake! You will need to park in the top of the mountain, so walking back up is tough. Walking up the mountains is tough too, but overall the hike is moderate. Please please please do not litter the area!

hiking
2 days ago

A great trail but it was very crowded. You have to walk over a stream at some parts so be prepared to walk on rocks and you may get your feet wet.

Very busy today. Nice flow of water!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

Great trail, lots of creek crossings so prepared to get your shoes or feet wet. The parking lot being clothes adds 2 miles to this hike. Total distance was 6.2 miles. Seemed like every other person on this trail was playing their music loud enough for everyone to hear which was somewhat of a disappointment but it's a great hike overall.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail! Really kicks your butt since they closed down the lower parking lots. Crowded though so make sure to bring masks. The waterfall is also extremely crowded. Otherwise, loved this trail! Dogs are allowed on leashes, but once you get up to the cliffs, be more careful since it can become narrow. You have to also cross multiple mini streams. Parking is hard to find so come early.

bugs
3 days ago

beautiful hike. The water is gorgeous. on the way to the fall. The fall is not that impressive. There is an additional fall above the main one. It is a bit long for children. Bring bug spray, look out for snakes. Not much trash on the trail today. Go EARLY! on our way out many many groups were walking in. Very lovely hike and scenery. Had to park on the main road and hike down to the trail head. Total was about 6 miles. It is up hill on the way back so save your energy.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 days ago

Great trail! Lots of shade, there’s a portion along the cliff that can be tiring when the suns out and shining down you, bring water to hydrate during this portion. Arrive early!! We started the hike at 8am and left around 11 and big crowds were starting to form. We did see a lot of family with young children, be mindful that you’ll have to jump over creeks and slipper rocks, and the cliff portion can be narrow, so if you have little ones that love to run and wonder have that in mind

hiking
4 days ago

Great trail in the Angeles National Forest. As an easy/moderate option and having recently reopened, it was getting quite crowded as I hiked out this past Sunday (Memorial Day weekend). Get an early start to have the waterfall to yourself. I loved listening to the flowing creek on the way to the falls and taking in all of the sounds. Parking lot and restrooms were closed when I went. Please carry out what you carry in and maybe a bit more, too. Enjoy the hike.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

What a great hiking trail for the most part it’s shaded a bit rocky and the scenery is amazing. Most of the hike you are next to the creek bring bug spray a lot of mosquitoes also watch out for rattle snakes we did not see any but a lot of hikers were advising us that they had encountered them. The hike took us about two hours give or take we stopped a couple of minutes at the waterfall which brings me to that don’t expect a huge water fall my hopes were really high it’s about 6’ maybe 8’ feet tall small waterfall but still beautiful overall this was a good hike. To the water fall the trail is easy mostly down hill but on the way back it’s mostly uphill which will give you a good heart rate. Will put this hike on my top 10 hikes here in Southern California.

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous trail, very clean, peaceful water running throughout most of the hike. Canyons and waterfall were meditative and the views when you go beyond Switzer Falls are captivating.

hiking
5 days ago

I’ve done this hike twice and just forgot to post a review in a timely manner. Yes there’s some trash, yes some people are loud, but once you’re further out on the trail it evens out. The falls are really pretty! Parking does kind of suck, and I think you do need a California Adventure Pass to be in the lots. Overall, this hike is worth it if you’re looking for a decently quick jaunt. It’s not super difficult and the path is easy to follow.

hiking
5 days ago

Such a beautiful hike! Amazing views, creeks and beautiful forest throughout. It was a bit crowded the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend but most people were polite (Covid) and waited for you to walk through. Parking was hectic, and we got lucky to find a spot at the Colby Canyon trailhead (across the street and down the road just a bit). Many were street parking, but make sure you aren’t over the white line. I saw every car parked over the white line and in the road with a ticket.

hiking
bugs
6 days ago

Great day to go hiking! We did see a rattlesnake today on the shadier part of the trail

hiking
6 days ago

Trail gets 5 stars! Pretty easy hike, lots of shade, beautiful river and multiple waterfalls. I’m only leaving 4 stars mainly because of the large groups of people leaving trash all over the trail and smoking. Other than that, great trail!

hiking
6 days ago

The parking lot is closed due to Covid, so you’ll have to park at the top and then walk down to the start of the trail. It’s a beautiful trail, but it was so crowded! We went on a weekend. Lots of families out, with very few wearing masks, which is such a shame! I know everyone wants to be outside but people need to remember to wear masks especially when passing each other.

hiking
7 days ago

Just got back. Haven’t hiked this trail in many years; still great. The parking lots were closed due to Covid. The picnic area was open, but you had to park on the highway, and that’s a minimum of .6 miles from the tables. Not a bad walk, but a bad walk with a cooler. Steep downhill (then uphill). I got there before 8:30am (Memorial Day) and had to park .2 miles further down the highway. The hike was great. A lot of flowing water, and you have to cross the stream multiple times, but it wasn’t a problem if you had reasonable shoes and weren’t carrying a small dog (lot’s were). Lots of poison Ivy, so stay out of the greenery, which is easy to do. There was too much trash. Not an extreme amount as implied by the previous reviewer (and we must have been on the trail at the same time), but too much. Maybe she was just ahead of me and picked a lot up. I regretted not bringing a plastic bag to bring stuff out. It’s better to fix than whine. I could have carried out all the trash I saw on the way down, no problem. The only downside was the waterfall was way too crowded. I’m guessing half the people there rarely hike, but needed to get out. A definite do when things settle down a bit. Start early - get there no later than 8. Have an Adventure Pass and park in the lower lot. It’s worth the $5 Finally, do NOT believe the sign just past the bridge at the picnic area. It’s now where near 1 mile. It’s an honest 2

hiking
8 days ago

Well even though this trail is one of our favorites, I have to give it a 2 star because it is very disappointing to see trash every where. My 9 year old has literally started picking up trash on the way back and she ends up with 2 full trash bags, just on a 2.5 mile radius. Common people if we all love hiking this trail, let’s do our part and keep it clean. I don’t think any of us would like the animals going into our homes and making a mess. Respect nature!!!

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 days ago

Parking is closed, so you need to park on a highway and go down around 15 minutes to the trailhead. The trail is mostly shaded, there are many places where you need to cross streams, so proper hiking shoes are necessary. It was Memorial Day weekend and the trail was overcrowded. Not many were wearing masks or coverings, many times you have to pass people in the narrow places, which makes it unreal to maintain social distance.

bugs
rocky
10 days ago

its a great trail with good shades and nice crossing streams, but pretty crowded. definitely do not forget your insect spray.

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent trail! Shaded for most of it, easy decline, fun crossings and jump in for a swim when you get to the waterfall. Arrive early if you're going to go on a weekend (for parking and traffic). Will be doing this one again no doubt.

Worth scrambling to the top of the falls if you can!

Enjoyed this hike, mostly shaded and was relatively quiet on a Friday morning. Car park is still closed so park on the highway and walk down the access road to the car park area. Trail goes in the same direction as the water, I met several people who initially took the trail in the other direction from the car park. First part of the walk is easy then turns moderate with a few fairly straightforward river crossings and steeper parts at the end along a high narrow path, not advised for those with vertigo. About half the people I saw were wearing masks, and most were keeping a respectful distance where possible.

This was a great hike but really busy, we got there at 9 and the parking lots were already full (parking only off Angeles crest, other parking lots closed). I would say 50/50 people wearing masks and being courteous to social distancing guidelines. Some people great and then some big groups of people with no masks barging past you closely on the thin parts. A bit disappointing. The stream was running well and was refreshing. The hike starts off in shade and then you’re in the open for a little while then back to shade up to the waterfall. Lovely hike.

hiking
muddy
rocky
11 days ago

Great trail. Lower parking lot is closed as of now. We parked on top and had to walk like .3 miles to the trailhead. Over all it was a great trail to the waterfall. Go early and wear shoes with lots of traction.

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