Cedar Creek Falls, March 2016 (11 photos)

And once again I contradicted myself, hiking to Cedar Creek Falls once more. But well, after finding out last year that all one has to do to be able to enjoy this beautiful place in solitude is to be out there early enough in the morning on a weekday, I was of course curious how it would look this year.

I met my friend Fred at the Iron Mountain trailhead, still under the marine layer, with the surrounding peaks hidden from view. Passing through Ramona we left the fog behind us (a bit of a disappointment as you can imagine) and arrived at the trailhead under a clear blue sky. Just a couple of minutes on the trail one gets a first glimpse down into the San Diego River Gorge and – wow! – the fog/marine layer still lingered down in the valley. We would hike right into it. Fantastic!

We reached the bottom of the canyon and just like last year, the San Diego River wasn’t flowing at all up here. :-/ There were traces of water in a lot of relatively fresh sediment, so there must have been some water flowing earlier in the year, but it was all gone now. The fog burned off as we continued our hike to the falls.

It was around 8:30 when we reached the falls, and we had the place to ourselves for about an hour. The waterfall was running, but just like last year, not very much. All in all, I had the feeling it was even drier there than last year in March (you can access my past visits and photos with the “San Diego River Gorge” tag), and without more rain, I guess the falls will stop running entirely in two month, or in early summer.

We began our way back up to the trailhead around 9:30, with the trail now in full sun and warming up quickly. Back at the trailhead I had a look at the register where people check in with their permit number, and there were at least 15 parties down by the falls or on their way down when we left – on a Friday morning. Glad we were so early, and happy about the unexpected treat with the fog down in the canyon.

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