Hike to waterfall: 1/4 mile Level: Easy
Dogs-Friendly: Not on trails but allowed at campground Kid-Friendly: Yes
Green Valley Falls lays within a campground which offers 74 campsites. The sites are located at an elevation of 4,000 feet where the Sweetwater River spills over boulders on its 55 mile trip southwest to San Diego Bay.
The river runs through the campground and produces a variety of cascades and shallow pools. I imagine the cold water would be great for cooling off on hot days. The hike itself was short but very scenic. After exploring the initial falls, we headed down stream where we were greeted with more pools and a competitor for Potato Chip Rock. We will definitely be back for a return visit.
On our hike we saw what looked to be mortars, although I can’t verify that’s what they were. I do know that the presence of Indigenous peoples in the area dates back a minimum of 7000 years.
Traces of ancient and pre-contact civilizations are found in the park, and there is evidence that it was the site of summer camps and villages. The name “Cuyamaca” is a Spanish version of the name for this area used by the Kumeyaay peoples. They called it Ekwiiyemak, meaning “the place where it rains.”
There are over 100 miles of trails to accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Please keep in mind that in the late summer the water is dry so sadly no waterfall! For most of the year it is running though.
After you enjoy the main waterfall, keep heading downstream for more watery goodness!