Per Hike Leader Bryan: UPDATE: POSTPONED UNTIL *SUNDAY* 9:30 am! Hope you make it? Please update your RSVP. We still want to get outdoors! Since it's raining today (Friday) and some possibility on Saturday, we will wait a day and go on Sunday (2/12/17) instead, to let the stream level go down. Here is Sunday's weather.com forecast for Altadena. Though there is still 15% chance of sprinkles we're hoping it will be fine. We've hiked there before in light drizzle and it was quite nice actually because the trees give coverage.
We'll give it a go and see how far we can get. If it's fine we'll stick with our plan and do our hike! If stream is too high, we'll enjoy what we can and just go find a warm lunch restaurant.
Just wear layers (cool temps in the 50's), bring your rain gear & walking stick, waterproof hiking boots if available. (and maybe a plastic bag liner between 2 pairs of socks in case we walk through the stream (anyone tried this before?). Bring a change of clothes, socks, shoes in the car.
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Near: La Canada Flintridge, San Gabriel Mountains
Distance: 6.8 miles round-trip
Hike time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet
Trail type: Well-traveled, well-maintained trail with multiple stream crossings and some boulder-hopping.
Type: Out and back
Summary: A varied and interesting streamside hike to 50-foot high Switzer Falls, one of the most popular and easily-accessible waterfalls in the Angeles National Forest, and then onwards to the secluded Bear Canyon Campground. The Gabrielino Trail begins by weaving riverside through a gorgeous riparian canyon carved by the Arroyo Seco River.
After multiple stream crossings and some moderate boulder-hopping, the trail climbs out of the canyon’s shade and into the scrub of the higher elevations. From here, the trail offers vistas of the surrounding mountains, before eventually descending back down into the canyon towards Switzer Falls. After a snack break at the Falls, the hike will continue onwards down the Gabrielino Trail, along the Arroyo Seco canyon, passing multiple swimming holes, past canyon walls lined with sycamores and oaks, before ending at our lunch spot, the well-maintained Bear Canyon Campground. After lunch, we will hike back up the same way we came in.
Good boots, walking sticks and stream crossings: Our path meanders back and forth across the stream. With our recent rain, the stream may be ankle-high in places. requiring crossing over using wet logs, boulders, and potentially getting our feet wet. Hiking boots with good grip recommended. A good balance and a walking stick can definitely help with the stream crossings. You could optionally bring Tevas, if you’d rather walk through the water, or change of socks and shoes in case you get wet. Getting wet in the stream is nothing scary, but we don’t want people getting hurt by slipping on wet rocks/logs, so please be careful!
The hike meanders back and across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon
Trailhead: From the 210 Freeway, take the CA-2 North toward the Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada Flintridge. Enter the mountains, and continue east on CA-2 for 9.8 miles. At the Clear Creek Information Center, continue east on CA-2 and look for the Switzer Picnic Area sign on the right. Descend down Switzer Truck Trail, down to the parking area. There is an often crowded parking lot at the bottom of the canyon near the picnic areas, as well as two overflow lots along the way. Display your Adventure Pass.
Parking: As Switzer Falls is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Los Angeles County, the trail may get crowded. However, there is ample parking in the lower parking area. Should the lower parking area be completely fully, there are two overflow lots above it on the canyon road - simply allow for extra elevation upon your return.
What to Bring: Good hiking boots/shoes, snacks/lunch, plenty of water, and wear layers (as canyon is mostly shaded, and can get cold). Rain Cancels.
Hike Leader: Albert Sotelo & Bryan Matsumoto. If you have any questions, please contact Albert at 323-456-5302, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Bryan at 626-246-8634, e-mail: email@example.com