Cedar Creek Falls Trail

MODERATE 282 reviews

Cedar Creek Falls Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ramona, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.2 miles 1102 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

You need a permit to hike, and only 75 permits are allocated per day. One permit can have up to 5 people on it. Get your permit here: http://www.recreation.gov/ Be careful - children have slipped off the rocks to their death. Also - be sure to bring a lot of water, the trail can be very hot and dry! This hike is not recommended in summer months, as temperatures on the trail are frequently 25F higher than temperatures in San Diego. There is no shade on the last 2.5 miles of uphill in this hike. If you are attempting this hike in warmer months, bring at least ONE GALLON of water per person and per pet and hike in the cooler parts of the day (very early morning or late afternoon). During warm months dogs should not be brought on this trail, and there have been canine fatalities due to heat. There is a permit required to enter the area surrounding the waterfall, permits must be purchased at recreation.gov prior to hiking. There are rangers checking permits. Climbing on and jumping off the cliffs surrounding the waterfall is prohibited. There are two trails to Cedar Creek Waterfall. The main trailhead is the San Diego River Gorge Trailhead starting from Ramona. The trailhead has tap water, pit latrines and shade shelters. This trail is 2.5 Miles each way, it begins high in the canyon and descends 1000 feet with no shade or water along the way. At the bottom of the canyon there is an intersection and from this point a permit is required. Continue straight across the small clearing to the short, shaded walk to the waterfall. Cedar Creek Falls only flows after rains and is frequently dry or a small trickle. Save water for the strenuous and hot walk back out. Note: the water at the falls is not drinkable. The alternate trailhead is from the Julian side, at the end of Eagle Peak Road, starting at Saddleback Trailhead.

hiking
1 day ago

Spectacular views! Must do both trails to the top of waterfall and bottom...breath taking.

Awesome hike! Make sure to have your permit. The ranger is there to check you in before you step foot on trailhead. Waterfall and streams were all flowing great! Bring a pair of sandals. One of the Creek crossings can get deep. The other two have rocks to walk across on. :)

hiking
4 days ago

4 days ago

We had to cross 3 creek beds to get to the waterfall. The first one was up to mid-thigh. Totally worth the hike. Waterfall was amazing. Don't forget your $6 permit and ID when you go!

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5 days ago

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11 days ago

Much more fun and much less crowded than I was expecting for a Sunday afternoon hike. :)

12 days ago

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15 days ago

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16 days ago

Can be very difficult on a hot day. Ranger station at the top to make sure people are fit enough to make it down, but it is much more difficult coming back up.
The water was cool and clean enough for swimming, I just wouldn't put your head under to definitely keep from getting sick in the possibly stagnant water.

16 days ago

Was my first legit hike and I absolutely loved it! We went a few days after all the rain and everything was so green and beautiful and the Devils Punchbowl Waterfall was completely full!

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18 days ago

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22 days ago

Start early, it gets hot. Bring more water than you think you need. The way back is uphill with no shade.

hiking
24 days ago