Kitchen Creek Falls Trail

MODERATE 130 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.

4.6 miles
813 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


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.

2 days ago

The path was well travelled and easy to follow. I did hike past the side trail to the falls because I wasn't paying attention. The granite rock around the falls is beautiful. It is a nice place to rest or eat a snack around the creek and there are plenty of good views along the hike.

13 days ago

Did this today with my mom it was a nice hike found the falls no problem

14 days ago

This trail is part of the PCT trail so, about the 2 mile mark you need to turn left to go down to the creek. It can easily be missed. The creek was flowing nicely. Very cool area and nice hike to it. Recommend

20 days ago

Nice trail with great views! It was super super windy, and even though there was a wind advisory, we suspect it’s pretty windy anyway. The trail down to the creek is a bit overgrown with aggressive vegetation, so we regret not wearing pants. It’s also a challenge to find the trail back up once you’ve been puttering around on the SLIPPERY rocks by the water. Don’t wear a hat that you don’t want to blow away, bring a wind breaker, and a towel to dry off with. We brought our older dog and he did great. Will definitely come back to hike more of the PCT.

29 days ago

Drove out here 4 days after our first rainfall in January. There was some water in the falls which was perfect for rock scrambling around the falls. I would imagine in the late spring that you would not be able to climb around as much since the falls would be full. We started the hike on the PCT and climbed down some rocks to get to the falls. We continued to go down some boulders and went off trail for a more adventurous route. After bushwhacking our way back up to the ridge for about an hour, we finally made it back to the PCT. Thank God I had long pants on. When we got back on the official trail, we headed back to the small parking lot that we started. The total route we took was about 4 1/2 miles. I would like to go back again after we've had more rain and I get on the official trail the entire way. Beautiful hike!! We were the only ones there on a Sunday in January. Perfect hiking weather with a high of about 69 degrees.
Here's the link to Google Maps on where to park

1 month 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.

1 month ago

Well marked and maintained.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike

3 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.

5 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!

7 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

7 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.

7 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.

7 months ago

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.


8 months ago

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

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Beautiful peaceful place

9 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.

9 months ago

Nice trail , super easy

10 months ago

The hike was pretty neat

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