Cedar Creek Falls

LARGE BLACK CAT SIGHTING REPORTING AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Black jaguar

September 1, 2015 (Cedar Creek Falls) – Last year, East County Magazine ran a two-part series  on numerous reported sightings of large black wildcats in our region :

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/are-black-wildcats-prowling-east-county

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hello-kitty-more-black-wildcat-reports-surface

Today, we received an email from Chris and Peter Ruth, Forest Service volunteers and trail head hosts at Cedar Creek Falls.  “We now have had two reports of a black `cat-like’ animal down by the falls,” they wrote, adding that there is water in the pond though the waterfall is dry this time of year.

Multiple hikers reported seeing a “large black animal” resembling a big cat in a tree near the falls in San Diego's backcountry in Cleveland National Forest between Julian and Descanso. The sightings were reported to the ranger.  In addition, the Forest Service volunteers state, “Today, two female volunteers who hike the trail and pick up trash heard growling noises three times. With the drought, we wonder if animals are frequenting the pond to get water.”

HIKERS WIN CASE OVER FEES CHARGED IN NATIONAL FORESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Forest Service cannot charge day use fees to hikers who don’t use facilities, a federal judge ruled on  April 30th.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SDG&E’S PROPOSAL FOR CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

By Cindy Buxton, Chair, Forest Committee of the San Diego Sierra Club

 

“This is the general “neck of the woods” of the famous Cedar Creek Falls and Three Sisters Waterfall… We are hoping for universal outcry to insist that all parties, SDG&E, the CPUC, and the USFS will embrace this as the golden opportunity to evolve community safety and environmental integrity forward.” – Cindy Buxton

October 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) sent out its request for scoping on SDG&E’s Master Permit renewal.  The comment period is through November 7th.   Document links are provided at the end of this editorial.

The Forest Service, in an attempt to consistently and effectively manage wilderness and wilderness-like portions of their Forest, recommends moving the 626 69kV line that runs up Boulder Creek Road out of these fragile areas and makes this suggestion along with a mile or so wide corridor for study where portions of the line could be moved. But there more to this proposal than meets the eye.

SHERIFF BEGINS CHARGING SEARCH AND RESCUE FEES FOR THOSE WHO BREAK THE LAW

 

Safety tips also offered for hikers this Labor Day weekend

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Starting  today, August 30th,  you could be billed for emergency costs if you become lost or injured as a result of violating federal, state or local laws.

An  amended County ordinance allows for a civil process to collect up to $12,000 in recovery expenses. Law breakers can also be arrested or cited for criminal offenses. The fees only apply to those who break the law, such as a rescue operation due to illegal drinking , diving or hiking where prohibited.

SHERIFF ISSUES SAFETY REMINDER AS CEDAR CREEK FALLS TRAIL REOPENS

 

April 4, 2013 (Ramona) --The San Diego Sheriff's office has issued a safety reminder for hikers planning to visit Cedar Creek Falls, where the long-closed trail from Ramona will be reopened tomorrow and a new permit system will take effect.  Below is the Sheriff's statement:

The west access to Cedar Creek Falls in Ramona will reopen Friday, April 5th with new rules after being closed since July 2011. Hikers are now required to pay for a visitor permit. Only 75 permits for individuals and/or groups of up to five people are available each day by reservation. The permit costs six dollars. To reserve a permit, visit www.recreation.gov. This online permit system will be available starting April 5th.

IS THE PARTY OVER? COUNTY SUES FOREST SERVICE TO BLOCK REOPENING OF CEDAR CREEK FALLS TRAIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2013 (Ramona) – Today, San Diego County has filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief and an injunction to halt the U.S. Forest Service from reopening the trail to Cedar Creek Falls from Ramona’s San Diego Country Estates. The suit follows the USFS announcement that it plans to reopen the trailhead April 5th and implement a permit system for visitors. The falls and a natural swimming pool below are considered by some to be the most spectacular natural attractions in East County.

“The lawsuit is in response to the Forest Service’s decision to ignore both the public safety and fiscal concerns raised by the County during the appeal of the permit system plan,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in a press statement issued today. “Adequate law enforcement staffing must be in place before the trail is opened back up.  Either the Forest Service needs to be able to enforce its own rules, or pay the Sheriff’s Department to do it.”

42,000 ACRES OF CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST PROPOSED FOR ROADLESS WILDERNESS DESIGNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—“Scenic resources are among the biggest values we can offer to the American people,” Will Metz, Cleveland National Forest Supervisor, told ECM. 

The U.S. Forest Service is now weighing a proposal to protect vast tracts of federal forests as roadless wilderness—including 42,000 of Cleveland National Forest.  That includes the lands around Cedar Creek and above Cedar Creek Falls, Eagle Peak, the upper San Diego River Gorge, and the Caliente area.

The proposal  will likely be open for public comment in January and could be finalized by mid-2013. While the USFS would then manage the lands as wilderness, it would take an act of Congress to formalize the designation.

FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES PERMIT RESERVATION SYSTEM TO VISIT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

Appeals must be received by February 2, 2013

Updated 12/19/20 3 p.m.

December 19, 2012 (Ramona) – Cleveland National Forest Supervisor Will Metz today announced a decision to implement of a permit system for visiting Cedar Creek Falls.  Initially, 75 permits per day for groups up to 5 people will be issued and can be reserved online.   During peak season, the falls have drawn as many as 1,000 visitors –thus the permit system is apt to reduce the number of visitors who will be able to access the popular attraction during peak demand.

The Ramona trailhead to the falls, closed since July 2011 when 16-year-old Joseph Meram fell to his death, will be reopened in April when use permits take effect, Brian Harris at the USFS told ECM.  However a permanent closure on cliffs above the falls was also announced, along with a permanent ban on alcohol in the Cedar Creek Falls area.

HIKER, 19, DIES OF HEAT STROKE AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

 

Excessive heat warning in effect; Sheriff issues safety tips for hikers

July 11, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for San Diego County’s desert areas, cautioning that conditions “could be deadly” for unprepared campers or hikers. 

That message comes too late for Lynn Thu Tran, 19, of Escondido.  She was found unconscious with signs of heat stroke on the Julian side of Cedar Creek Falls at 5:30 p.m. on July 9. She was airlifted to Palomar Hospital but did not survive.  According to the Medical Examiner, she died of hypethermia, conditions related to a heat stroke.

HIKER FINDS NATURAL BEAUTY—AND NO CROWDS AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS ON REOPENING DAY

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2012 (Cedar Creek) – When Ed Hale read that the National Forest Service (NFS) was reopening one of two entrances to Cedar Creek Falls starting yesterday, he and a friend headed east to hit the trail--and brought back a firsthand account of their experiences as well as some changes at the popular hiking site.

FOREST SERVICE REOPENS ONE TRAIL TO CEDAR CREEK FALLS: RAMONA ENTRY REMAINS CLOSED

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Effective Sunday, April 1, Cleveland National Forest will reopen the east access to Cedar Creek Falls located near Julian, off of the Eagle Peak Road.  The west access to Cedar Creek Falls and surrounding area, located in Ramona off of the Thornbush Road, will remain closed for now. 

CEDAR CREEK FALLS WILL STAY CLOSED UNTIL APRIL, FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES

East County Magazine News Service

 

November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Cedar Creek Falls, which has been closed to the public since a  fatality accident last July, will remain closed until at least April 1, 2012.  The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced a delay in the reopening that had been slated for yesterday.

CEDAR CREEK FALLS AND SD RIVER GORGE TRAIL CLOSED UNTIL NOV. 8: VIOLATORS TO FACE HEFTY FINES, JAIL TIME

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Citing public safety concerns, Cleveland National Forest Supervisor William Metz has ordered closure of Cedar Creek Falls, the San Diego River Gorge Trail and adjacent areas through November 8. (The Forest Service may opt to reopen the area sooner if deemed appropriate, per a press release that accompanied the closure order.)

 

Closure follows a teen’s death Wednesday and a string of serious injuries at the falls which are revealed in the closure order.

SHERIFF GORE: FOREST SERVICE “CREATED A GIGANTIC PROBLEM” AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS; SEEKS JOINT SOLUTION

Teen who died at falls identified as Joseph Meram, 16, of El Cajon

Sheriff says falls will stay closed until ways are found to protect public safety

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 8, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – A family outing turned to tragedy when Joseph Meram, 16, hiked ahead of his relatives and wandered onto the wrong trail with his cousin over the weekend. The teen plummeted over an 80-foot cliff into a swimming hole at the base of Cedar Creek Falls.

 

His death has prompted closure of the falls indefinitely--and debate over the role of government in balancing accessibility vs. safety on public lands. Now Sheriff Bill Gore speaks out on the tragedy, which occurred soon after the U.S. Forest Service improved a trail to make the site more accessible—a move Sheriff Bill Gore says was well-intentioned, but resulted in serious consequences.

DETAILS EMERGE ON TEEN DEATH AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

Cedar Falls may remain closed until end of season; Forest Service bans alcohol, jumping, diving and rock climbing at all area falls

July 6, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)—The victim who died of injuries from an accident at Cedar Creek Falls today was a 16-year-old boy from El Cajon, the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office reports.

 

The teen was hiking with his family when he slipped and fell down an 80-foot cliff, landing in the water. The victim fell against a 17-year-old, injuring him.

FOREST SERVICE CLOSES CEDAR CREEK FALLS AFTER DEATH

Updates to this story have now been posted on the victim, as well as on a new ban on jumping, alcohol, and other activities at the falls. Get the latest details at: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/6613

 

July 6, 2011 (Ramona) – The U.S. Forest Service has closed Cedar Creek Falls for an investigation into a deadly fall today that killed one visitor and injured another.

 

The fatal accident is at least the fourth serious injury incident during the holiday weekend at Cedar Creek Falls, according to Incident Page Network. The Forest Service recently opened a new trail to make the popular destination accessible to more people.

EXPLORING CEDAR CREEK FALLS’ NEW TRAIL

 

Story, photos and video by Elena Peña



June 29, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--Nestled in between slopes in the Cleveland National Forest lies a gem known as Cedar Creek Falls, often referred to as The Devil’s Punch Bowl. A wondrous waterfall is the picturesque background to the swimming hole at the end of this approximately four-mile hike.  The location used to be accessed mainly from Julian.  But due to a newly revamped trail out of Ramona, it’s now more accessible than ever before--and more populated, especially on weekends and holidays. 

WOMAN RESCUED AFTER INJURY AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS; DEPUTY OFFERS SAFETY TIPS FOR VISITORS TO POPULAR ATTRACTION

June 15, 2011 (Ramona) – A female hiker was air lifted out of the Cedar Creek Falls area June 12 around 4 p.m. “She jumped from a rock and impacted the water, injuring her back,”said Deputy Tim Johnson with the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter unit.

The number of visitors to the waterfall has soared since the U.S. Forest Service completed a new trail earlier this month. “All these improvements just make it that much more attractive out there,” said Johnson, who offered this safety advice for visitors to this local Shangri-La. “Don’t jump off rocks that are elevated above the water, not knowing what’s under there. It’s common sense.”

HIKER FALLS FROM ROPE SWING AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS, BREAKS LEG


 

Third major injury in a week at East County waterfalls

February 13, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – A 24-year-old woman fell from a rope swing at Cedar Creek Falls and broke her leg this afternoon. San Diego Sheriff’s personnel launched a rescue at the popular East County swimming hole near Ramona, which is bordered by steep canyon walls in the Cleveland National Forest.

ROCK CLIMBER IDENTIFIED IN MILDRED FALLS TRAGEDY

 

Feb. 12, 2011 (11 p.m.) - The San Diego Medical Examiner has identified the victim in this accident as Matthew David Pack, 24, of San Juan Capistrano.  Cause of death has not yet been determined.  

 

Update Feb. 12, 2011 9:30 a.m. - The rock climber has been confirmed as a fatality, San Diego Sheriff Lt.. David Brown said.  "He was dangling halfway down the rock face, in the water underneath the waterfall," he confirmed.  The body recovery effort continues in the rugged canyon area.  No additional details on the identity or description of the man have been released at this time. 

 

 Update 11:50 p.m.

February 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Efforts to recover the body of a climber presumed dead at Mildred Falls have been called off for the night, San Diego Sheriff's Lt. Jim Duffy informed ECM moments ago.

 

The rock climber is believed to have died while awaiting a rescue helicopter this evening, East County Magazine has learned.  Officials believe that the victim, a male, "was trying to rappel into the waterfall when he became entangled in ropes and was drawn into the water," Duffy said, adding that three different people reporting hearing the individual calling for help.

 Incident Page Network reported at 6:05 p.m. that San Diego Sheriff’s Copter 1 was en route for a technical rescue of the hiker, who was unconscious hiker halfway down the falls, possibly a rock climber who had been rapelling. Lt. Duffy said rescuers initially responded to a man yelling for help at mile marker 9 on Eagle Peak near Mildred Falls in the Julian area at 5:17 p.m.