Switzer Falls Trail

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Trail Description
DISTANCE 4.5 miles out and back.
ELEVATION 600 feet, but only one big hill.
PARKING Need your Adventure Pass and weekdays it's fine. Weekends... you may have to add 2 miles for your walk from crappy uphill parking.
SPF10. Mostly shady.
CHANCE OF INJURY 20% chance of a stream-crossing mishap.
WEIRD SMELLS None. Fabreeze wishes it smelled this fresh.
TIME 2 hours.
FEATURES Old tin camping stoves, 2 waterfalls, pit toilets, grills, picnic tables, bear proof garbage cans.
ANIMALS Woodpeckers. Woody and the other peckers.
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS Jaime Duck, the forgotten Mexican hipster member of the Duck Dynasty.
DOG SHIT Enough. Not terrible, but it's evident.
ANYTHING ELSE? Good swimming pools above and below falls. That just leads to the inevitable weed smoking and topless bathing. Enjoy that, or enjoy looking at that.
The 210 freeway isn't really in Los Angeles is it, but you gotta find it. Try the 5, or 605, or best of all, the 2. Cause you're getting off the 210, in La Canada-Flintridge at the Angeles Crest Highway exit... which is also the 2. Take that uphill and the McMansion suburbia slowly begins to disappear. You have about 15 minutes of winding, scrubby, dusty, LA mountainside. Look out for bicyclists and douchey motorcyclists and fog and this one guy in a Civic with a spoiler. When you pass the Clear Creek Ranger Outhouse, you'll see on your right a turnoff for Switzer Falls. Drive downhill for a mile and park at stream side, unless it's the weekend. In that case drive back uphill again and park on the main road. Have fun hiking down to the stream.

If you parked at the stream, congratulations you lucky monkey, otherwise it's an extra 2 miles of hike to the main road. But the main creekside trail is pretty well marked. Downstream for a mile or so - lots of fun stream crossings - then uphill to the ridgetop to get past the waterfalls - then downhill to the stream below the waterfalls. Hike back upstream to the first falls, and then - c'mon, try this - scale the rock above the falls and continue up along the creek to the second falls. Only 1/4 mile extra, but it's a bigger, less crowded, fall.

Jedediah Switzer was raised by carnivorous squirrels. When his squirrel clan finished eating all of the raccoons and coyotes in their valley, they sent Jedediah into the bustling frontier town of Los Angeles to bring them back some food. It took him a week to bring back one dead donkey so Jedediah smartened up, and invented "Camping." He told people that if they packed up their donkeys and rode up to his "rejuvenating fall of water," and "camped" for a week, he'd sing them songs on his guitar and roast candied yams over a campfire. (obviously pre-marshmellows) Well, the people came up in droves and always left missing a donkey or two, and usually their fattest uncle.
President Teddy Roosevelt caught wind of this scheme and came up one weekend and made Jedediah Switzer jump off of his own falls to his death. When the carnivorous squirrels came to feast on the delicious, stringy flesh of Jedediah's watery corpse, Teddy shot every single carnivorous squirrel in 45 minutes. And that is why there are no carnivorous squirrels to this day... that we know of.