Devil’s Punch Bowl

I was invited to hike this past Sunday, and having started my spring break off with a hike, I figured it be best to end it with another adventure. Ruth, Becca, Melanie, Johnny, Johnny’s 2 friends, and I hiked 4 miles to the Devil’s punch bowl, which is officially named Cedar Creek Falls.

The hike started near Julian. Julian is a small town that has been zoned as a historical landmark (No. 412), and is surrounded by acres and acres of apple orchards, and other farms. Although, Julian is best known by San Diegans for their famous pies. Enough about pies, the trailhead was miles away from the main local road, and we ended up driving almost 10 miles on roads that could hardly be classified as paved before reaching the trailhead. The hike started all down hill, and another waterfall could be seen from the start. We all originally thought that the first waterfall we had seen was the location of Devil’s Punchbowl, but in actuality, the punch bowl was not visible from the path. After 3 miles, we reached a crossroads, where there were 4 paths to pick from, and thankfully a group of hikers came by that directed us to the right direction (if you’re coming down from where we started, you take the trail to the left). The last mile is arguably the most fun. With 3 different stream crossings, and the reward of seeing Cedar Creek Falls, there’s not much else that can beat it. The first stream was approximately 20 feet wide, the second was about 15, and the last was 5. But it is hard to navigate as the water moves fairly fast where the crossing is, but if you move a little up stream, the water seems to be calmer.

When we reached Cedar Creek Falls, the waterfall was in full force, as we just had a full week of rain. I’ve heard from others who have done the same hike during the winter months that they hike was insanely difficult due to the heat, and the waterfall was only a trickle. The water was extremely cold though, diving in the pool to swim to the rope swing felt like my chest was collapsing from being shoved outside the ALVIN deep sea rover. The swing itself was awesome, the rope seems sturdy, although climbing up the rocks with wet sandals isn’t the smartest idea. While other people had no problems swinging into the freezing water, the second time I went on the swing, I somehow froze. My brain told my body to let go, but as it turns out, my body held on tighter, and the look on Ruth’s face as I swung back around and nearly missing her head was a look I’ll never forget. Although, smashing back into the rock that I jumped from wasn’t exactly what I would call ‘worth it.’ But I kicked off again and did it right the second time.

The hike back was much easier than the Mount Woodson trail, since the gradient was much shallower, but it still took a lot of time. A few things to note about the hike. This is a great hike with an awesome place to swim at the end of it, however, I would suggest a change of shoes to cross the streams. Also, some people brought wetsuits, which is something I will consider, so that I don’t freeze to death when I jump off the 20 foot ledge. Also, there are many hunters on this trail, and its a little intimidating to see 20 plus men carrying loaded shotguns and rifles while you’re hiking. Come during the spring months, as the pool will still be full, the hike won’t be as dreadfully hot, and there is still light to get back to your car. And finally, don’t forget to get some pie on your way back, you’re by Julian anyways, it’d be a shame to not get some pie. If the pie shops are closed, the general store always has a few pies on hand. Anyways, I know what you really want…enjoy!

Thanks for looking!

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