Switzer Falls

This was an excellent moderate hike! The scenery is amazing. The trail is mostly shaded, but, if you want to get next to the main waterfall(Switzer Falls), you will have to ascend for a little while on this great canyon with magnificent views! Then, you will descend down into the stream. You will go left and see a smaller waterfall up ahead, but, if you want to get next to the main one, you will have to climb a bit and do some boulder hopping. This a great hike to take pictures. The stream all along the hike has several pools and you can get above the main waterfall if you scale down the canyon wall, but, I would not recommend this if you are not an experienced hiker and/or climber. I have done A LOT of hikes in the Angeles Forest and this is one of the nicer trails that has a waterfall. The trail is pretty well maintained and it does cross with other trails if you wish to explore more of the area.

Switzer Falls Main Tier Waterfall.

This is a 4.5  mile round trip, but, getting to Switzer Falls seemed a little bit longer. I did not see a lot of trash and did not see any graffiti, so that is a big plus. I think these taggers and/or gang members  that vandalize areas like this should be slapped with an automatic $1,000.00 fine and spend 30 days in jail. On weekends, there are a lot of people doing this hike and/or picnicking, so, people are definitely taking advantage of this beautiful area. If you park on the Angeles Crest 2 Highway, you gain about another 250 feet of elevation, but, if you start at the actual trailhead by the parking lot, you will gain about 700 feet of elevation. The first part of the hike is very shaded, but after 1.5 miles or so, you will see a switchback on the right and that will ascend for a little bit and that will put you on a slope along a canyon and have great views of the other canyons around(please watch your step in this are because the trail is narrow and in some areas you are several hundred feet up), and then descend into the creek where, and, like I said, you will have access to the smaller waterfall, and, then of course, the main one if you go further. Please proceed at your own risk if you decide to go further.

Switzer Falls Smaller(Lower) Tier Waterfall.

Switzer Falls Statistics:

  • Elevation Gain – 700 feet
  • Round Trip – 4.5 Miles
  • Suggested Time – 2.5 to 3 hours
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Best Season –  All Year

Just Above Switzer Falls(Main Waterfall).

Switzer Falls is in the Angeles National Forest. From Interstate 210 in La Canada, take Highway 2 north and drive 10 miles to Switzer picnic area on the right. Descend to the parking area outside the campground. You will see a footbridge over the stream leading to the trail head. Display your adventure pass.

If you plan to do this hike and have any additional questions, please feel free to leave a comment here and/or email me at 412cobrapower@gmail.com


Posted on December 16, 2011, in Angeles National Forest, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities, Southern Cali Waterfalls, Southern California Hikes, Southern California Peaks, Summit Hikes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. you get to this exact spot? My son just fell down from this spot on Nov 14 2015 along with his aunt. I am trying to figure out how they got there because they did not climb up from the lower tier falls. They took a trail that led them to the top of the main falls, exactly where you are sitting in the pic. Please contact me at asedha@gmail.com if you have any further information.

    • Thank you for reading my post. I am very sorry to hear about your Son and his Aunt falling! Are they doing OK now? It’s been a while since we did that hike but we had to climb down a canyon I believe from the main trail to get to the top of the waterfall. It was not the easiest trek to get down there as the rocks in that area are a bit slippery so I can see how someone can fall. This was the reason why I stated in my post to use caution and/or if someone is not an experienced hiker to not go further past the first waterfall or try to get on the top of the main waterfall. It can be dangerous on this particular hike. I hope they are doing OK and please reach out to me if you have any additional questions. 


      • She was just released ( still hospitalized) from the icu after 10 days with severe ( broken) pevic injuries and a badly broken arm. My son had a fractured pelvis and a fractured forehead. Any plans to go there soon? I want to go with someone experienced to have some closure as to how all this happened. Are there any warning signs in the area? This place can’t be that hard to get to as the day this happened my son went with his mom and aunt along with little kids. And reading on line I see there has been hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries from doing the exact thing my son was doing. Trying to get closer and look.

  2. That is really disturbing to hear! Sorry to hear that! Did they fall right on the rocks by where my picture is? I assume they did not fall down to the pond, right? That would be a big fall! I would love to do that hike with you but I live in Las Vegas now. I moved here just over 3 years ago. But, when I do head to LA again I will let you know and we can do that hike. I hope they make a speedy and full recovery.

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