Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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Cedar Creek Falls

15519 Thornbush Road
Ramona, CA 92065

Phone: (760)788-0250
32.995411, -116.756142

Hike: 5.2 miles out and back    Level: Strenuous/challenging

Dog-Friendly: Yes, but only in cool weather    Kid-Friendly: No



About Cedar Creek Falls

The hike to Cedar Creek Falls can lay anywhere between a moderate, enjoyable hike to a downright deadly, strenuous hike and it all comes down to the temperatures and time of year that you go. This is very much a cool weather/winter adventure. Due to the trail leading you into a valley with no shade and no airflow, trapped heat causes very stressful situations.

Absolutely do not consider bringing your dog in hot weather as there have been a ton of canine deaths here as well.  In winter, so long as your pup is in good shape, there should be no problem.  I brought my little poodle and she had a blast.

With that said, this is fun hike in Ramona that will lead you to an 80 ft. waterfall and beautiful watering hole. Make sure to pack in every bit of trash you pack out.  This area is known for being disrespected with littering.

Know Before You Go

Visitors must have proof of permit in their possession while in the visitor permit area. All visitors must be listed on the visitor use permit and must carry government issued photo identification (except dependent minors whose parents are present).

ALL CLIFF AREAS AROUND THE FALLS ARE CLOSED (No climbing, jumping, or diving anywhere along the cliffs adjacent to or near the falls).
No alcohol is allowed in the Cedar Creek Falls area, including at the trailheads and along the trails.
Campfires are prohibited throughout this area.

While you’re in the area, make sure to hike the West Side Road & Devil’s Jump-Off nearby!

It strongly recommended that visitors bring a printed copy of the permit for their visit. Failure to provide proof of permit while in permit area will result in a citation. USDA Forest Service is not responsible for failure of mobile devices and there is no cell signal at or near the falls area.


Local Weather Conditions

Cedar Creek Falls may be subject to closure due to hazardous weather environment.  Summer temperatures in this area frequently exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a minimum of one gallon of water per person to avoid dehydration and heat-related illness.


So here is our adventure below!  You will be making a good decent into the valley.  Remember, as far as you decline, you must climb back up!

There will be some creek crossing: become a member

And we made it!  Look at my friend on the left for size reference:

After hanging out for around 45 minutes we made the climb back up.  This was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be after reading so many horror stories.  Temperature is everything!


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15 Reviews

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15 Reviews


  • Christain
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    can you swim in the water? or is it too dangerous?

    May 12, 2013

  • Roc
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    Yes you can swim. Sandy bottom. I even took scuba gear one time. People have died from falling here, be warned.

    July 8, 2013

  • Roc
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    This is the coordinates for the real Devils Punchbowl. Ceder Creek has always been mistaken for it, including me. They are close in proximity. I have been to both sense 1969.

    July 8, 2013

  • terri
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    Are there a loy of snakes?

    March 20, 2014

  • Van
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Is there any water there now?

    March 24, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    I was told there are passes to go up to devils punch bowl. Can anyone confirm or deny this statement.

    September 8, 2014

  • Nic
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    The fee was 6 dollars last time I went which was 2 weeks ago, no there isnt a waterfall, it’s to dry. Water is deep enough to swim in though, very nice spot

    October 17, 2014

  • Samantha
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    $6 for a permit of 5 or less people. There’s still water there and it’s deep enough to swim there.

    May 30, 2015

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    How intense is the hike?

    June 13, 2016

  • Daniel Smith
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    We went on Saturday July 30,2016. There was no running fall, which we figured being July. My son went swimming and we saw a snake in the water, little fish, blue gill and even about a 6″ catfish we were feeding bread to. We also saw frogs and a little turtle in the water. It was very pretty and the hike was not as bad as I figured. We are from Jamul so any hikes we do around the house are very similar to that hike.

    It was fun and I would like to go again when there is running water. We did pay for 6 dollar permit, which I am glad we did because they did check. I am not sure if it was mandatory but we did it as donation.

    August 1, 2016

  • M Heinz
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    It is a small mud puddle. At least one death a year from the hike this is why you have to pay. With a permit forestry knows who is there and can regulate the people who should be there. Cedar Creek is not the true Devils Punch Bowl which was more towards Descanso. Twin sisters is dry. Everything is dried up up here. Better to stay at home in the city and enjoy your pools.

    November 6, 2016

  • j
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    is there still water there even though it is 12/19/16? thankyou!

    December 19, 2016

  • Carmen
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    How is the trail during winter time? Is it snowing, muddy or doable?

    January 12, 2017

  • Anonymous
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    I have been in the middle of the waterfall. Have you

    April 22, 2017

  • Annie
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Does anyone know, if I go this Saturday will the waterfall be active? Is there enough water to swim in this time of year?

    November 9, 2017

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