Explore the most popular trails near La Canada Flintridge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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switzer “falls” is looking pretty sad about now, but the hike towards bear canyon after switzer falls was pretty shady the whole time and it wasn’t too strenuous. the only tough part about this hike is the short exposed area before getting to switzer falls.

hiking
9 days ago

Amazing views from the very first steps. We initially missed the first left turn trailhead to Mt Lowe summit by continuing on Mt Lowe Motorway. That was our extra 2 miles RT added on to the 17 miles. At the Idlehour Trail Camp there is a stream with cold refreshing water to cool down & drink (with filter). We stopped here on way out & way back. Much of the hike is shaded which is a plus. Encountered an irritated Rattlesnake on way back so beware & be careful.

Flat and shady!
Only ~500 ft elevation

Great run for the dogs
Keep dogs out of the sun
Cross a couple streams so fresh water for pups

it was a nice little hike and plenty of water to our surprise enough to go swimming but some people don't pick up after themselves and that's the only drawback

I took this trail today! It really was great. I took a left at the campground and went on about 4.5 miles more. He trails were clear, quiet, and not crowded at all except for some apparently long term residents at the campground. I’m not sure about easy if you take the left trail as I did I was out about 4 hours and pretty tired when I got back. Good for a shorts and T-shirt hike though. Great choice for close to the city, I’ll go again.

Not bad, but I will say they have many homeless people camping in the camp sites, and those areas have been trashed. It’s not a hard hike, and the elevation gain is unnoticed.

Bear sighting! Well, nearly. On our way out, two groups advised us that our furry friend was about 1/4 mile ahead. We never encountered said bear, but it seemed to be far enough away from the trail and not bothering anybody.

This hike is great!! Meets up with the JPL trail at Gould Mesa Campground. Turn right at the bottom of the hill (where the campground is) to head toward the dam. About 1 mile from the campground bear left at the picnic area to follow the trail to the dam (about another 1/2 mile) - otherwise you're ascending quickly up a mountain. You'll definitely know if you turned the correct way. :)

If you are going to take younger kids out here, I'd suggest using the JPL/Gabrielino trail. The hike back up to the car at the end of this route is B R U T A L. Mostly unexposed, and difficult to do in the heat. Bikers use this trail, so listen out for their bells and consider only wearing one earbud if you're going to wear them at all. Also good advice for the bears.

Good hike but more difficult than I anticipated. Some considerably steep parts. Most of it is pretty exposed so not advised for after about 9 am in the summer!

Really great hike with lots of interest along the trail - great views from the canyon rim, beautiful creek crossings, and several small waterfalls on the 8.5 mile trek. Lots of shade makes for a great trail on a warmer day. Bring lots of water (2-3 liters) - about 4 hours round-trip.

Great trail that is well shaded (except for the half mile before Switzer Falls). Recommended when it's hot (was >100* when I hiked this).

The trail to Switzer Falls is well trafficked with a few stream crossings. The water level is very low at the moment, but there is certainly enough to splash around in. There are a few step drop-offs and cliffs along this trail - keep an eye on kids!

Beyond Switzer Falls, the trail is far less maintained, but is still easy to follow. There are around 20 stream crossings between Switzer Falls and Bear Canyon Creek but all are easy - no need to get wet feet!

Bear Canyon Camp has a half dozen spots for a tent, about 3-4 stoves/fire pits and a few picnic tables. Great spot and well shaded. Given the low water level, I wouldn't rely on the water for drinking.

Overall, recommended trail, especially when it's hot given the stream and tree cover.

Great hike!! Beautiful views from the ledge hiking to the second falls. The trail became very rugged past the falls on the Bear Canyon trail with downed tree obstacles from the floods to cross. Certainly a trail worth doing.

Moderate to hard hike. I went on a foggy day so there wasn’t much of a view at the top but it was peaceful. Would not recommend this on a hot day but I bet the views are amazing on a clear day.

Found this spot by wanting something like Eaton Canyon but without the crowds. And for a Saturday morning, it was perfect. Pretty, with some people, but for the most part, we were hiking alone. The only downside was what someone else had mentioned which is the hike back up to your car. There’s little shade and was the most strenuous part of the trail being that it is at the end.

More of a walk, not a hike.

Great Hike! I would say it's hard and not moderate. Very steep incline and trail running or hiking boots are a must. there's benches 1 mile up. Went on a Friday evening around 6:00pm and only encountered 5 other hikers.

This was from the El Vago entrance of the Cross Town Trail.

Too steep. An hour and 10 minutes up, 40 minutes down. I’d rate this hard versus moderate based on the grade alone. I fell twice on the way down. My girlfriend is a beginner and would have killed me if I took her on this.

Moderately high with a 35 degree incline on med lose gravel with minimum shade and one sitting area with 2 picnic tables. If forecast is sunny better beat the heat of the day and protection from the sun. Make sure to take good traction shoes for the trail, trail varies from two to one person wide. Few hikers n bikers. Nice views when LA is not hazy. At the top, Tepee area, it has no shade or sitting area n has two other trails to explore. Trail can use updated markers , one trail will lead you away if not familiar, others just merge into each other to go the top. This from a Chicago Il, hiker.

A beautiful evening sunset hike. Definitely steep. Shade is limited, but better in the morning or late afternoon hours. I love the tipi at the top and the beekeeping area is pretty rad. Amazing views in every direction at the top.

This trail is the feature of the fourth episode of my new vlog, Trail Mix. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/H7W6UtHHeX0

Also, I put together a playlist on spotify for you to take on the trail.
Listen here: http://sptfy.com/152Q

Have a great hike!

This trail is beautiful! You start out on a fairly shaded portion overlooking some dramatic rocky mountain sides. Then you'll hit Mueller Tunnel. Prior to the tunnel being built, the trail went around the rocky cliff side (you can see some rusty metal rods sticking out from the old chain railing).

After the tunnel you'll hit a water tower looking structure with a fork. The trail noted here is the left option, going up the side of the mountain. It'll take you through some beautiful scene vistas.

Once you start going down the rock gets pretty loose and steep. This is the most difficult portion of the trail. Once you're finally down you'll be at a fire road crossroad. Take the left road and follow it to Inspiration Point for some amazing views.

Great spot for a picnic lunch! On the way back you can follow the same trail or stick to the fire road which will take you around the mountain on a longer but lower grade climb back up. It eventually connects back at the fork at the water tower. If you go this route the total mileage will be about 7 miles.

This has become one of my favorite hikes. it's very much on the side of the road. The trail leads you down hill into a very forested area. It runs a long a stream most of the time, and you'll have to cross is multiple times as well. it's like an obstacle course in some parts. Very fun. Highly recommended.

Definitely an intense uphill if you’re a bit out of shape (like me), or if the weather is 80s or above - so it’s a nice workout replacement for the day. Bring water and take breaks. Opens up into a lovely meadow but shade is hard to come by anywhere on the trail. Only saw two other hikers and a biker on a Sunday afternoon.

Solid uphill hike. Nice wide trail with many scenic views. Trail head is just over a bridge at the end of a tiny street near La Canada elementary.

I went on 3/31/18 and there was a rock slide to traverse, about two dozen creek crossings (~half of them include downed trees/debris from recent flooding). It was a lot of fun, but a little bit more than you might have bargained for!

Great trail! As others have mentioned it is an upside down hike, gradual decline the entire time and of course up the way back. There was plenty of creek crossings through water and the waterfalls had plenty of water. If you traverse up towards the right of the first fall it can be a bit tricky but worth the travel towards the second fall. The majority of the hike is shaded and cool. Highly recommend!

Pros: Shaded (large majority), water crossings (spring time), waterfalls

Cons: Dirty restrooms

Final 1/3 kinda steep — bring grippy shoes! Otherwise short and sweet hike, +/-3 hrs

Steep, slippery, mostly shadeless trail on decomposing granite -- but what a view! Be sure to wear grippy shoes, not the old sneakers in the trunk of your car, like I did.

Spent the night at bear canyon camp. Beautiful easy hike. If you plan on staying the night, check out the last campsite in the back. The spot where you pitch the tent is on a little drop off with an awesome view of a peak. Watched hawks flying around all day. Loved it.

We were not able to make it to the camp ground. There was a downed tree we managed to get around. Then not to far there was a landslide that completely wiped out the trail. We got over that with difficultly. However the water up ahead washed away the trail and we could not continue forward.

The best part of the trail was the view to the falls. If we did this hike again we would just hike to the falls and then head back.

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