L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET's SoCal Focus blog features archived photographs from the several member institutions related to Southern California's so-called golden age of hiking:
As spring warms into summer, many Southern Californians are returning to the local mountains to enjoy the fresh air, tranquil settings, and opportunities for physical exercise. In doing so, they join a long tradition of hiking, camping, fishing, and other recreational activities in our region's mountain ranges.
Regional boosters exploited the mountains' abundant opportunities for recreation, extolling—as some Angeleños still do today—the ability to play in the surf in the morning and on sylvan hillsides in the afternoon.
In the late nineteenth century, many who responded to the boosters' appeals settled near the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in Pasadena. In 1884, one such man, a health seeker named Commodore Perry Switzer, opened a fifteen mile trail up the Arroyo Seco to a pristine mountain playground of crystal pools and deep gorges. Switzer built a camp near a seventy-foot waterfall. The settlement became famous as "Switzer-land", and, as Charles Frederick Holder wrote in All about Pasadena and Its Vicinity (1889), was "visited by nearly every person who tarries in Southern California."
Keep reading the full post on the KCET website.