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January 11, 2018

After it rains – where to hike in San Diego

… Waterfalls!  There are quite a few seasonal waterfalls within San Diego County.  I've listed a few of the more urban ones.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

If we were home this week I suspect I’d come up here to check out the falls.

Peñasquitos (meaning little cliffs) contains the closest waterfall to San Diego.  I prefer to hike west to east up the canyon, where is easy FREE parking, rather than the crowded pay parking at the east end of the canyon. I’ve blogged this route HERE.

The canyon and waterfalls can also be accessed from the Del Mar Mesa Preserve. I’ve blogged this route HERE.

Cedar Creek Falls


Really the best if not only time to consider doing this is after a decent rain. This is probably the best known of the San Diego waterfalls, so popular that permits are required to do this day hike. In my blog on this hike HERE, I also have the link to obtain a permit.  I checked and there are permits available!

Mission Trails Regional Park

This would be my second choice for a local waterfall.  This probably should be highest on the list since I have not yet seen water at the falls …

At the north end of Oak Creek there is a seasonal waterfall, almost right under highway 52.  When we were here with the grand-girls last February there was more water in Oak Creek than I’d seen in some time.  I’ve blogged the adventure HERE.

The snow birds that are now in the Anza Borrego area have a few options also.

Maidenhair Falls

The trail to Maidenhair Falls can be hiked up from Hellhole Canyon or down from Pena Spring. As the Nimble Hiker noted in their attempt to locate the falls from the canyon, it’s pretty hard to find without water flowing. You can find their details on Oh, the Places They Go! HERE.

You can find my route, which is down to the falls from Pena Spring HERE.  Just follow the water to the top of the falls, and then it’s a rock scramble down.

Coyote Canyon

DD 2nd crossing
My dad and his dog, Patsy, at the second crossing.  This was his last trip up Coyote Creek, I’ve scattered both their ashes off the eastern side of Fonts Point where they can enjoy the sunset.

After a rain Coyote Creek will be flowing deep into Coyote Canyon before joining the aquifer. This is an adventure that requires a capable 4x4 high clearance vehicle.  I have seen pictures of some early wildflowers that are being reported at the 3rd crossing earlier this week.  Check with the VC for current road/trail conditions.

Borrego Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon

Everybody does this hike with the hope of seeing the Borrego Sheep on the hillsides.  We like to do this as an upside down lollipop.  Going up the popular floor of the canyon in the morning and returning along the western slope trail when the floor of the canyon is more crowded.  We had a lot of water when we were last here with the grand-girls.

I'll remain in San Felipe for the coming week.

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