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The Adobe Falls area is no tresspassing and we no longer give directions to it

Personal Experience: In my opinion, and especially for San Diego, this is a legitimate waterfall. The scores of graffiti adds an interesting, urban touch which is sad (not only because the graffiti is pretty terrible) but also colorful and slightly surreal. I guess that’s what happens when a waterfall is easily accessible and neighbors a college town.

This is one of the only non-seasonal waterfalls in San Diego. Alvarado Creek draws its water from much of Del Cerro, San Carlos, Fletcher Hills, Grossmont and some of the hilly areas south of the I-8 corridor from Grossmont west until Fairmount Ave. Here’s a great site to learn more about the waterfall.

We do have many other waterfalls in San Diego that you can legally hike to.  Some of our favorites are

 Cedar Creek Falls, Three Sisters Falls and the Moonsong Waterfall.

Adobe Falls hidden san diego

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62 Reviews

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  • Semaj Wade
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    As a photography student at The Art Institute – San Diego I found this easy “hike” (more like a walk) off the beaten path to be extremely rewarding! This is a great spot to photograph water and nature with a great mix of graffiti art all while the 8 freeway zooms by just a few feet above.

    April 18, 2013

  • Name
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    Don’t go from the construction area, go from the top of the suburban homes. Then just go directly down.

    May 22, 2013

  • Name
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    Went there last week but couldn’t figure out exactly where the trail was. Walked up the dirt construction road but got nervous about going further. Can anybody help???

    May 22, 2013

  • Anonymous
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    Your source is faulty – The San Diego River is well to the north of Adobe Falls, since it basically follows Mission Gorge Road out into Santee. I think the falls are for Alvarado Creek.

    June 6, 2013

  • Anonymous
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    I heard there’s a way from an SdSU parking lot. Anybody know?

    July 2, 2013

  • Semaj Wade
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    From the pictures below, the path is down the dirt hill (to the right of the parked car in the first pic).

    September 11, 2013

  • Michele
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    We used to go in the ’80’s when I was a student at SDSU – It’s a shame about all the graffiti, wasn’t there then. Great little spot though.

    November 17, 2013

  • Raze
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    re: getting there from SDSU–go to the northernmost point of the A lot and just skid down the hill to the east. Go through the tunnel and follow the path on the left side of the watercourse and you’ll be at the falls in a few minutes.

    December 1, 2013

  • Anonymous
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    Thank you for removing the directions to get to this location. I am a resident of the nearby homes. My family and I had noticed all sorts of people coming in and going out of the neighborhood, often getting lost and ending up in our back yard! We wondered for a while what was going on and why the sudden interest in falls. We also had a series of break-ins and several incidents of people roaming through our yard at night. It’s a spooky feeling and I definitely felt violated.

    May 2, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    R.I.P. MODER

    May 3, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    Back in tha’ day people used to swim in that water (it was clean) i would’nt do that now. There are funny stories about people skinny dipping out there

    May 6, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    Are the falls open to the public?

    July 2, 2014

  • anon
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    went there the other day, fell off a boulder but it was still an amazingly cool place to go

    July 8, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    There are “no trespassing” signs posted. People have trashed the place

    July 8, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    No

    July 8, 2014

  • ProPolice
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    I live where I can see the entrance to this canyon. I call the police on every person who enters and I give them descriptions of the people as well as the plate number. Do not test me. Thank you.

    July 30, 2014

  • Smitty Bill
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    I live near the Shade tree Apartments on Adobe Falls Road. I walk my dog through there over ten years and watched it get all messed up. Not much to see there anyways- graffiti covered boulders. There is a way better trail on the corner of Waring and Adobe Falls Road 1/4 of a mile the other way. I was out there at 10pm and passed a bunch of drunk people with beer cartons.

    August 2, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    I’m so glad that there is now a “No Trespassing” sign. My house is situated so that you can enter the canyon from my back yard. It’s very easy to get lost and end up on my property. I had also noticed more crime. Both cars parked in our driveway got broken into- windows smashed in and everything. The night after our cars were broken into, nearly all the cars on Adobe Falls Road had smashed-in windows. Our next door neighbors actually had a break in in their house! I’ve had to chase people off my property in the middle of the night numerous times. This neighborhood is usually very quiet and safe, so all the sudden crime was very shocking, but isn’t surprising. I’m sure that there were people going down there with good intentions, but it’s very clear that not all did and that’s sad. Kudos to my neighbor who calls the police. I see someone getting busted just about every day, even at night. So no… Don’t try it.

    August 7, 2014

  • Ron B
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    I’ve gone hiking and geocaching in this area several times. It is such a unique area–one of the only places you can see a waterfall in San Diego! A pity it had to be closed off. But I’ve seen the trash and the graffiti and from the articles it sounds like people haven’t been respective of the neighbors so I guess this is the logical result. I just wish there could have been another solution.

    August 14, 2014

  • Danny
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    Sorry to see this post about clean up today the 24th. I live on adobe falls and see many unknown cars getting tickets. Funny how the kids don’t know!

    August 24, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    someone always screws it up for other people that want to go there and photograph adobe falls

    September 20, 2014

  • karina and geena
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    love yall niggas

    December 2, 2014

  • Anonymous
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    Good place to drop acid?

    February 10, 2015

  • To Below
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    Of course you can still get in trouble

    February 13, 2015

  • Anonymous
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    Can you get in trouble for trespassing even if you aren’t doing anything illegal and you aren’t being obnoxious or loud or anything?

    February 13, 2015

  • gizz
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    somewhat backyard goals

    February 25, 2015

  • Anonymous
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    “Can you get in trouble for trespassing even if you aren’t doing anything illegal…?”

    LOL — trespassing is illegal. And yes, that’s why you can get in trouble — it’s private property. Just like if someone were to come into your backyard and ask if you can still get into trouble even if you aren’t “doing anything.” Trespassing IS doing something — it’s illegal to trespass on other peoples’ property.

    April 22, 2015

  • Nomad Donut Girl 23
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    Is this a good place to get DPed?

    May 31, 2015

  • Danial Tijuana
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    I went there thirty years ago. Through the water tunnel and downhill. It was not much painted back then. I have enjoyed seeing the photographs and reading the text, and comments too. Thank you. All.

    June 5, 2015

  • Vista 4 Life
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    Hey some guy fell off the cliff and was air lifted out in a helicopter it was on channel 10 news

    June 5, 2015

  • Anonymous
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    I remembered Adobe Falls when I was a little girl in 1957. It was beautiful. Now it is ruined due to ugly graffiti. Why??? Very sad. Why did people come and ruin it? Are they angry???

    Now it is illegal to visit Adobe Falls as sign says it is no trespassing. Please respect the sign.

    June 11, 2015

  • Hugo
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    I’m a faggot

    July 24, 2015

  • Allie
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    Check out my mixtape

    July 24, 2015

  • anon
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    Hidden San Diego

    Our ritual. Guess where? #valleycenter — with Brian Generik and Jessica Johnson.

    September 27

    I see you found the knife edge pool at VV. Hi Jesssica!

    October 11, 2015

  • Rusty Kaars
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    My dad use to skinney-swim at Adobe Falls back around 1915. It too bad the vandals have ruined such a wonderful place. He had a saying, “In 14 hundred and 92 Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue. He got as far as Adobe Falls and there he lost his overalls”.

    October 24, 2015

  • wheller wilson
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    The homes should never been built there.Its a natural wonderland.

    March 16, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    the whole area should be a state Park,however greedy landowners aka san diego state let houses be built there.We will all pay the price for destroying the lands.The graffiti is well graffiti.The kids love the place,a place they can tag.To bad our government is so corrupt and inefficient,they cant clean it up.Its San Diego State property.I have yet to see a cop.FTP.

    March 16, 2016

  • anon
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    Nice place to hike, been there recently, Lots of graffiti, take a OE8 or a mickey’s big mouth and enjoy the trail. I live in AG a few blocks away

    March 20, 2016

  • Person
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    Don’t think this should be off limit to the public but maybe have cameras up to make sure people don’t do more graffiti.

    May 15, 2016

  • To anonymous
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    I have not heard anything about that story in the news. Can you link me?

    June 15, 2016

  • Claire Hohensee
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    Soooo can I get there or not??

    June 15, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    Recently there was a home invasion murder by a transient (presumably at the Falls) at one of the surrounding homes at the entrance to the Falls. A man broke into one of the homes at midnight, held two women hostage and murdered one and stabbed both with a ten inch hunting knife. Since then police have been patrolling the area. Neighbors in the area are extremely angry and on edge.

    June 15, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    Please do not go to the falls. It is private property & has been trashed enough. It is a sensitive area that has been ruined by partiers who don’t care about the neighborhood or the area. Find some other place to have fun

    June 16, 2016

  • DP
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    I meant to say– to put up with.

    August 11, 2016

  • DP
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    That’s a shame– I wanted to visit and then I feel for the residents what they have put with. The graffiti ruins the very essence of the falls. 🙁

    August 11, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    Geez! what mess. This area was so beautiful without this. Is it really necessary to destroy the wildlife area with toxic paints?

    November 18, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    update: one of the entrances are now fenced off!

    February 4, 2017

  • anon
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    The murder guy is on trial

    March 19, 2017

  • Anon
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    News flash your love website isn’t the only places where you can find info lmao dumb love bitch

    July 10, 2017

  • Anon
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    Who allowed you to be Ms. I’m Too Good for Everyone Else So I Can Go To Cool Places and No One Else Can’t. Another blogger who thinks they’re someone when they’re not, ladies and gents.

    July 10, 2017

  • Jack
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    How old do you have to be ? To go

    July 20, 2017

  • kathy
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    while I enjoy urban art this is sad—such a desecration of nature why do you “artists feel the need to ruin the beauty? help me to understand

    November 29, 2017

  • Michael
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    If caught cut there hand off this is not art full stop and they are not artists full stop. My dog has more intelligence.

    September 26, 2018

  • Anonymous
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    Huer tunnels!!!! Rip huer you know the routine!!!!

    November 5, 2018

  • Anonymous
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    @Anonymous, you’re a mess !!!

    November 5, 2018

  • Anonymous
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    Wow you people are mean. The cops made them put a trespassing warning okay? It’s like saying go at your own risk. Also, graffiti art is real art that can make ugly urban things look better, but the people doing it in beautiful locations like this have no respect for nature or others who want to enjoy it

    January 20, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    Well that’s unfortunate that u can’t access it

    April 17, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    Thanks for these photos! It’s a shame what all those vandals have done to such a beautiful spot. I don’t understand why they don’t go find a bridge or something that could use some art, instead of ruining a beautiful place so that it gets made off-limits for everyone.

    April 25, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    In the 80’s and 90’s there was much less spray paint and trash down there. It breaks my heart to see it vandalized and filthy.

    May 9, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    The code changed what I wrote to “love You’s” It should have said “@#!* YOU’s”.

    Just for the record. How ridiculous

    July 1, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    @Jack, You just have to be at least 4 ft tall. Like all waterfalls.

    June 16, 2020

  • Bil Fram
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    Growing up in College Heights in the 1960’s, I remember going sneaking out of my bedroom window at night to smoke loco weed and later marijuana on the campus of SDSU. Later, we would go into the canyons in the surrounding area to catch giant pollywogs, crayfish, mud puppies, and take LSD. Adobe Falls was the ultimate location to savor nature in the surrounding environment at that time. It is very sad to see that the flood control tunnels and surrounding areas that we would marvel at have been covered in graffiti. These markings are created by individuals that are very alienated from the natural world. I worry about them and our environment in the future. They are very sick individuals who never got enough validation as children, and are now looking for it elsewhere at our expense.

    May 7, 2021

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