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Switzer Picnic area to Bear Canyon

  • Jul 9, 2011 · 7:00 AM
  • Switzer Falls

Leader: Dave Borchart

Location: Switzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp to Bear Canyon

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 8 Miles Roundtrip

Gain: Approx. 1000 ft.

Time: 5 to 6 hours

Pace: Moderate / Group Based

Meeting Place:

Meet at the La Canada carpool point, on the right side of the road, just north of the bridge, approximately where the Angeles Crest Highway meets Foothill Blvd

See Map http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=34.209.

Switzer’s Camp was once one of the most famous resorts in the San Gabriel Range. Whether by horseback, burro or foot, hundreds of people traveled up the Arroyo Seco to see this wonderful place.

Perry Switzer along with the Bob and Liz Waterman fashioned this wilderness resort in 1884. Twice a week Switzer would lead his burros up the torturous trail in the Arroyo sixty stream crossings and dozens of switchbacks. A cow horn was left hanging from a Manzanita bush ½ mile below the camp with instructions to issue forth one blast for every hungry guest. When the visitors arrived they were greeted with a hot dinner. Trout was the featured feast, caught in the adjacent stream.

Our hike starts at the Switzer Picnic Area parking “lot” It is located approx. ½ mile passed the Angeles Crest / Angeles Forest Highway Junction. (about 10.5 miles north of La Canada) You will need an Adventure Pass for this hike!! From here we will proceed down the road. It is approx. one mile to the Switzer trail Camp. We will break here for a water and snack break as I’m sure it will be a warm morning. From here we will proceed across the stream and follow what remains of the trail as it climbs up and along the west slope above the falls. Approx ¼ mile is the main trail, we will proceed southeast dropping into the gorge of the Arroyo Seco below the falls. From here we proceed ¼ mile to the falls, then backtrack and follow the gorge past numerous pools and mini cascades and about a mile to Bear Canyon Junction. Here we will break for lunch before heading back.

This hike is in the recently opened "burn area" and I have not been to Switzer picnic area in quite a few years. This will be an exploratory hike as I have never been to Bear Canyon.

MAke sure to bring plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, snacks, and a good fitting pair of hiking boots, sunglasses and a camera. NO TENNIS SHOES allowed on this hike!!!!

IF YOU  BRING A GUEST, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY THAT THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GETTING INTO ON THIS HIKE AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE THEM BACK IF THEY CAN'T MAKE THE COMPLETE HIKE!!!!!!!!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    ok i just put my photos up from this Bear Canyon adventure... on the other site: http://www.meetup.com/The-San-Gabriel-Mountains-Hike-Group/events/22387791/!

    July 16, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    hey all, david just put up two hikes on his San Gabriel Mts. hiking Meet Up group and i'm going to try to go... this Bear Canyon group was such a great gropu, it would be awesome to see you all again... Check it out at: http://www.meetup.com/The-San-Gabriel-Mountains-Hike-Group/

    July 12, 2011

  • Marvin M

    Hi Great people! Just want to share :)

    Great news! The Los Angeles Hiking Meetup Group is featured on
    the home page right now! Check it out and tell your friends:

    http://www.meetup.com/tour/t/hp1_l1

    Every day, a handful of the most active Meetup Groups are
    chosen to appear on this page. Your Meetup will be appearing on
    the home page all day today.

    Congrats!

    The Team at Meetup HQ

    July 12, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Knowledgeable leaders and enthusiastic crowd...what a chemistry!

    July 11, 2011

  • SWAN

    Fantastic. Thanks you David. You are a great hike leader.!!!

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Going up during the week when there is less people so I should get some more info. Gotta remember to turn them headlights on.

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    LOL Lee!! do THAT and you might as well just give half of everything you own to your wife and move OUT!!!!

    July 10, 2011

  • Lee Z.

    Scott....Poodle Dog Bush...did you pick a bouquet to bring home?

    July 10, 2011

  • Lorenza C.

    This was just an amazing meet up!
    First of all I want to thank to the brilliant leader: Dave Borchart who gave great tips and directions for a successful meet up, and at all time during the trip he was a proffessional leader helping, as well as cheking the trail before the group start to go further.
    Thanks a lot to Arvin who gave me a lift to the carpool area; to Lisa for being so warm and supportive; to Greg and Scott for being so kind and staying by my side when I needed.
    And to all of you, for encouraging me at all time.

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    For me, this was a totally awesome trail, w beautiful wooded stream along most of the way, lots of shade for most of trail with sparkly sun thrown in through leaves and water, dog-friendly, ... and four of us jumped in a refreshingly chilly pool of mountain water on the way there, many more on the way back. This hike for me is now one of my favorite hikes... in spite of the fact that I sprained my ankle ) halfway back and needed a lot of assistance to (albeit slowly) navigate the numerous rocky portions & creek crossings of the trail. Lorenza, "Fearless leader David", Craig and Scott were so gracious and patient on the way back. THANK YOU.

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    YEAH!!!!! what Scott said!!!!!
    Great photo's everyone!! Keep them coming!!!!

    July 10, 2011

  • Scott H.

    LOL, no apologies necessary Lisa! You were a real trooper walking on the bad ankle, pushing through the pain. Great job!
    I am amazed at the recovery of the area after the fire. The brush is 4 to 6 feet tall, new growth on trees, wildflowers proliferating, and the new Poodle Dog bush was everywhere. Nature is so beautiful and regenerating quickly.

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time, again thanks David

    July 10, 2011

  • Colleen

    Great group in unknown environment! Many thanks to you David. John, thanks for taking care of that snake thing.

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    For those of you who had to wait for me, I'm SO sorry. I have not sprained my ankle in more than a decade, but this day was the day. Please forgive me and know that if this ever happens to you on one of David's hikes, he will take care of you!

    2 · July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lots of fun

    July 10, 2011

  • sondra

    so beautiful so glad they opened it up

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is one of my two MOST favorite hikes yet! This group was simply AWESOME!
    First off I'd like to thank EVERYONE that DID show up!!! We had an unacceptably large number of shows... so EXTRA thanks to them! Next I'd like to thank Steve and Greg for sweeping on the way in, and EXTRA special thanks to Greg and Scott for helping me with our two injured hikers on the way out We had one wiith a jammed toe and another with a serious ankle roll. This is why I wasn't seen on the hike out. Its look as though EVERYONE had a goodtime, I would have LOVED to join all of you at the swimming holes! I'd also like to thank everyone that offered to drive the carpool, your help and generosity made this event go that much easier! Being that this was an 'Exploratory Hike' and I had no idea the conditons, EVERYONE did a GREAT job on this hike!!! ALL of you should be proud of yourselves! The Bear Canyon portion of the hike was Tougher than expected... GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!!! and THANKS for Attending!!!

    July 10, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fire did damage to trails but with these hikers you wouldn't even know it. Water was perfect for swimming and seems like everyone had a blast, me included. Was great hike and great people.

    July 9, 2011

  • Faustino

    David, Thanks for a wonderful hike. This is probably one of the best hikes I've done. Definitely worth a second trip in the future.

    July 9, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    This hike was a lot of fun with great hikers. David, you are a great hike leader..."just a kid at heart!"

    July 9, 2011

  • Scott H.

    Great fun I love rock hopping! Last half mile was grueling! Fun people to hike with!

    July 9, 2011

  • Carmen

    David, I had a wonderful time I love this place! Thank you so much for organizing this hike. John thank you for the ride and Colleen for sharing this hike, let's do it again!

    July 9, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi everyone, ok well it's 9:30pm the night before and i'm just letting you know that i have a pass and will be at the La Canada meeting place at 6:45am. I need to be back as close to 1pm as possible and have room for three like-minded passengers besides myself :-)

    July 8, 2011

  • Carmen

    Lorenza C- Responding to your email. Sorry I'm carpooling too and we are going first to the carpool point in La Canada

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    David, sorry but it's kinda confusing to me... so... the "meetup point" is the same as the carpool point in La Canada? Therefore, meet in La Canada at 6:45am for carpooling so we can leave there by 7am?

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    7 am is the time we LEAVE the meet up point and proceed to the Switzer Falls parking area

    July 8, 2011

  • Vivek

    David
    7 am is for "turnout for Switzer Falls" or car pool meeting place ? Is 6:45 at car pool ok ?

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    lynda you can come with me if you want... can you meet at the carpool La Canada carpool point (see link in description)? lynda, mary and her guest might fill my car but i need to hear back from y'all or i'll still be open.

    July 8, 2011

  • Vivek

    Hi
    I have a Vehicle pass & coming alone from Koreatown (Vermont x 3rd). Would like to join a carpool.

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    mary, 118 at balboa ok with you? or a different "carpool point"? yes i have room for two or three more.

    July 8, 2011

  • Scott H.

    I have a pass and 3 seats in my car. See you in the morning at La Canada.

    July 8, 2011

  • Lorenza C.

    Can I carpool with someone? I don't have an LA Forest Annual Pass, but I want to go with this group.
    I live around La Cienaga and Venice Blvd.
    Thank you!

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    ok thanks! hey still looking for carpoolees for my car...

    July 8, 2011

  • Marvin M

    Hi Mike,
    Can I carpool w/ you at La Canada carpool meeting place? I don't have adventure pass. Thanks

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sondra, You can carpool with me, but I dont know if this is the same met up location as last weekend. Please click the link in the hike description to see where we will be meeting.

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lisa, Yes you ccan bring your dog. IF youd like to get an Adventure Pass you can get them at a local US Forest office, Big5 or Sports Chalet, as well as REI. They are 5 bucks for a one day pass or 35 for a one year pass.

    July 8, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I RSVP'd with the SG Mts. group and can carpool from 118/Balboa. I'm willing to get an adventure pass if needed... Lemme know here pls.... and, is this hike dog-friendly? I'll be coming regardless... Thanks!

    July 8, 2011

  • sondra

    David (or Swan) can I carpool with either of you, and is this the same meetup place as last weekend? thanks sondra

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ill have room for one or two at the la canada point

    July 7, 2011

  • Carmen

    David, I will be carpooling with Colleen. Thanks a lot David! See you there

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Comments regarding carpool suggestions, route/hazard/closures, weather updates etc... As I've stated before I own the San Gabriel Mountains Hike Group. Every hike I post here is also posted in my group. I cap my attendance at my desired number based on the conditions and the severity of the hike. I don't have room time or patientence for members that post less than positive comments on my hikes. I've seen some REAL doozies already that I don't have time or space to list.

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not here to villafy Vijay... From the few times I have met him, he comes across to me as a very enthusiastic, happy person with the best of intentions! NUMEROUS other Hike Enthusiasts have posted comments that in MY opinion are less than conducive to a good hike, or are just flat out innappropriate. I don't ever want to make anyone feel that their input is not welcome, but I DO want them to put a bit of forethought into it before posting.

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    David: I think the way you are handling the attendance of the hikers is PERFECT! It is rude to be a "no show." You are the leader and it is "your baby." Vijay needs to concentrate more on getting to the hikes on time and enjoying the day, instead of tellng the leaders what to do. It seems like every hiking group I attend Vijay is posting his opinions about how the leaders should improve on the way they are handling the hikes and the members. Chill out Vijay!

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    For what it is worth... The ONLY reason I added 5 additional spots to the LA this event was because I have had several cancellations from MY group and decided to move those spots here.
    I look forward to seeing EVERYONE this weekend!!!!
    As the weather report is suggesting a "possible" cooling down by then, make no mistake it is still going to be HOT!!!! Dress accordingly, bring sunscreen as there will probably not be much shade as it was burned away, and bring LOTS of water!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoy hiking, but I LOVE inviting others to attened so that WE can all share the adventure TOGETHER!!!! I have witnessed your appreciation and enthusiasm first hand on more than one occassion, and hope to again! I ahve been tracking my attendance rate over the past several months and it IS improving in LARGE part to my heavy handed approach to no shows. I have received literally dozens of comments from members about my attitude to no shows, and they are ALL positive!!!

    July 7, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Why not explain to ME???? After all this IS my hike!!!! Don't takee this the wrong way Vijay, I enjoy your company on my hikes, just as I did on the Oakwaylde hike 2 weeks ago. Your suggestion nd your comments however have undermined MY position as a hike organizer. I STRIVE to have a 100% attendance rate on my hikes, however your suggestion to add more spots to make up for the perceived 30% no show goes agaisnt EVERYTHING I am working to achieve here!!!!

    July 7, 2011

  • Lee Z.

    Vijay...one thing I notice about you is you like to give advice to hiking leaders. If David wants to kick people off as no shows, that is his choice. He runs his own hikes. Our Club has a problem with people signing up and not showing up. If you were a hiking leader you would start to feel the exasperation that we sometimes feel over this.

    July 6, 2011

  • Carmen

    Thank you David! I will email you in a sec.

    July 5, 2011

  • Faustino

    Driving up from Alhambra in case anyone needs a ride. I have two adventure passes.

    July 5, 2011

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