A 10.2-mile round-trip hike from Switzer Picnic Area to Oakwilde Trail Camp. Oakwilde Campground is also a horse camp.
The Switzer Picnic Area can be quite busy on weekends and you may not be able to park at the trailhead.
Vehicles need an Adventure or Interagency Pass to park at the main trailhead.
There are several parking areas for this hike. If you park at the upper lot by the highway, you'll need to head down the paved road to the picnic area and the start of the trail.
From Switzer Picnic Area, head west on Gabrielino Trail (NRT) which takes you down into the gorge following Arroyo Seco
and is shaded by oak, spruce, and alder trees. At about one mile, you'll reach the former Switzer Trail Camp which sits just above the falls. A nice trail below the camp ends at the top of the falls. Continue following Gabrielino Trail (NRT) on the west slope of the gorge and you'll get a nice view of Switzer Falls.
On a small rise is the junction with Bear Canyon Trail
1.4 miles in, turn right to stay on Gabrielino Trail (NRT). The trail leaves the main canyon of Arroyo Seco
and drops into Long Canyon. It then drops down to the Arroyo Seco
creek floor, following it all the way to Oakwilde Campground. There are five hike-in campsites (non-reservable) at Oakwilde Campground.
After camping out, hike back the way you came.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Oak, spruce, lilac, and alder line the trail.
The trail along Arroyo Seco
(as well as a popular trail resort) was originally built by Perry Switzer. This resort was later owned by Lloyd Austin who added a tennis court, chapel, and dance floor. The areas was extremely popular during the "Great Hiking Era" well into the 1930s.