Sill Hill Waterfall Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Julian, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.
My dad and I tried this today but we were unable to reach the falls. We could only see them from a distance. I ended up with 5 ticks on me and hopefully I don't get poison oak because it is EVERYWHERE. The brush is so overgrown that the trail was often impossible to follow once you turn off from Milk Ranch Road. I wouldn't go back without a machete and long pants and sleeves. This will challenge you.
I went with my buddy and this was literally the toughest trail in San Diego. We also did the hike in 40 degree rainy weather. At a point, there is no trail - you break off the old dirt trail and head down into the forest following small yellow tape on random branches and man made rock formations to guide you through the madness. Bring tons of water and be physically fit. Hell, a machete could go a long way! Good luck
Toughest hike I've been on, especially because it was raining and 40 degrees when my friend and I did it. Not for the weak hearted or anyone that is impatient. Make sure to bring lots of water and get an early start. I recommend following the rock formations otherwise finding the waterfall will be a wild goose chase
Almost died... but it was worth it!! Good luck and plz know how to read a map
amazing hike will do again. I'm definitely what you'd consider a newbie for hiking but this was relatively easy. got my heart pumping but didn't hate my life. there was a little snow so that was nice !
Watch out for poison oak once you stray from the trail, don't make the same mistake I did.
I found that stupid waterfall finally. It only took me 3 tries. It really is gorgeous out there in the snow this time of year. This hike is simple until you hit the cutoff for the falls. It is marked by a frosty the rock man cairn. Bring a map and know where you are going as the ribbons and ducks are a bit scattered at times. You're looking for yellow or blue ribbons and rock piles all the way. It is actually pretty well marked once you figure out what you are looking for. Beware the private property. Bring stuff for snow this time of year. It was gorgeous in the snow, but much more difficult than it would be in warmer months. Overall, pretty awesome bushwhacking adventure.
Holy moley. That's what I can say about this trail. It is so incredibly difficult. I tried to follow some of the maps and somehow got turned around. I took the advice of previous hikers and ended up finding the stacked rocks and tape along the trail. We went about 9 miles into the canyon down the rocks and had to turn around. We lost sight of the stacked rocks and I'm not sure we had adequate gear. We never found the waterfall. We did run into one rattlesnake going down the hill. Beware whenever the weather changes from cold to warm there will be a larger chance of getting bit since the snakes will be out and about. We unfortunately wore the completely wrong attire for the hike and went in shorts. I do not recommend that. We had to use a machete on some parts. There are some nasty ants over there that were eating us up. All in all, this trail really challenged me physically and I would like to find the waterfall. If anyone could tell me which path to take at the 3 road fork, that would be great. Also, someone has marked the beginning of the trail with purple markers that you'll continue to see on your way to the fork. The purple markers went down a different path than I did, so maybe the waterfall was that way. Somebody please let me know! I will be attempting it again soon.
We weren't paying attention and missed the trail to the waterfall, that's our fault. The grassy trail between the service roads was great. Very scenic views and the burnt trees are eerie. Reminded me of the elephant graveyard from The Lion King.
But the service roads and service roads as trails in general just don't appeal to me. Plus we passed/had to move off the road for multiple truck reforestation tours. Doesn't feel like a hike on a trafficked road.
I'd rate it as moderately difficult and with any hiking experience less so.
EASY HIKE as long as you stay on the service road! Beautiful scenery. Based on the reviews, my bf and I prepared ourselves for a strenuous hike but it was the opposite.
We found the trail to the waterfall but unfortunately we had to turn around! We were getting eaten alive by the ants & we had our dog w us which was getting irritated by the amount of brush. There's piles of rocks to the waterfall which makes it impossible to get lost. As I said it's not a strenuous hike but the way to the waterfall is more of a workout that the whole 7.8miles on the service road.
As for mountain lions - we did not encounter any. However, we did see a deer and a few turkeys.
**on the way back to the car we saw a few "no dogs" signs, not sure why but we're SORRY Sill Hills Faculty!!?!?**
Great hike. Waterfall is off another short path. Get "A Foot & A Field in San Diego" for all the details on this area...
Not very difficult, don't understand the note about experienced hikers only...
Beautiful hike. Couldn't find the waterfall though. I guess we need to look harder next time. Not quite difficult either, more of a moderate hike I would say.
Wow. That's what I've got to say. The initial hike was decent all around. There are plenty of trails to hit up the peak and around the mountain for some gorgeous views, but what really got me was the attempt to get to the waterfall.
In order to get to the trail (it's not really a trail at all!) you have to walk through Milk Ranch Road to the Middle Peak Loop Fire road. You keep going for about a mile and a half and it will be on your left. A large tree trunk blocks the way and there are rock piles left by previous hikers to mark the trail. To be honest, we completely passed it up before I realized we went to far. I was following Alejandro Muela's recorded track (it's the route to the falls) below and we backtracked and found it.
The "trail" is continually marked with rock piles (a total god send) but we only went about a quarter of a mile in until my husband and I looked at each other like "we need to be more prepared." We were running out of water, I tore my pants, and it was getting late... so we dejectedly left our mission to the waterfall unaccomplished.
We will be back, and next time we'll bring jeans, gloves, hiking boots, lots of water, swimwear, and a machete for the dead tree branches littered everywhere and blocking our path for the most part.
If you will attempt what we did and will do, be sure to wear long pants and a jacket... Poison oak is everywhere.
We will be back, and we will be ready.
Awesome. Long beautiful hike. Don't go if you're not in shape!