Visited this weekend. Nice area but currently the canyon is virtually impassable from overgrowth.

backpacking
2 months ago

"A trip down the San Diego River canyon during the rainy season is a true adventure. (Mind you, we are not referring to the river at its lower Mission Valley segment, or even at Mission Gorge; rather, this section is way up in the mountains toward Julian.) Runoff from winter storms fills the rocky riverbed with a silvery band of water. Green grass, new leaves, and wildflowers (appearing by February or March) brighten the banks as well as the slopes. In several places along the way the stream cascades over rock precipices, including one with a drop of 100 hundred feet.

Bedrock morteros (grinding holes) along the river, especially near groves of oaks, attest to frequent use of the canyon by Native Americans for hundreds of years or more. Contemporary human usage pales by comparison; only an occasional hiker, backpacker, or hunter penetrates these canyon depths today.

Sturdy boots and a patient, cautious attitude are essential for exploring the canyon. This is a trek suitable only for those adept at moving through steep, rough terrain, and comfortable with occasional scrambling bordering on technical rock climbing. Get an early start if you are planning anything other than a brief, cursory look at the canyon. Keep in mind, too, that any substantially wet, winter-season storm could temporarily swell the usually indolent river flow to a dangerous level.

You may park at Inaja Picnic Area in the Cleveland National Forest, where you must post a National Forest Adventure Pass on your car for the privilege of parking. Start off by descending a precipitous slope south of the restrooms into the canyon's oak-shaded floor, a short distance below. Turn down-canyon, and at 0.5 mile arrive at the first falls, a set of two, each about 50 feet high. To get by, you'll probably need to traverse through brush and over tilted rock slabs on the right (west) side. If you don't like this dicey maneuver, go no further and turn back. You will encounter nothing but long stretches of boulder hopping, and occasional rock climbing ahead. The 2003 Cedar Fire incinerated the thick brush that was starting to make passages down the river canyon almost impossible. Now, however, that same vegetation is growing back.

After a total of 3.2 miles and perhaps 4 or more arduous hours, you'll come upon the lip of a 100-foot waterfall (elevation 1950 feet) -- the highest falls on the San Diego River. The water tumbles over a rock face and collects in a shallow pool perhaps 60 feet across. This destination is about as far as it is prudent to go in a full day. Remember that the hike back is all uphill and will almost certainly take a lot longer than did the hike down." -Jerry Schad

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Easy and peaceful. Just what I was looking for.

hiking
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A great easy warm up for someone like me who is just getting into hiking. I saw a family here too, good little exploration for kids.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I always stop here to get out and stretch, enjoy the view and peace and have a picnic. I don't really consider it hiking but more of a cool little loop and nice place to hang out

hiking
Monday, April 21, 2014

This trail is easily accessible and available to walk all year round, excepting the visit of occasional winter storms. It has a sunny inviting atmosphere. Listen to your feet crunch rhythmically upon the decomposed granite path. A place to sit and contemplate on beautiful granite boulder outlooks, high above a verdant stream bed. It is a welcoming gem amid the wild chaparral of the San Diego County mountains.

hiking
Saturday, April 05, 2014

hiking
Saturday, August 31, 2013

This is a perfect get out and stretch you legs hike. It has some great views too.

hiking
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

nature trips
Monday, February 18, 2013

This is a great trail for the family, it will take about 30 minutes to do the loop, but if you want a hard trail you can follow the picnic benches and go down to the San Diego River. This trail going down has 3 water falls, 2 50 foot and 1 100 foot after rains or snow melt, this trail test you to your limits and not for beginners, you will get hurt. If going solo being about 30 feet of line to lower you pack, and boots should be used, also have hiking poles or stick.

hiking
Tuesday, June 05, 2012

hiking
Monday, March 14, 2011

good place to have a picnic,