Cedar Creek Falls Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ramona, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
NOTE: Following the death of a 16-year-old boy who fell into the swimming hole, this trail has been CLOSED by the U.S. Forest Service. It is to remain closed until April 1, 2012 or until officials settle on a safety management plan.
I have knee issues and it was a great hike! Go early before the mid day heat because the way back up is gradually steep and you don't feel it as much when going down! Also not as many people go early in the morning which is nice since you can enjoy the silence and beauty without feeling rushed! Pack plenty of water as u will use most of if coming up. Not a lot of shade up the trail but on the bottom their is plenty of shady spots to catch your breath or just enjoy the shade from the heat. Also get your permit before going out there if not u can get it online if you have a smart phone like I had to. The volunteers out there were so nice and helpful! Overall a great hike!
It was a great 6 mile hike, lots of trees and shade. take some snacks and plenty of water. The water stands along the way are only for horses not safe for human consumption.
The park ranger was a real jerk about us trying to do the trail with a dog. They don't sell the pass in person and even though we tried paying for it upon arrival he said that wasn't an option. He let several people by who were wearing flip flops but said we couldn't go because we had a dog. He also claimed they had turned away a person with a bull dog and that was his reasoning, although our dog has come on every hike with us and is an athletic breed and in great condition.
We had all the required water and gear and he still basically told us he wouldn't let us go.
What we gathered from this is don't come and try to do the trail in the summer. It's "too hot for dogs", there is no waterfall, and the water left behind is stagnant and disgusting. The park ranger was also the reason we couldn't go and even though we are experienced hikers he treated us like we thought it was some nature walk. A major downer and every other person coming off the trail was complaining about how difficult it was because they all seemed to be in poor physical shape.
I'm giving 2 stars because of the summer months and the danger associated with it. I'm sure winter and cooler temperatures make this a beautiful hike especially since you can see the waterfall then. We went in July.
You do need to purchase a $6 permit ahead of time they only give 75 out a day so plan ahead. The one $6 permit covers 5 people. You can purchase using the link below (copy/paste).
It should be noted that summer months (anything with temperatures above high 70's) turn this hike into a HARD not moderate hike. Seriously! The heat makes this a very dangerous hike. There are warnings once getting to the location but it should be posted online the difference in difficultly and health safety by season and temperature.
Also in summer months the waterfall is nonexistent....just a green stagnant algae watering hole. Yuck! It's a view walking down and hiking back up but during summer months there's better places to be.
Do NOT take your dog during summer either you will be turned away.
I'd suggest to anyone considering doing this hike to avoid entirely the summer OR only hike this if you get there at 6am to begin your hike. Can take almost 4 hours to complete due to no shade and intense heat if beginning around 930am like we did...we finished right around 1pm at the heat of the day. And no we aren't out of shape.
We witnessed someone get rescued as well. 5 heat related rescues were made this week and all were female. It's the heat that makes this hike very difficult and not worth it.
Watch your surroundings...rattlesnakes live in those bushes...you are going to their home.
WATER! A gallon of water is absolutely what you need....it's not for the hike down but the hike back up...if you have leftovers pour it on your head...down your back etc otw back up to help cool you down. Wear a hat, keep your shoulders covered. And bring salty snacks to keep your electrolytes in balance.
You will need to be rescued for one of 2 reasons...dehydration or loss of electrolytes...plan accordingly because there is zero cell service during the hike. Helicopters circle every few hours or so to check to see if anyone needs to be airlifted.
It's 2.5 miles to the waterfall or "green watering hole" and 2.5 back, but they say "it's 2.5 miles down and 20 miles back up" because it's all up back and it's seriously no exaggeration in that heat.
I do not recommend this hike at all in summer months unless you begin hiking at 6am if not earlier...or better yet save it for winter! Be safe out there!!!
Went hiking around 8am this past Saturday, it was very sunny and hot. The way down is easy and the views are beautiful, when we made it to the creek there were a lot of people in the water... i wish i brought my swimsuit! the way up is more challenging and the sun makes it a really good workout. One thing you should know is you need a permit tp hike to the waterfall, luckily we were able to purchase online that morning. Don't forget to Bring enough water! Especially if you plan to hike later in the morning/afternoon
Left early in the morning to avoid the heat (615am), and we returned to the parking lot at 9am, so we avoided most of the 92 degree heat. Definitely bring lots of water and sun protection. Not too steep, the gradual slope made it a "moderate" otherwise would consider it easy. Not much water coming down the falls, but the tranquility makes the hike worth it. Definitely recommend!
Side note, when you park your car on the hill make sure it faces downhill (is it a California thing? I don't know), the park ranger yelled at us and was issuing citations to all the 15-or-so cars parked the wrong way as we left.
Fun hike! Ran into a snake and you can hear all the bees in the trees. Definitely recommend an early start. It was a good hike except for the last .75 mile, that's where the heat is at its worst, no breeze to cool you down. Take some of the small Gatorade bottles, even if you don't use it you come across someone that needs it. I gave mine away on the trail. Plan on jumping in, the water is perfect!
Good hike that's not too strenuous if you're decently prepared. Going down is easy and straightforward. Waterfall was barely flowing as of yesterday but enough to keep it from being completely stagnant. MAKE SURE YOU BRING A GALLON. The hike down is easy and your water should be conserved for the way back up. Although short the extreme heat will wear you down quickly. Had a friend almost have to be rescued because he did not hydrate before or being enough water but we were able to carry him the last mile out. Fun trail overall.
Thought it was a pretty easy hike. Very beautiful and loved that thou can jump off the rocks into the pool of water. But wish there was more water coming down from the waterfall.
Loved it! Easy way down, good challenge coming back up!
Great hike, is in between easy and moderate worth every step. Had gorgeous views...
The hike to the falls was all downhill. Beautiful views on the way down. Once we got there there was too many people just sitting on the rocks and eating. Blocking the way to get in the water. Not a single person was in it. And the waterfall was barely trickling. It was pretty but not as beautiful as the pictures online. I took my Boston Terrier and he did great the whole way. It was overcast and about 70, I wouldn't take him if it was any warmer. Not much shade. Overall the hike was okay. Not as wonderful as I anticipated.
great hike beautiful view!
Need to purchase your permit online because they do have Rangers at the entrance to check it. It's 2.8 miles to the water falls, Not too difficult at all.
It was beautiful. Go early because the heat can get to you. Bring plenty of water.