Outside of the big three hikes in San Diego – “Potato Chip Rock”, Cowles Mountain, and Iron Mountain - the Cedar Creek Falls hike is one of the top five most popular hikes in the entirety of San Diego County. And, unlike many claims made about hiking in San Diego, this is not blogger hyperbole, this is a verified fact. The Forest Service website for the area even states that this trail is “...possibly the most traveled trail in the Palomar District”. As Cedar Creek Falls is so popular, no description of the hike would be complete without getting into why the trail and the waterfall is and has been so popular.
San Diego is a destination that is well-known for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, Comic-Con, and for being the home of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman. In addition to all of these things, San Diego is America’s Finest City and is the host city of the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star game. While Petco Park, the Convention Center, and the Gaslamp District are great spots in the city core of San Diego, the city, and the county as a whole have innumerable spots for visitors who have the time to explore, or who want to get away from the downtown crowds. Whether you are a first time visitor to San Diego, or a long-time fan of the city, check out the below destinations this weekend that prove that the city’s nickname is more than hype.
San Diego is a spot with many great hiking trails. In fact, saying that San Diego has “many” great hiking trails sells the city short; the reality is that San Diego has a plethora of great hiking spots. I can think of no other location in the United States where the beach, canyons, hills, mountains, and deserts are all within a two hour drive; and in some cases are within a one-hour drive. San Diego is also a spot where many household names – Iron Mountain, Cowles Mountain, Torrey Pines, the Devils Punchbowl, and the Three Sisters are hiking trails. In this blog, I’ve discussed my opinions about these places and I’ve also discussed other great hiking spots; but what I will say positively about these trails and their popularity is this: they get people outside. In my experience, when people get outside, they’re more likely to learn things; they’re more likely to boost their endorphins; and they’re more likely to want to protect not only where they went, but other wilderness areas as well. So yes, these trails are popular, as I’ve discussed, but sometimes, popularity is not all bad.
Today I’d like to talk about the myth and legend of the “Devils Punchbowl” in San Diego County. If you’ve like me, and you’ve lived in San Diego, or spent enough time in San Diego, and you’re interested in the backcountry, chances are you’ve heard of “The Devils Punchbowl” after you heard about Cowles Mountain, Iron Mountain, and Woodson Mountain (a/k/a “Potato Chip Rock”). Here’s the interesting thing though: unlike the above peaks, “The Devils Punchbowl” is a more nebulous concept. There’s no doubt that it exists – it’s definitely a location that exists. But, it exists in about ten or eleven different locations, depending on who you are talking to, and who is giving you directions to the “actual” site.