Switzer Picnic Area

General Information
Other Web Information

General Information

Switzer 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


Warning: this list does not get updated as often as the hikes listed in the region tables. Consult Mt. Wilson Area Hikes for the latest listing.

1610.51500nov-mayAngeles Crest Highway via Gould Mesa to Oakwilde, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Trail Camp and Switzer Picnic Area
16.1141500nov-mayAngeles Crest Highway via Dark Canyon to Oakwilde, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Trail Camp and Switzer Picnic Area
174600nov-junSwitzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp, Switzer Falls, Arroyo Seco Cascades
nov-junSwitzer Picnic Area to JPL
(1 way)
nov-junSwitzer Picnic Area to Oakwilde, Dark Canyon, Angeles Crest Highway
1881000nov-junSwitzer Picnic Area to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp, Bear Canyon Trail Camp
29.191700allRed Box to Commodore Switzer Trail Camp
nov-junEaton Saddle to Markham Saddle, Tom Sloan Saddle, Bear Canyon, Arroyo Seco, Switzer Campground

Other Web Information

Go to Field Guide to the San Gabriel Mountains: Places

Copyright © 1999-2000 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong | Tom Chester
Updated 2 October 2000.