Cedar Creek Falls to Lake Cuyamaca

13 April 2022
Cedar Creek Falls to Lake Cuyamaca
(20 miles, +4,800/-2,000 feet).

My knee is finally better!

I have been itching to get back on trail since I left the AZT. I originally was planning to go to Arches National Park this week to do some exploring, but my flight was cancelled!

So I decided to take advantage of the nice weather in the mountains here to finish my section hike of the San Diego Trans County Trail (SDTCT).

I got an Uber to the trailhead with a nice woman who told me all about her lip filling business (who knew?). And by 7am I was on trail.

I’ve been to Cedar Creek Falls before, but I’ve only been to the top, and this time I was headed for the bottom.

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Good morning!

There were SOOO many flowers! It must be the peak of the season. They reminded me of all the lovely flowers I saw on my long PCT hike last spring.

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Chaparral yucca
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Chamise
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Crypantha
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Blue Dicks
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Deerweed
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Gloridonus sitting on Chaparral beardtongue
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Nice views over the valley
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Stinging Lupine
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Shortpod Mustard
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Common yellow chaenactis
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Distant phacelia
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Maltese star-thistle
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Parry’s phacelia
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California primrose
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Parish’s goldeneye
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Two-color rabbit tobacco
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Owl’s clover
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Artemisia-leaved chaenactis
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Tidy tips
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Sacred datura

It was only about an hour to get to the falls. They were flowing and quite beautiful. If it was warmer I would have jumped in!

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Cedar Creek Falls

From there I clambered up a steep rocky wash to get to the top of the falls.

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View from the top

I then followed a faint animal path to get back to trail. On the way I saw a deer!

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Hey buddy!
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Looking back on the animal trail
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California gilia
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Silverpuffs
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Smallseed sandmat
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Common fiddleneck

The trail climbs up an old jeep road and gives great views of Cajon Mountain in the distance and the valley below.

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Lush!
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Delicate Clarkia
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Golden Yarrow
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Miniature lupine
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Hartweg’s climbing milkweed
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Purple Chinese Houses
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Wishbone bush
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Wooly Indian Paintbrush
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2.05? That’s very specific…..
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More Wooly Indian Paintbrush
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Coast Morning Glory
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Southern Bush Monkeyflower
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Pacific Pea
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Tomcat Clover
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Silverpuffs (before they are silvery or puff!)
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Goldentop grass

At the end of the Cedar Creek Trail I took a snack break, then I headed onto a nice jeep road. I haven’t seen a single soul this morning!

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No jeeps here
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Ch- ch- ch- chia!
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Small-flowered Catchfly
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California Poppy
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Cuyamaca Peak
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Parish’s Bluecurls

The jeep road eventually took me to a better-maintained forest road which leads to the trailhead for Three Sisters Falls (I’ve never been there — next time!).

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To do list item

From here, the rest of the day was a road walk, though it was still relatively nice for a while with very little traffic.

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Mediterranean Stork’s-bill
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Um, I don’t think I have walked that far yet!
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Nice meadows

Right before the Inaja Indian Reservation I stopped at a nice overlook to have lunch.

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Mmmmmm….. Cold spicy ramen!
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Good thing I already had lunch
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Another deer!
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I guess Jesus was here
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Sessileflower False Goldenaster
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Coulter Pine Cone
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Fringed Linanthus
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Western Blue-eyed Grass
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Howdy Smokey!

Alas, my luck ran out about 5 miles before Lake Cuyamaca. The SDTCT turns into a paved road!

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Yuck!

It wasn’t too busy, but it was narrow and windy and I had to be careful where I walked on curves.

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Yucca!
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Little and free

On the plus side, I made very good time and arrived at Lake Cuyamaca before the pub closed.

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Lake Cuyamaca
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American Yellowrocket
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Western Buttercup
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Pub grub!

I set up my tent in a campsite I reserved by the lake. It was okay, but my site was slopey and full of gravel.

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Mind the rocks
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OK, that view is alright….

Today felt like a normal day on the SDTCT: some very pretty parts connected by some long dull parts. I’m happy that tomorrow I will have a chance to fill in my last missing piece of it!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks gorgeous! I especially liked all the flower photos. We’ve been doing a ton of hiking on the coastal path this last week with Viki’s cousins, very different landscape and really beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth says:

    thanks for the flowers and the vistas…. both take-your-breath-away xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      You’re welcome! 🙂

      Like

  3. 100peaks says:

    Yay! Getting back on the trail is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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