Kitchen Creek Falls Trail

Campo, California

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For the most part, San Diego County’s section of the Pacific Crest Trail sticks to high and dry ridgelines and slopes, avoiding most canyon bottoms and stream courses. On the southern slopes of the Laguna Mountains, however, the PCT passes just 200 yards above a hidden series of cascades on Kitchen Creek. Here, water from about 20 square miles of drainage flows through a narrow constriction in the bedrock and drops about 150 vertical feet over water-polished slabs. In the aftermath of any major storm, the sound of falling water gives away the location of the cascades. At other times, finding them may be a navigational challenge. A short stretch of scrambling is required to reach the water itself.

Kitchen Creek Falls Trail Professional Review and Guide

"For the most part, San Diego County’s section of the Pacific Crest Trail sticks to high and dry ridgelines and slopes, avoiding most canyon bottoms and stream courses. On the southern slopes of the Laguna Mountains, however, the PCT passes just 200 yards above a hidden series of cascades on Kitchen Creek. Here, water from about 20 square miles of drainage flows through a narrow constriction in the bedrock and drops about 150 vertical feet over water-polished slabs. In the aftermath of any major storm, the sound of falling water gives away the location of the cascades. At other times, finding them may be a navigational challenge. A short stretch of scrambling is required to reach the water itself."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Campo
Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gain: 900 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: December through May
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Descanso Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Cameron Corners
Driving Directions: Directions to Kitchen Creek Falls Trail

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May 2018