We present ultrafast optical switching experiments on 3D photonic band gap crystals. Switching the Si inverse opal is achieved by optically exciting free carriers by a two-photon process. We probe reflectivity in the frequency range of second order Bragg diffraction where the photonic band gap is predicted. We observe a large frequency shift of up to 1.5% of all spectral features including the peak that corresponds to the photonic band gap. We also demonstrate large, ultrafast shifts of stop bands of planar GaAs/AlAs photonic structures. We briefly discuss how our results can be used in future switching and modulation applications.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.