Cedar Creek Falls Trail

Julian, California 92036

Cedar Creek Falls Trail

Cedar Creek Falls Trail Professional Review and Guide

"If your dogs like the water, they will love this area. While this is not a hidden hike, it certainly is a gem of San Diego County, even though at times it seems like everyone in San Diego is at the main swimming hole. The water here flows year-round, despite its low elevation, and while the best time of year to visit is during the spring, autumn can be quite lovely as well, often with thinner crowds. The base of the falls sits close to 1000 feet above sea level, and the temperatures here can sizzle, especially in the mid-day summer sun. It’s not a good idea to take a mid-day hike here when it is hot, but if you are beneath the falls during the hottest time of day, you’ll know exactly why this place is a treasure. The falls drop over 90 feet into the pool at the bottom, and in high rain years the cascade resembles a more northern locale rather than arid San Diego County."

Cedar Creek Falls Trail Reviews

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I love this beautiful hike. There are lovely mountain vistas on the way down and it is a pretty decent work out on the way back. When it is hot it is even more of a challenge. There is very little shade here, so a hat, sunscreen, and LOTS of water are important.
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Limited review: didn't make it very far. Finding the site is easy, I don't recommend a two wheel drive vehicle after watching a numbskull melt the tread off of his tires trying to climb the hill before sliding backwards into an unsuspecting patron's car. We attempted this trail with our dog and had to abort for the heat of the sand... her poor paws were getting burned less than a mile into the trek, necessitating a full retreat with her 56 pounds draped over my husband's very strong back. This was completely our fault as we weren't planning ahead appropriately and didn't think to bring her booties. The only reason I am posting is to serve as a warning to others to not make the same error. This is a sun-drenched trail for it's entirety and the sand gets very hot very early... bring PLENTY of water and booties for the dog. Several other dogs were also being carried out by their owners and more than one person looked as though heat stroke wasn't in the too distant future. This is a fabulous trail with a pot of gold at the end... as long as you plan appropriately.
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Loved the hike although I got a little car sick getting to the trailhead via the Julian route!! This is a must for spring time but hardly doubt the water flow on the falls will be as strong as it was when we hiked in. Another group showed up and some of their kids jumped into the pool at the bottom of the falls. It looked pretty slimy and smelled fishy to me. I wouldn't recommend drinking any of the water without properly filtering. Best to bring your own. Hike in on the lower trail to the falls then later scramble up a narrow trail rock & dirt trail to the top for a sweet view of the whole valley and falls. I hope you like this one as much as we did!
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This trail report truly is the worst I have ever encountered. I live and hike in this area and I can not believe no one has ever even been there. Get better quick. Mike

Cedar Creek Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,100 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2.5 hours
Cleveland National Forest, Descanso Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Tule Springs
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018