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Switzer Camp

(These photographs of Switzer Camp in the San Gabriels
are courtesy of a friend of Altadena Historical Society.)

Founded in 1884, Switzer Camp was the idea of Perry Switzer who lived in Pasadena and made his living as a carpenter. His arroyo rock village, one of many privately owned attractions that dotted the front range of the San Gabriel mountains, hosted outdoor enthusiasts who hiked from one lodge to the next.

Inside the lodge

In 1896 Switzer Camp was destroyed by forest fire. In 1905, when the camp was rebuilt the name was changed to Camp Losa-Dena (a combination of Los Angeles and Altadena).  It changed hands again in 1911, and was renamed Switzer-Land.  The chapel, perched precariously above the falls, was built after 1911.

The chapel, built from canyon arroyo rock, 
had a piano, bell tower and stained 
glass window. It held 200 people.

Today all that remains of Switzer Camp are the chapel’s arches and the overgrown foundation of the lodge. Hikers can access the shady canyon and falls area from Angeles Crest Highway (CA 2).

View from the chapel

To see all 46 photos go to this link.