Mildred Falls was an ephemeral waterfall that appeared to have a very short life. I’ve witnessed this waterfall on two separate occasions, where 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 at the top of this page, 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.
As for how much exertion was necessary to see the falls, not much hiking would be necessary because it can be seen from the Saddleback Trailhead. Of course, as we hiked further down the Cedar Creek Falls Trail, we were able to catch different angles of the waterfall and the continuation of the creek and its ravine as it would ultimately drain 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!
Since Mildred Falls can be seen at the Cedar Creek Falls trailhead at the end of Eagle Peak Road (i.e. the Julian), see the Cedar Creek Falls page for driving directions. 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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