Hike to Cedar Creek Falls
With this season's repeated downpours, San Diego County's big waterfalls have been putting on a show. Big, in this neck of the woods, means a hundred feet or so. One of the easiest and accessible to casual hikers is Cedar Creek Falls. Another, called Mildred Falls, can be seen on the way to Cedar Creek. On Saturday, January 1st 2011, Ollie, Ralphie, Willie and I headed out towards Julian to hike out to Cedar Creek Falls.
Cedar Creek Falls plunges about 90ft into a large swimming hole surrounded by rock walls. It's one of the more popular hikes in this part of California, which is perhaps more known for its hot and dry climate than its waterfalls. While this is indeed an impressive waterfall, it can have a short life depending upon the amount of rain/snow fall during the winter. Starting out from the trail head at the end of Eagel Peak Road we had great views looking north up Ritchie Creek Canyon to see Mildred Falls, arguably San Diego County's highest at more than 100 feet.
Cedar Creek had quite a bit of water flowing and we had the whole area to ourselves, as we had arrived at the trail head a bit before 8am. By the time we had started back, a number of other people started showing up so it looked like we beat the crowds. During the spring a early summer its not uncommon to see well over 50 people hanging around the pool at the base of the falls. This 4.5 mile round trip hike usually takes about 2 1/2 hours, not counting the time spent taking in all the overwhelming natural beauty at the falls.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ROPauTB7t4"]YouTube - Hike to Cedar Creek Falls[/ame]
Looking out at Mildred Falls from the trail head.
We didn't have to worry about high temperatures today.
Many of the puddles along the way were partly frozen.
Pack it in, pack it out. Some folks ignored this sign.
Looking north where the San Diego River and Ritchie Creek Canyon intersect.
The San Diego River valley starts to widen out.
People have died out here.
San Diego River.
Our destination. Cedar Creek Falls.
We had several crossings of Cedar Creek.
View of Mildred Falls on the way back up.
The trail head had turned into a parking lot by the time we got back.
Someone had a bad day...
San Diego's back country.