15531 Thornbush Rd
Ramona, CA 92065
Cedar Creek Falls, more commonly known as Devil’s Punchbowl is one of my favorite hikes i’ve done in San Diego so far. This is a 6 mile hike (3 miles in, 3 miles out). It is recommended that you bring an ample supply of water to stay hydrated during this hike hence the heat stroke warning signs lining the entrance to the trail. Luckily Claire and I chose a not so hot day to take the hike. Claire more prepared than I brought her camelbak water backpack while I arrived with one bottle of Dasani. Prior to our hike we felt the need to fuel the bodies and chose to do so by trying a local sandwich shop near home. We got Chebahut.
Chebahut is most definitely not your classic sandwich shop. Everything is MJ based. Sandwich sizes are a nug, pinner or blunt. I was a little skeptical that my sandwich was going to have something in it however it did not and it was delicious! I definitely recommend trying this place. I got the Kali Mist – turkey, chipotle-mayo, jalepenos, bacon, pepper jack and avocado… straight deliciousness. I also could’t go without getting the Rice Krispie Bar – captain crunch mushed with sticky marshmallows. Check out their menu here!
Now, enough about food. Back to the hike. Claire and I arrived at 2pm and checked in at the tent near the parking lot (not having known we were supposed to get a permit online for $6 before hand). With zero cellphone reception in the area we were unable to get online and purchase one. The ranger on duty that day said it was fine! Super nice guy. However, I recommend purchasing and printing your permit for the hike/falls prior to arriving! Before heading down the trails we passed several signs warning of heat stroke. Like I said before, it is important that if you plan on doing this hike you 1. stay hydrated and 2. avoid bringing dogs on hot days.
We proceeded down the trail snapping pics along the way… three miles downhill and thinking to ourselves this hike isn’t so bad (until the hike back UP to the car). Once we leveled out we were in what I’m assuming is “the punchbowl”. We worked our way through little rock streams and came out to the 80-foot cedar creek falls.
The falls was relatively quiet. Not too many people aside from one family and a couple of cliff jumpers. The water was FREEZING! Although it was very refreshing after the sweaty hike down. Having only swam in salt water the past few months I was surprised after my first jump to come up from the water not needing to wipe the salt away from my eyes or having the stinging sensation of salt on my lips! Also, let’s talk about the fact that it took Claire and I about 30 minutes to take our first jump. Something about heights I guess I have natural fear. There were also two random floats in the falls that were up for grabs. Claire and I obviously set them up so that the second we landed in the water we could grab onto something for “safety”. The water was clear from above however once in it it seemed murky and dark! Kind of made me a bit panicky.
After spending a decent amount of time in the falls we dried off and ventured back up the trails to the car! The hike back up started off steady. It felt like we passed the trail markers every 5 minutes. Averaging a 10/12 minute mile we were to the top in no time! The hike and swimming together probably took us about five hours. I would consider the hike an easy hike however on hot days I could see why they would classify it as a moderate level. There are not steep inclines and the trails are fairly wide and steady. The next time I go on this hike I will probably go on a warmer day in hopes of the water at the falls being warmer as well. I plan on packing some lunches and heading down to the falls to spend the day laying out, cliff jumping, etc! Definitiley a hike worth making the day of!
Once we arrived at the car we realized that we both were super hungry. Good thing I had my rice krispie from Cheba Hut! We made our way back to PB.. about an hour drive and checked out Buffalo Exchange – 1079 Garnet Ave, San Diego 92109. A pretty sweet “New & Recycled” fashion shop. Thinking about going through my closet now to take part in the “buffalo exchange”. We’ll see!
Til my next adventure… Thanks for reading!