San Diego, CA
Trailblazer | 1263 pts
Steep mountains with spectacular views of chaparral. Despite the trail--an old jeep road--this area still has the feel of wilderness. I set out about 9:30 with my two boys, ages 2 and 4, from Saddleback junction at the end of Eagle Peak Road. As there were no trailhead markers and not a soul for the last 8 miles of dirt road, I wasn't altogether sure we were even on the right trail. It's a steady not-too-steep descent about 1000 feet to trail that spurs off to the left and down to Cedar Creek. It was a bit cold and the rain started coming down when we arrived at the creek, just in time to eat lunch under one of the many oak trees in the bottom of the canyon. There we saw our first person of the day. Fortunately, we didn't find the dead person that another hiker found just a couple hundred yards upstream from our picnic. (Heart attack? Hypothermia? Cold rain for two days and he wasn't wearing winter clothes). Made for a really creepy feeling for the rest of the day and we headed back up soon after. Before that, fortunately, we scrambled out over a few rocks for a spectacular view of the top of the falls, about a 100-foot drop. Kept close watch on my boys. My youngest too was inexplicably unwilling to hike (he's usually the opposite and refuses to be carried) and whining and crying a lot. Turns out he was spiking a fever, but I didn't know til I got home. So, I'd like to return when circumstances were better, but still a good outing and good to get the boys out into the "wild." They ate it up. My youngest, through his tears of discomfort, still insisted he was having fun and liked the trail.