Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cedar Creek Falls

I'm a born and raised San Diego native.  I've heard about the big water fall in Ramona, but I've never gone to see it.  Well this Sunday we finally went.  If you haven't done this hike and you live in San Diego, you're missing out.  I have since talked to many S.D. natives that haven't done this hike either.

This is what you will see.

A 90 foot water Fall
The pool of water at the bottom is referred to as "Devil's Punchbowl"
There is an amazing amount of water coming off of this fall this time of year.

Here is a picture I found of the falls in the summer.
Not quite as impressive. 

For driving directions click here
It's about an hour drive from our house.  The walking part of the trip takes between two and a half to three hours.  Don't start to late in the day.  You don't want to be down in the canyon in the dark.

The start of the hike is at the top of a residential neighborhood. 
It's a little over a 4 mile hike.

What To Bring.
Lot's of water, we wore camel backs.
snacks and/or lunch. (no trash cans, so you will need to pack out your trash)
Good walking shoes
flip flops or water shoes for the stream crossings (3 of them)
bathing suit
jacket if cold
cell phone doesn't work at the bottom of the hike.
Big dog if you have one.  There were lots of labs and other sturdy dog types on the hike.  Leave your lap dog at home, it's too hard for them.

We have had so much rain this winter that the hills are very green right now.

Here is the view from the beginning of the hike.

Park on the street.

New bathrooms are being completed.  They will be open April 30th. 
There aren't any bathrooms on the hike so plan ahead.
Guys are so lucky.

Casey had a sleepover (more like an awakeover) the night before so she stayed home to catch up on her Z's.
My husband and Cami took the lead while I played with the camera.  Cami regretted wearing jeans. 

The view is incredible.  This is a doable but steep hike.  A lot of switchbacks going down and very steep coming back up. The youngest child I saw on this hike was around 5 and his dad was carrying him up the hill.  I would leave the little guys at home the first time you do this. 
The path is well maintained.

"The hills are alive with the sound of music."

What's that noise?

You need to watch for rattlesnakes.  They are out this time of year.

The Yucca was in full bloom. 
This plant is also referred to as "Nature's Candelabra."

Thank you winter rain.

Lot's of wild flowers.  They will all be dried up soon when the heat comes.

It gets VERY hot here in summer.  Do this hike in the spring or fall.

When you come to the fork in the path, go to the right.

I hear water running?  When you get to the bottom of the valley you are almost half done. 
Continue East to see the water fall.

Trees grow by the river bank, we're getting close.

We passed a beautiful grass meadow.

First stream crossing. 
Next time I will bring my water shoes and change out of my hiking shoes at this point.

Continue on East past the two polls.

We're going the right way.

Second stream crossing.  Off with the socks and shoes again. 
Watch where you sit.  There were a lot of Fire Ants.

One more crossing.  Socks and shoes off again.  The water felt delicious.

First glimpse of the waterfall through the trees.  We could hear it before we saw it.


Next time we will bring our suits.

Check out the cave.

Here is the top.

 You can even jump off into the pool below.

 OK back up the mountain.  Back over the three streams, shoes off, on, off, on, off, on. 

Cami took a break in a mini tractor.

 Did I tell you about the rattlesnakes?  We had a visitor on the trail. 
 He was just passing by, all four feet of him.

 We will definitely do this hike again!  Casey will have to come next time.

Thanks for checking it out.

Update 7/26/2011

A couple months after I posted this a young man fell to his death from the top of the waterfall.  Cedar Creek Falls is now closed indefinitely.  Please check to see if it's open before you make the trek out there.  If it is open, please be CAREFUL!  We did not climb, or recommend you climb, to the top of the falls, we just admired them from the bottom.


  1. Holy rattlesnacks, batman! Great idea, great path and great rattler danger.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. I have been to Ramona and Julian, but never knew about the falls. It looks beautiful! I wish I could be there right now. Lovely!

  3. Wow! I knew those guys were out there, but I've never actually crossed paths with one.

    What a fun day, and a beautiful place.


  4. Wow! I did not know this existed in SD! Of course the beauty of SD never ceases to amaze me! Thanks for sharing!


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