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Gabriellino's Trail Switzers to JPL

Average Rating:    (3.54 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 13

To really make this a nice ride start at Red Box station then connect it through Switzers camp. The 1st part past Switzers camp has some hike'n'bike stream crossings but once you get past these it's just beautiful singletrack following the mountain side till you drop through some technical switchbacks to the valley floor. Lots of stream crossings will lead you out of the valley to JPL. As you come out of the trail you'll recognize the fork to El Prieto and Lower Mt. Brown. Took us about 3hrs. to go from Red Box to JPL. (Approx. 15mi.) Total elevation drop is somewhere around 4000'.
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Latitude
34.25764208631241
Longitude
-118.10577392578125
Trail Directions
Follow Angeles Crest (Highway 2) North from the 210 till you come to Switzers camp. The trail starts at the south end of the parking lot.
Trail Length
15 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
La Canada Flintridge
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
November 7, 2014

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Mike ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I rode Redbox to JPL with my cousin Nov. 7, 2014. Ride started out great! Very fun from Redbox parking lot down to Switzers lot. Fast Single track, technical, major cliffs! After Switzers it is still fun for a few miles. After you cross the stream, head up the trail until the "Y" in the trail. Go right. The trail drops down into the canyon and this is when the fun began:-(. Fallen trees cross the trail everywhere ( hundreds maybe more) which makes it impossible to ride. Had to carry bike over and under trees on a washed out trail. Decided to walk through the stream to avoid the fallen trees. This was also not easy because the brush was so dense! Bugs everywhere...drove me nuts! Getting through this section almost took three hours. Finally made it to the falls at the top of the arroyo at 4:30 PM. Was getting very dark and I did not bring my lights. Big mistake. There are orange ribbons tied to trees to guide you back to the trail to get over and down the falls to the arroyo. They are located a couple hundred yards up stream from the waterfall. Climb up the cliffs, following the ribbons Back to the trail. There is a chain link fence on your right. The trail, back down to the arroyo, was washed out so we slid down a rock slide chute to the bottom. I recommend only having one person go at a time so you do not kill your friends from the boulders rolling down the hill! Once you get to the bottom you are on the fun but mellow arroyo trail.
A few suggestion:
Plan on at least 6-7 hours for this ride because you have to hike/bike through a few mile section above the arroyo. All the climbing and trying to find a passable route slows you down
Plenty of water/snacks
Lights/ bug spray/fire in case someone gets hurt and you have to sleep on the mountain. We almost had to!
Long sleeves, eye protection because the climbing through all the brush cuts you up!
Tools, pump, tubes etc.. Flats are common for this trail.
Start early! Before 10 am in winter
I was miserable doing the second half of this ride. I am in good shape and I ride daily. but this one kicked my butt. Looking back, it was worth the adventure! This is a once a year trail that you need to come prepared for! Have fun.



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Review Date
July 19, 2012

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: jennix ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRAIL WITH A BIKE FOR NOW. Done on 7/16/2012. Trail peters out after you leave the Switzer Falls trail, and disappears just after you arrive at the creek.

It *is* passable, but we averaged a half mile per hour lugging two bikes through, including a few waterfall passes, a jumping into a neck deep pool and tossing the bikes 15 feet into the river. Not something i'd like to have done alone.

Also the bypass around the Brown Canyon dam is almost impossible to find, and it has collapsed at one of the gullys near the top. We had to wedge the bikes between the rocks and use them as braces to continue around the dam.

Total time from Switzer to JPL was 7.5 hours.

Again, i'll repeat, this route is NOT currently suitable for mountain biking. (We actually started @ Redbox, which is ridable to Switzer, so long as you don't mind the PoodleDogBush on the upper section.



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Review Date
August 22, 2011

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: Jim ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Rode from Redbox to JPL Saturday, August 20th despite warnings the trail below Switzer's Camnp were washed out and closed.
Should have listened. No trail maintenance from Redbox to Camp, but ridable. Riding up from Switzer's Camp, once you start riding the ridge line you will find losts of washouts and hike a bikes. Trail is basically non-existent and ridable once you drop back down into the canyon and all the way down until you hit the out that takes you up and around the dam - your basically carrying and pushing your bike all the way down with countless stream crossings. We had a difficult time finding the out due to the damage and from the fire and flooding. It's take years and a few million to make this ridable again.

Recommended Route:
Not recommended.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Rode Chialo. Burnt out with some regrowth. Upside is you can see everything on the surrounding hillsides and valleys. A lot of soft patches in the trails around the campground. While a short ride, the fireroad climb and single track loop from/to the campground is in good shape.



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Review Date
August 9, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: plate ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Did this run on saturday, very rideable only 1-2 sections had to be walked. trail was in very good condition and other than a few groups of hikers that were not too happy about yielding right of way we had a blast, completed the run in 1hr 20mins. Saw some PO on the trail but it wasnt over grown. This was mostly a strait downhill run not much in the way of drops or jumps. Very fast and fun.



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Review Date
March 23, 2008

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: MrBP-H ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Three of us rode this trail on the 21st Jan 08. We parked one of the trucks up near JPL then shuttled up to Red box car park where we started the trail (after enjoying stunning views across the Sierras).
Intermittent icy snow covered the track for the first half mile or so, challenging our flow but after that it was clear with the odd sections suffering from winter damage, rolled boulders wash-outs etc.
We had the trail totally to ourselves & really had a blast riding down it. The creek was pretty high which made it difficult to pick your way across dry, eventually we gave up & waded through the last ten or so crossings. It's a massive rush riding this beautiful slice of California I would recommend it to anyone with a reasonable DH skillset.
One cautionary note - the mid section as you switch back down to the canyon floor is pretty hairy. It's narrow singletrack with steep canyon wall flanking your right shoulder & to your left oblivion! Lose it there & you lose it forever! The last couple of miles are a concrete by-way that rolls towards the big JPL ca park, ideal for cruising home with a big smile on your face.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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