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Upper Arroyo Seco

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Wooded streamside trail, waterfalls, small cascades, lovely pools, deep canyons
Near:Altadena, CA
Distance:10 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1400 ft
Hike Time:5 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This hike take you into one of the loveliest sections of the San Gabriel mountains. The hike meanders back and forth across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon. The stream is lined with oaks and alder, with the water cascading over granite into mirror-like pools. The hike travels high above the 50 foot high Switzer falls, where the trail bears right to head towards Oakwilde Camp.

The trail traverses the hillside high above the Arroyo Seco, then drops down into the densely wooded Long Canyon. At the junction of Long Canyon and the Arroyo Seco, a lovely two tier 50 foot waterfall drops down into a gleaming pool. The section of this trail between Long Canyon and the Oakwilde camp is considered to be the most gorgeous of the entire Arroyo Seco, with its souring walls, cascades, and dense woodland.

Trailhead: 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. (Lat:34.26609 Lon:-118.14559)
Trail Guides for Upper Arroyo Seco:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney  (Olympus Press)

Afoot & Afield In Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

101 Hikes in Southern California
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes, Dogs
Ranger Contact:  Angeles National Forest - (818) 790-1151
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 5   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Hiker17 on 7/9/2012
Look out for folks who get offended by nude sun bathers.

Reviewed by JRico on 1/12/2012
Went today still needs to be cleaned. Beware of the nude sun bathers. I'm not joking. Decent hike tho

Reviewed by Viewer on 1/7/2012
Hope It's been cleaned

Reviewed by sp on 12/25/2011
Very good walk great scenary

Reviewed by Viewer on 11/15/2011
Has the trail from Switzer to Oakwilde been opened?

Reviewed by Yee-Horn on 7/4/2011
We hiked the trial today, 07/04/11. The trail is open to the fork where a sign says 3.4 mile to Oakwilde, 0.4 mile to Switzer Falls, etc. Another sign posted in the middle of the trail that continues to Oakwilde says trail closed. The trail that goes down to Switzer Falls and to Bear Canyon is open.

Reviewed by Bruce K on 6/20/2011
June 2011 - This trail its open, its not exactly the same as before but still very nice.

Reviewed by Phil H. on 8/23/2010
8/23/2010 I really wanted to hike this trail today, however a call to the ranger station told me that it was still closed, as well as lower Arroyo Seco. They could not estimate when either trail will open, I hope this helps!

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Los Angeles County Hiking, Los Angeles County Trails, Los Angeles County Hikes

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