Cedar Creek Falls Trail

Ramona, CA
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Cedar Creek Falls Trail is a 4.50 mile out and back trail located near Julian, California that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

NOTE: Following the death of a 16-year-old boy who fell into the swimming hole, this trail has been CLOSED by the U.S. Forest Service. It is to remain closed until April 1, 2012 or until officials settle on a safety management plan.

Drive to Pine Hills Road, which intersects Highway 78 about 1 mile west of Julian, and turn south. After 1.5 miles on Pine Hills Road, bear right on Eagle Peak Road. After 1.4 more miles, veer right again, staying on Eagle Peak Road. Next comes 8.2 miles of progressively poorer dirt road, parts of which become slippery and muddy in wet weather. At the end, you come to the Cedar Creek Falls Trailhead (Adventure Pass (parking permit) required by the US Forest Service on all national forest land.

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5 Completed 3 Reviews

Fantastic hike! The difference between this and many other is instead of hiking up and then down, you hike down to the swimming area and then back up.
There's little shade so ensure you bring a lot of water and sunblock.
Don't get to exhausted swimming and cliff jumping as that hike back can be pretty tough.
Also, you need to get a permit to hike this. They only allow 100 a day I believe it is. You can call when you get there and pay via credit card. They will send you an email which you can show to the ranger from your phone. It was $6/hiker when we hiked.

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8 Completed 1 Reviews

The water fall at the end is beautiful but there are large crowds. It seems to be a popular swimming location. You need a day pas to hike this trail. It cost $6 and can be bought on recreation.gov. You will need either a print our of your confirmation to show the ranger or be able to access it from your phone.

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

This was very nice hike. We started at about 1pm and got to the falls at about 2:20 and the downhill hike wasn't bad. Uphill was another story, but that's just me. For people who are used to hiking hills it's probably not too bad. The only problem is that you need a permit to hike and you have to buy the permit either before via internet or you can do it by phone when you get there. Then you have to show the ranger your permit on your phone, not a problem if you have service. Luckily for us even though I didn't have service my niece did. Overall though with the creek at the end of the downhill potion of the hike it was definitely worth it.

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8 Completed 9 Reviews

This is a good trail if you want to have fun in between the descent and return :) You can swim in the waterfall area (great way to cool down if you go on a hot day).... Don't worry, you'll dry out before you reach it back to the top if it is that warm . You do need a $6 permit to go to the falls. Take plenty of water - there isn't much shade on the main portion of the hike.

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19 Completed 6 Reviews

I've done this hike a few times, long before the "short" route was opened then closed then opened again... Maybe???? Anyway, it was a beautiful hike. Now, it's lost its appeal to the careless who hike to the falls and leave their beer cans and whatever trash they brought with them along the way... Sad to see...

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

Really nice trail. If you start from the trailhead at through the neighborhood at 15519 Thornbush Rd. Ramona, CA 92065, there is a parking lot, bathrooms, water, trash, and picnic table. The $6 permit from recreation.gov must go a long way! Every 1/4 there are sign posts, and according to them, it's 2.85 miles from parking lot to the waterfall. 5.7 miles round trip. The trail is very well maintained. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the temp was only ~70, so no concern about overheating. It had just rained a bit so the water was flowing at the waterfall! We didn't jump in and I heard the water was freezing from the college kids that had taken a dip. With complete disregard for the signs that say "don't climb the rocks," one guy went up, jumped off a rock and took two 15' pencil dives into the pool at the base of the waterfall. He said as long as you kick your legs out when you hit the water, your butt only hits the ground a little. I'll pass. I'm against hitting bottom when jumping into water. It wasn't very busy the day we went either. We probably saw about 20 people total. Ok for your dog as long as it's not too hot outside. Ours was fine.
As for the permit, about a 1/2 mile before the falls, you cross a firetrail at the bottom of the valley. There was a forestry truck parked there, but I didn't see a ranger nearby. But I bet they often check to see if you bought the permit.

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1 Completed 2 Reviews

Great hike, and well worth the $6.00 permit. Unlike Kate in the last post, we were met by a Forest Service Ranger while we were actually in the falls area and everyone there needed to produce their permits. Because the trail host's had made us get the permit, we avoided a possible $75.00 fine and worse, the misdemeanor criminal charge that goes with it. DON'T risk it for $6.00.

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21 Completed 12 Reviews

No waterfall right now but great hike. Got the online $6 permit but nobody was there to check.

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4 Completed 1 Reviews

I hiked this in the late afternoon in November. It took about 1 hour, 45 minutes. Great hike, and wonderful views. If you want to get all the way to the waterfall, you need a permit that costs $6.

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1 Completed 2 Reviews

WATER! Drinking water that is. This trail is so easy going down, that you forget you have to climb back out. But coming out, you need a lot of drinking water. The Trail hosts warned us they didn't think our group had enough with us, but we knew better. Well, we were wrong. Three of the four in our group ran out. Thank heavens they have drinking water available by hose spout by the outhouse. The permit to hike is easy to get in advance at www.recreation.gov , and make sure you get it, or you will be buying it over the phone and delaying your hike by 15-20 minutes, as we saw another group having to do. We heard the hosts telling them that without the permit, there is a $75.00 fine and a criminal misdemeanor charge on you record. When we got near the falls, there was a Forest Ranger stationed there that day, so DON'T RISK IT, GET THE CHEAP PERMIT! $6.00 covers up to 5 people. ****Oh, and signs are EVERYWHERE posting NO Alcohol, and NO jumping from the cliffs. We found there is a service road at the bottom, so Rangers and Law Enforcement have a relatively easy way to either be there, or just show up. While we were there, TWO walked in to check for violations. And there were only about 15 people there at that time, so they must really be watching this area. The trail is wonderful in and out, and it was really nice to hike a litter free trail. So people, keep packing out what you pack in. We are sorry we missed seeing the waterfall and being able to swim in the pool, but the pool is low and green, and the waterfall is DRY. We will be back sometime to see that with water running.

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