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Angeles National Forest:
SwitzerSwitzer Picnic Area, sometimes known simply as Switzer's, is part of the Upper Arroyo Seco River Basin, 0.5 mile east of the junction of the Angeles Crest and Forest Highways, at mile marker 34.2.
Switzer's is a day-use only area with 22 picnic tables. There is a small parking lot at the Crest Highway, and a larger parking lot 0.25 mile down the spur road to the Picnic Area, controlled by a gate at the top.
The Picnic Area is named for Commodore Perry Switzer. With Bob and Elizabeth Waterman, he began Switzer's Camp, located one mile down the Arroyo Seco, in 1884. That camp was accessed only by hiking up from Pasadena across 60 stream crossings!
Map: Mt. Wilson Region (SW marks the location, in the upper middle of the map)
By Car: From Interstate 210, go north on Angeles Crest Highway, State Route 2, 7 miles. Turn right at Mile Marker 34.2.
By Trail: Nature's Canteen Trail west from Clear Creek, Gabrielino Trail east from Red Box and southwest from Arroyo Seco and Oakwilde, Tom Sloan Trail from southeast through Bear Canyon
Hours: Open 6 am to 10 pm. Gate closes at 6:00 pm. Forest Adventure Pass needed.
Season: Periodic closure due to overcrowding or plague
No. RT miles Elev. gain Season Name
16 10.5 1500 nov-may Angeles Crest Highway via Gould Mesa to Oakwilde, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Trail Camp and Switzer Picnic Area
16.1 14 1500 nov-may Angeles Crest Highway via Dark Canyon to Oakwilde, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Trail Camp and Switzer Picnic Area
17 4 600 nov-jun Switzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp, Switzer Falls, Arroyo Seco Cascades
17.1 10 +700-2850 nov-jun Switzer Picnic Area to JPL
17.2 6.5 (1 way) +1000-1500 nov-jun Switzer Picnic Area to Oakwilde, Dark Canyon, Angeles Crest Highway
18 8 1000 nov-jun Switzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp, Bear Canyon Trail Camp
29.1 9 1700 all Red Box to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp
33 10 +700-2500 nov-jun Eaton Saddle to Markham Saddle, Tom Sloan Saddle, Bear Canyon, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Campground
Source: T. Chester & J. Strong