About Mildred Falls
Mildred Falls was an ephemeral waterfall that appeared to have a very short life.
I’ve witnessed this waterfall on two separate occasions.
The first time I showed up was on the second dry day after a freak Valentine’s Day snow storm hit the Julian area in 2008.
The result is the photo you see above, which I suspect would be at or near peak flow.
On a second visit many years later, we showed up a little over two weeks after some saturation storms hit the area with snow at the start of January in 2016.
In that latter visit, all that was left of the waterfall were streaks on the rock wall where it was supposed to be.
So this wouldn’t be a waterfall I’d go out of my way for, but I tend to think of it as a bonus waterfall on the way to Cedar Creek Falls if coming from the Julian side.
In fact, you can argue that the chance to see Mildred Falls was one of the advantages of favoring the Julian side of the trail as opposed to the Ramona side.
Anyways, we didn’t need to exert ourselves much to see Mildred Falls because we could see it barely a couple of minutes into the Cedar Creek Falls hike from the Saddleback Trailhead.
Of course, as we hiked further down the Cedar Creek Falls Trail, we could see Mildred Falls at different angles.
We could also follow Mildred Falls’ stream as it continued its descent into the San Diego River basin further below.
I’ve read that this waterfall could be on the order of 200-300ft tall, but there’s also a series of slopes immediately below the main plunge.
So it’s conceivable that this temporary waterfall could be considered to be even taller!
Mildred Falls resides in the Cleveland National Forest near Julian in San Diego County, California. It is administered by the USDA Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions and permits, visit their website or Facebook page.
That said, if you’re trying to time your visit to see this waterfall flowing, it’s worth noting that the access roads from Julian (via Pine Hill Road and Eagle Peak Road) may be a bit on the wet and muddy side, especially after a heavy snow accumulation.
Generally, these roads are passable to passenger cars, but it is something to be aware of under such wetter conditions.
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