Some of the county’s most dramatic backcountry landscapes are viewed from the trail to Cedar Creek Falls, a cascade that falls more than 80 feet into a 50-foot-wide pool. Cedar Creek Falls is one of San Diego’s most popular back country day hike destinations. Once a little-known place, the rise of the Internet and social media has turned this into a heavily trafficked, must-see selfie spot. There is good reason for this popularity, waterfalls are few and far between in arid San Diego, and not only is this one of the area’s more consistent and dramatic falls, it also has an idyllic pool perfect for swimming.
What made it so appealing was the bare rocks enclosing the rocky oasis-like grotto into which the vertical 80ft or so waterfall dropped. Adding to the scenic allure of the falls was some impressive mountain scenery backing the San Diego River basin.
In fact, this waterfall seemed to grow so much in popularity in recent years that authorities now require permits to do this hike .
Of course this notoriety has its downsides. Rescues are frequent in the area due to unprepared visitors attempting the hike. The hike involves a steep downhill descent into the San Diego River Valley, where summertime temperatures can often reach 115 degrees. It’s only at the end of the hike, after many visitors have run out of water and spent all their energy playing in the water and climbing rocks, that people realize they have to make the long 1,000 feet elevation gain arduous climb back out – usually in the hottest part of the day. In addition, there have been numerous injuries and even deaths as a result of people climbing the cliffs surrounding the pool and jumping into the water below. #bestwaterfall #besttrails #sandiego
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