This Valentine’s Day we decided to go on a hike. We headed to San Diego! We chose to go here because there is a waterfall at the end of the hike and we read that it was a little challenging which we like. The trail-head is about a one hour drive from downtown San Diego. Here’s the address we used: 14850 Boulder Creek Rd, Julian, CA 92036. The last several miles of the drive is on a dirt road. Though any car should be able to get there, I recommend bringing one you don’t mind getting very dirty. Ours got super dusty.

20160214_143044The whole hike took us about 3.5 hours. We started at 2:00pm and returned just in time for a beautiful sunset. I loved our timing because it was after the hottest part of the day and just before it got dark. Hiking down to the waterfall was the easiest part, though there is a small segment where there is loose sand and we slid down part of the trail as we tried to walk down it. The sliding was actually pretty fun. It’s like sand surfing. I got so much sand in my shoes doing this.

On our way to the stream we passed so many people huffing and puffing on the hike back. There’s about a 0.25 mile steep incline on the hike back. We met a young girl in passing who looked a bit sluggish, miserable, and her cheeks were red. She wasn’t carrying anything. I guessed she was dehydrated. We offered her a water bottle which she gladly took. We always carry extra water. We recommend you take almost 1 gallon of water per person.

Just before the stream there is a rope you can use to help descend down a rock wall of about 15 feet tall. It’s fun and pretty easy. Once we got to the stream at the lowest point of the hike, we hiked along the trail to where the waterfalls are. This is where most of the bouldering takes place. As I would climb up and around these rocks I would get myself into weird body positions just trying to shift my weight around. I was careful to get good footing because I had little to no grip on my shoes. It was a bit easier for David because he had good shoes.

We saw a few people swimming in the pools of water, one couple napping in a hammock they brought, one couple setting up camp in the mouth of a cave, and several people resting on the flat rocks. It was all very relaxing.

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In my opinion, the hardest part of the hike was getting from the bottom waterfall to the top of the highest waterfall. There were several ways to get to the top of the waterfall, but all of them required a lot of climbing and shifting your center of gravity. It was especially sketchy when there was only smooth rock to hold onto. Luckily, we only skid once or twice with no injuries. We saw a few people swimming in the pools of water, one couple napping in a hammock they brought, one couple setting up camp in the mouth of a cave, and several people resting on the flat rocks. It was all very relaxing.

I expected the way back to be cardio intensive, but the hardest part only lasted about 20 minutes. Otherwise it was a very peaceful hike. I think the next time we come here, I will bring night vision goggles and try out some night hiking. Our only goal was to get to the top before sunset. And we did! It was perfect timing. Everything was beautifully lit, and we got to rest in a grassy patch while we enjoyed the sunset. Overall we really enjoyed this hike. It’s one of our new favorites thus far. ♦

Tips: Bring about 1 gallon of water per person. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat… it gets hot! Wear hiking shoes or at least shoes with good traction, especially if you plan to hike to the top of the waterfalls because the rocks are slippery. Bring a flashlight or headlamp if you plan on hiking within 4 hours of sunset in case you have to hike in the dark.