Leader: Dave Borchart
Location: Switzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp to Bear Canyon
Distance: 8 Miles Roundtrip
Gain: Approx. 1000 ft.
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Pace: Moderate / Group Based
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!!!!!!!!