San Diego Adventures: Cedar Creek Fallsfeatured

San Diego Adventures: Hiking Cedar Creek Falls {the ponytail diaries}

Last Sunday, Husband and I took Onyx on a little local adventure to Cedar Creek Falls, right on the northwestern edge of Cleveland National Forest. I’ve gotta say, it’s a pretty sweet little hike.

Cedar Creek Falls in San Diego, CA {the ponytail diaries}

And by “pretty sweet,” I mean “absolutely friggin’ gorgeous.” Whew. Just look at that. It’s like a scene from The Land Before Time or something. Minus Littlefoot and Spike and Ducky. The sky was an amazing clear blue and the day was just perfect.

Total mileage round-trip is around 6 miles. It’s what I call a “reverse hike” because you start at the top of a gorge or valley and hike down, then come back up to get out.

Cedar Creek Falls Waterfall in San Diego, CA {the ponytail diaries

The falls weren’t flowing (thank you drought) but you could easily imagine how spectacular it’d be if they were (mental note, go back after we finally get some rain).

Cedar Creek Falls Hike in San Diego, CA {the ponytail diaries}

Onyx got to try out her new trail booties. She got compliments on her slick fashion sense from pretty much everyone we passed. She loves, loves, LOVES hiking and trails and being out in the wild, so she was in her element. We did see a coyote within 30 or so yards of the trail at one point, so we kept a close eye on her.

Cedar Creek Falls in San Diego, CA {the ponytail diaries}

I have no idea how the area was so green.

We started at the trailhead on Thornbush Rd., east of Ramona. It’s actually pretty nice, as trailheads go — restrooms, a covered picnic table, water spigot with fresh drinking water, and some off-road parking. If you go, note that you need a permit to go all the way to the falls. There was a ranger checking at the trailhead. We found this out as we drove up and were like “whaaat?” But we were able to call and order one on the spot, which was emailed to me (miraculously we had enough cell coverage to do this — Sprint’s coverage sucks once you leave city centers). Permits are $6 for up to five people — if you’re smart enough to plan in advance, you can get them at or you’ll have to call from the trailhead like we did.

Cedar Creek Falls Hike in San Diego, CA {the ponytail diaries}

I definitely recommend checking it out, but wouldn’t try it in the middle of summer. It was pleasant and warm (with the occasional cool breeze) on Sunday, so pretty perfect, but for most of the hike there’s almost no shade, so we were still drinking a good amount of water. We also brought plenty of extra water for Onyx, who was slowing down for last couple miles. (Next time she’ll wear her swamp cooler, too.)

Fave hike in San Diego (or anywhere) – GO.