Kitchen Creek Falls Trail

MODERATE 121 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Kitchen Creek Falls Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pine Valley, 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.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
813 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a moderate hike along the Pacific Crest Trail out to a series of waterfalls at Kitchen creek. The trailhead is just off the highway and easy to find. The terrain and trail are easy to navigate although there are some steep parts near the water which you can choose to avoid. There is ample space to lounge by the water.

hiking
3 days ago

I completed this hike after two days of heavy rain in the county, and the falls were beautiful! They were not tall, cascading waterfalls; but rather a series of small ones with multiple deep pools in a granite-filled section along Kitchen Creek. The hike itself wasn't my favorite because you can hear the traffic from the I-8 freeway for the majority of it. But once you descend down to the falls, it is quiet and peaceful, and you can sit and listen to the water. I recommend this hike on a warm, sunny day after the rain. Follow the well-maintained PCT until the junction - which I found using the GPS feature on AllTrails - and make a left to the falls. (The PCT continues on to the right.) It is an easy day hike for San Diegans.

hiking
11 days ago

Well marked and maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike

hiking
2 months ago

Sadly there was no water, but it was a cool hike anyway! We parked in the camp grounds where it says “PCT Parking” and followed the road until you cross and continue on the trail. You follow the PCT trail but then veer to the left away from the main trail to a smaller trail that will lead you down to the falls. I had my dog with me and this part was a little difficult, but since he is on the smaller side we were able to carry him over some of the rocks.

4 months ago

I went a few months ago and parked on the top side off a back road. Ran into a few PCT hikers pointed us in the right direction to find the falls. I thought it was a great little hike!

6 months ago

This is a nice early morning hike on a summer day. We started at 7:30 at 75 degrees and finished at 10:45 at 97 degrees. Just did beat the heat. Unfortunately the falls were dry on the day of our hike. We plan to come back on a day after a big rain. Should be spectacular. In any case, take plenty of sunscreen and water as there's not a lot of shade. Enjoy

hiking
6 months ago

Water wasn't very clean and almost drying up. The heat from the land was very hot. Please be careful of the heat. It's a creek trail but all the way is uphill, only the last part to the creek was downhill.

hiking
6 months ago

First time I ever hiked "up" to a waterfall. You generally expect waterfall hikes to go down first. Kitchen Creek actually flows east to west, so the water flows down from the hills above. The weather app said 85F degrees in Pine Valley, but as I pulled up at the trailhead the thermostat on my dashboard read 95F. And hot damn, was it hot! I was kinda having second thoughts about this trek, and at that exact moment, a PCT thru hiker appeared. I chatted with him a bit, he was going all the way to Canada. I can't believe anyone would start that one this late in the year. He'll pass through the Mojave in the middle of summer! Anyway, after seeing this beast of a hiker carrying the enormous amount of gear you'd expect a PCT guy would have, I decided I could handle a 4.6 mile walk with my day pack. This hike is pretty savage in the heat, but doable if you're conditioned for it. About 3 hours for me, though I took it pretty slow. Very pretty and scenic, though I drop points for having to see/hear Interstate 8 most of the trek. Other posters in here have said the falls are hard to find. If you study the maps closely enough, it's pretty easy. At the point where the PCT is going due north, and it abruptly turns right and goes due south, here you will find the left turn that goes down to the falls. It's a pretty scenic and relaxing spot, some dangerous spots, so be careful if you go bouldering about. If you were REALLY commando, you could probably follow the creek all the way back to the highway bridge. Bear Grylls would probably go that way. I felt stupid for only packing 2 liters of agua, but there was a fair amount of water flowing and I had my LifeStraw filter with me. Didn't need it, but always glad to have that option. Bring 3 liters if it's 90F+. All in all, great hike. I'll come back here again in the cooler months after a rainstorm. I'm guessing the waterfall looks even more awesome after a good rain.

So I need some guidance here, I have tried to do this trail but was unsuccessful both of the times. Can someone give me some direction as to where to go once I park at the bus stop. Do I cross the street and then continue into the brush, there is no marking/posting for the trail.

#sadtimes

backpacking
7 months ago

This place is awesome and peaceful. Went swimming and loved it even if I ended up covered in leeches.

Early Saturday in May. Not too hot. Moderately crowded. Trail in good shape. Quite a good flow in the falls. Easy to miss the spur down to the falls. It's a left turn.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful peaceful place

8 months ago

good moderate hike. you can jog this one. there's a fork when you get closer to creek. make a left and it takes you to creek.

8 months ago

Nice trail , super easy

9 months ago

The hike was pretty neat

9 months ago

Nice hike

hiking
9 months ago

A great place to stop for lunch while your hiking the PCT. The descent is steep, watch your step.

9 months ago

Pretty nice n easy trail until you get to the last leg downhill scramble to the creek. The water was flowing nicely thanks to the recent showers. Loved the clear, well maintained path. Made for a great trail run back to the car.

9 months ago

Simple 4.5 mi hike (gets steep when going down to the falls at the end) with beautiful running water at the end of the trail. A hidden gem.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail was pretty cool. Not too long, not too short. Just about 5 miles round trip. Surprisingly, there was a ton of water in the falls this time of year - I figured with the recent heat wave it would have dried up but I was pleasantly surprised. The last 1/10 of a mile down to the falls is a bit more rugged, but not too bad at all. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Spring time had some nice blooms as well. I'll be back after another big rain storm!

Load More