Switzer Falls is a popular waterfall sitting deep in Arroyo Seco Canyon in the Angeles National Forest.
The first time we visited this falls was in February 2003 (which was supposed to be the height of our wet season), but it had been a dry Winter and ended up being a pretty disappointing experience. We came back nearly six years later when the falls were flowing pretty well (thanks to a wet February providing some relief to yet another dry Winter) and the experience was almost unrecognizably different!
The falls appeared to be a series of waterfalls tucked away in a rugged canyon. The upper falls seemed to be the main falls sliding some 70ft or so in height with a smaller tier right above it. It was difficult to get a good view of this part of the waterfall because foliage tended to obstruct our line of sight from the trail to the falls itself. Thus, we never really got a clean view of the falls (though it seemed the trees had grown more and obscured what was once a decent view of the upper tier). Since the terrain was dangerously rugged and steep, fences were erected to keep us from trying to scramble down for a better look.
So with that said, there was a lower falls further downstream which the day use trail ended at. This part was actually a pair of tiny tiers totaling some 20ft or 25ft. While we did see someone make it up past these lower falls (probably to get to the bottom of those upper waterfalls), it was still a rough and not-recommended scramble to scale the falls and do the sttream walking further upstream (unless you knew what you were doing, I suppose).
The hike to the falls was a fairly hilly 3.6 miles return. I understand that it that additional hiking might be required if the gate at the entrance was closed or the main parking lot was full (though fortunately, this didn't happen to us the two times we've come here).
Most of the up-and-down climbing occured in the last mile where the trail hugged the cliff and provided gorgeous views of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains wilderness. When the falls had healthy flow on our second visit here, we had numerous stream crossings (we counted at least over a half-dozen). With some nifty rock hopping, we were able to stay dry though Gore-tex boots and hiking sticks certainly helped our confidence and balance.
Conversely, when the falls were trickling on our first visit, I didn't recall there being any stream crossings that conspired to wet our socks.
You can drive to the car park at the Switzer Picnic Area off Hwy 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) barely a quarter-mile or so after the Clear Creek Station. The Clear Creek Station is about 9.5 miles from the Hwy 2 exit from the I-210.
If you didn't purchase an Adventure Pass prior to driving up here, they do sell some at that Clear Creek Station.
You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.