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Cedar Creek Falls Trail [CLOSED]

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Cleveland National Forest

Cedar Creek Falls Trail [CLOSED] is a 4.9 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 accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,033 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

closed

no shade

fee

Please note: users have reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. A popular hike in San Diego County, the trail to Cedar Creek Falls is a challenging pathway through backcountry hills and down an exposed canyon to a spectacular waterfall. Based in eastern San Diego in Cleveland National Forest, Cedar Creek Waterfall can be accessed from the main trailhead at San Diego River Gorge starting in Ramona or via Saddleback Trailhead at the end of Eagle Peak Road in Julian. Please Note: A permit is required to enter the area surrounding the falls and must be purchased prior to hiking at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Only 75 permits are issued per day and permits are not sold on site, nor is there ample cell signal to make the purchase via mobile device. Permits cost $10 each and can be used for up to 5 people. Permits are limited in quantity and often sell out. Rangers will be checking permits with a valid government issued ID, which must accompany all visitors listed. This hike is not advised for those with health conditions and not recommended in summer months due to extreme heat and the risk of heat stroke. Bring at least one gallon of water per person in summer months. Climbing on and jumping off the cliffs surrounding the waterfall is prohibited. For more information contact the USDA Forest Service.

hiking
no shade
5 hours ago

hiking
4 days ago

This trail has been closed since the beginning of March. Enforcement of the closure is being implemented. Please do not go hike it. Go to “Cleveland National Forest” website for up to date information. And when it does open back up, don’t forget to buy your permit at recreation.gov.

hiking
8 days ago

Did this hike a couple days ago, it was a really good one. Waterfall is flowing great and water feels good! However I can back today to hike again and there are Rangers sitting out front of trailhead. Don’t go!

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike but trail is “closed” right now and I got stopped by rangers on my way out. People ahead of me even got fined so be wary if you try to go

hiking
no shade
rocky
10 days ago

Easy trail, but really packed at the falls! The top of the waterfall was the best part! Loved this hike, so fun!

Pick up your trash please!

hiking
no shade
11 days ago

You walk down to the falls and uphill to leave. The morning is best due to barely any shade. The falls and punch bowl are awesome when the waters really flowing.

hiking
13 days ago

Very crowded trail, but very easy, dog-friendly, going all downhill on the way there, way back up hill. Waterfall was nice, water was cold, very, very crowded

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful and easy but the amount of trash at the falls is heartbreaking... please pick up what you bring in..

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike with lots of wildflowers! This is a 2 mile hike down into a canyon (with very limited shade) and another mile with three stream crossings to the falls and swimming hole (so actually 6 miles roundtrip). There were many people at the falls. Bring LOTS of water. You'll especially need it coming back up the canyon to the trailhead. Forest service recommendation is one gallon per person during the summer months. We had only one bottle per person and it was not really enough today (Mother's Day) in the high 70's. Please pack out your trash and leave no trace!!

hiking
16 days ago

Easy trail still accessible during Covid with a beautiful waterfall at the end

hiking
no shade
18 days ago

Technically closed right now but it wasn’t hard to find parking. The trail was still packed. it sounded like I was walking up on a concert once I go to the end. Probably my least favorite hike I’ve been on but the waterfall was beautiful.

hiking
flooded
1 month ago

Awesome WATERFALL! Rocks are slippery. River crossing and a good workout. Perfect amount of shade and great for all ages.

Stay on the trail. Me and my buddy wandered off and almost stepped on 2 rattlesnakes. We had to cross 3 creeks that were about knee high due to the recent rain. Trails closed but we still sent it.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail closed due to Corona virus pandemic. I got a permit to hike on 3/22/2020. Just received email stating the trail is closed effective 3/20-4/20.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this trail for probably the 5th time this past Saturday and it was great as usual. The river at the bottom of canyon (about a half mile before waterfall) is flowing so well now that you WILL get wet. I just took off my shoes and rolled up my pants to my knees and waded thru it. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

Great time for this hike as the fall is flowing! Clear and easy to follow trail which gets Rocky towards the end when close to the falls. Be prepared to traverse three streams on the way in and out. The first is knee deep at the moment. The other two you can cross using the rocks without getting wet if you are sure footed and have good balance. It is gorgeous right now with much flora and fauna in bloom.

hiking
2 months ago

hiked down to the falls today. it wasn't nearly as muddy as I expected. falls were pumping really good. had to cross the creek 3x, the first was knee deep, the other two about calf deep. water was cold and my toes went numb pretty quick. got a brief rain shower at the falls but the sun came out for the steep hike back. Made a video of our hike on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOY33KooPFw&t=20s

2 months ago

went yesterday and have never seen the falls with this much water, it was perfect with not too many people and tons of water. be prepared to take your boots off three times to cross the stream its calve deep.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous hike! Brought a back pack with lunch and two 40oz bottles of water. Be prepared to walk down and walk back up after the fall. The trail was well maintained and not too crowded at the falls. Have to cross three streams- think about bringing sandals for this as it is closer to the waterfall. Restrooms at the trailhead.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful day. Did this hike with some friends right after the rain. Had to take the jump and make sure you get a permit!

hiking
fee
rocky
2 months ago

Just about 3 miles down to falls, and 3 miles up to trailhead, creek crossing 3 times up to your knees. Trail is mostly double track, rocky with little shade. Beautiful valley views and wildflowers line the trail. Crowded even with a max # of visitors daily. Falls are flowing and pools are full after a good rain. Rocks above are closed, but many still jump. Wear tevas and a hat, and bring water.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful lucious green mountains along the entire trail. 3 miles in, 3 miles out. Need to cross 3 streams to get to the falls, first one goes about knee deep, the last 2 are more shallow. Would bring flip flops to walk between the 3 streams. Falls are much larger in person!

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Solid hike. Perfect weather conditions. 64 and overcast. I can definitely see why this hike could be dangerous in the summer months with no shade. The water at the falls was very cold but definitely good for a swim as long as it hasn't been raining anytime soon. Will definitely be back.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike, don’t forget to get and print out your group permit. For this hike you go down hill and crosses 3 times a river that leads you to the waterfall

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