Cedar Creek Falls @ San Diego River Canyon
The trails at San Diego River Canyon is one of San Diego's hidden treasures. There are numerous waterfalls in the tributary of the Upper San Diego River that put on a big show. One of these waterfalls is the Cedar Creek Falls which plunges 80 ft into a pool surrounded by rock walls.
Now, let me take you to the hike.......a total of 10 miles out and back for this one, a total of 2200 ft change in elevation ( hike down 1000 ft, hike up 1200 ft, down 1200 ft and then up 1000 ft ) with some steep climbs on not so well maintained trail in some parts and some rock scrambling by the waterfall. Best time to hike is during spring when the waterfalls are showing their thunderous display and when the desert canyon does not get too hot yet.
We start our hike at the San Diego Country Estates at 15531 Thornbush Road, Ramona, CA.
Hike Starts Going Downhill with Early Morning Fogs Hugging the Mountains
If you do not want to get your feet wet, wear a sturdy waterproof hiking shoes and bring a hiking pole.
Hiking Poles and Shoes, Partners in Hiking,
The hiking pole is not only to be your 3rd and 4th leg on really steep, almost vertical climbs, but it is also to gauge the water level and help you balance as you step on slippery rocks as you cross a stream, there are three stream crossings in this hike.
After about 2 miles, going downhill 1000 ft, and crossing the first stream, you reach the bottom of the canyon. After crossing the first stream, you pass a very refreshing riparian habitat.
Live Oaks and Grass
Matilija Poppies, Brittlebush and Live Oaks @ the bottom of canyon
You now have a relief from walking on steep slopes downhill to a more level walk at the bottom of the canyon. After about a half of the mile, you get a glimpse of what is creating the thunderous sound as you hike, the sound of water falling at Cedar Creek.
Me @ Cedar Creek Falls
A lot of people stay here and make this the end of their hike. The younger crowds would climb up the rocks and take a dive and swim, well, not only the teens but their pets too.
Diving Fun @ Cedar Creek
Dog Wanna Have Fun too
For us, we won't stop here, instead we will take the trail that goes up to the top of waterfall. There are some rock scrambling, but it adds more fun.
Looking Down from the Trail
Waterfall from the top
After rock scrambling, some bushwhacking in a not so maintained trail, and climbing 100 ft, you take a glimpse of the waterfall from the top. Then, we leave this waterfall and now go downhill 100 ft and then climb uphill 1200 ft to Saddleback. Towards Saddleback, the 150 ft tall Mildred Falls awaits you.
Taller But Skinnier Mildred Falls
After Saddleback, where you will see the layers of mountains and canyons from the top, there are still numerous trail to continue on, however, for us, it time to head back. Heading back means going back 5 miles, down 1200 ft and then climb 1000 ft. It is now the time to cool down and take more pictures of the scenery around.
Wildlfowers Lining the Trail
Me, Photographing the Yucca
Yucca up Close
Come, let us take a hike, kick our feet and keep fit. Hiking is a very healthy way of keeping fit and releasing the day's stress, and getting inspired with the wonders of nature and the natural beauty of our surrounding.