This week, my 17 year old sister is visiting me for her last summer trip before she heads to college in the Fall. Over the last few months, we've schemed up a variety of plans for our few days together. We tried to rent a VW Bus and drive all up and down the California coast. Then, we realized neither of us drive stick. We plotted a trip to Los Angeles to hike the Hollywood sign, then her flight got delayed and re-routed so that plan was foiled. As a last-ditch effort, we even considered a road trip out to Joshua Tree, then realized that the Mojave Desert is pushing 115 degrees in August. Scratch that from the list immediately! With time running out and our viable options dwindling fast, we started googling hidden San Diego and secret San Diego adventures. We came across one that made us both wide-eyed and giddy with excitement: Adobe Creek Falls -- known as the only year-round waterfall in San Diego County. There is relatively little information online about this "secret" hiking destination, so it took us three tries to actually find it, but once we did, it was AMAZING. If you want to attempt this hike, be prepared for many twists and turns and laughs along the way, which is all part of the adventure right?!
Luckily, we found an article in the San Diego Reader, that was written in 1997 yet somehow is still extremely relevant and pointed us in the exact right direction. Adobe Falls is located in East County, near the College Avenue exit by San Diego State University. I attended SDSU and lived all 4 years on campus, yet somehow never heard of this little gem. Technically, it's illegal to go there, since it's private campus property. I've heard rumors of people getting trespassing citations, yet considering that it's August, school's out of session, and we went there on a quiet Thursday morning, I figured we were in the clear. And if not, my little sis would have a fun story to tell her friends the first week of college! Insider tip: after you experience the waterfalls, continue hiking further another half a mile until you arrive at the secret tunnel. It's full of amazing grafitti and is a perfect photo op.
My advice: do not go on a Saturday or Sunday, especially during the college school year. Keep a low profile, be nice to the neighbors, and pick up trash on your hike back out. Be respectful of the land and hopefully we can all keep enjoying this hidden treasure for years to come!
Here is a photojournal of our "Secret San Diego" hike to Adobe Creek Falls --