Hiking Cleveland National Forest: Roberts Ranch Meadow & Cottonwood Creek Falls
Cleveland National Forest:Hike to Roberts Ranch Meadow & Cottonwood Creek Falls
Saturday, September 18th 2010
I met up with some friends Saturday morning in for a few easy day hikes into a couple areas of the Cleveland National Forest. Our first stop was an oak-studded grassland called Roberts Ranch; privately owned land that was incorporated into the national forest in the late 1990s.
Across the meadow, we came upon the remnants of a century-old ditch designed (but never used) to shunt water from Pine Valley Creek into the San Diego River drainage. We could also see an area of private land that housed what looked like big cats (maybe tigers) behind an extremely large fence in the distance.
Looks like I forgot to take the date off the camera settings.
Starting out across the meadow.
Reaching the old, never used flume.
Walking along the cattle trail.
Saw this sitting on a rock.
Next, we drove on up Sunrise Highway to the trail head for Cottonwood Creek Falls, one of the many secret beauty spots tucked away on San Diego County's public lands.
With our National Forest Adventure Passes displayed on our rigs, we made our way down a narrow, partly overgrown trail that descends beneath power lines. About three-quarters of a mile down, we made a sharp left upstream past some large oaks toward the cascades, which were now in earshot. After a bit of rock scrambling and a few stream crossings, we reached the uppermost fall, where the stream drops ten feet into a deep pool. Much of the stream had slackened and the pools were filled with growths of algae. However, just past the uppermost fall we did find a nice tree-shaded, crystal clear pool that made for a good rest stop and has me wishing I had packed a bathing suite.
Looks like there might be a few places to camp among those oaks.
Now heading upstream.
Lots of bees out today.
Steve, leading the way up.
These little guys were everywhere!
Watch out for cactus along the route.
This is the deepest pool.
Now this is where I would take a dip.
Time to relax.
Heading back down.
Its all uphill from here to the road.
We soon reached our vehicles and said our goodbyes. It was a great day to spend out seeing the back country. As the weather here in Southern California cools down I'll be heading out a lot more!
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." -Edward Abbey