Best Waterfall Hikes in San Diego County


1. Cedar Creeks Falls

The county’s most popular waterfall. Cedar Creek tumbles 80 feet over a cliff into the sparkling waters of the “Devil’s Punchbowl.” This is a difficult, often hot hike that should not be attempted between June and October. Suggested time to attempt this hike is early morning, in order to beat the heat. The trail is a 6 mile distance, there and back. The waterfall is located at the end, 3 miles into the trail.

2. Three Sisters Waterfall

Three Sisters Waterfall, located in the Cleveland National Forest, has three successive, cascading waterfalls and pools of flowing water to swim in. This hike is difficult and not for beginners. If you are planning on hiking this trail, be prepared with water, snacks, and good hiking shoes. Suggested time to hike is early morning, in order to beat the heat.

3. Los Penasquitos Waterfalls

One of coastal San Diego’s few perennial waterfalls. Penasquitos Creek tumbles over a volcanic outcrop in the center of Penasquitos Canyon. The preserve stretches 7 miles from entrance to entrance, with the waterfall positioned 3.5 miles into the trail. 

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