Adobe Falls


A couple of weeks ago, when I saw a picture on Instagram of a crazy, graffitied waterfall I assumed it had to be somewhere else, anywhere other than San Diego. After all, no one had ever mentioned an awesome waterfall in the middle of the city to me before, and you'd think that'd be something people talked about. So I googled Adobe Falls, which is what the picture was hashtagged, and whole-heartedly expected it to be located elsewhere. 

As it turned out, "elsewhere" was a 15 minute drive from my house. 

I mean, nothing makes me more giddy than finding out this city is just that much more beautiful thanks to stumbling upon a secret spot or hidden vista. Which is why finding out that this waterfall was right here in Mission Valley was so exciting to me. I looked up directions and on a crisp Friday morning, Ryan and I set out to hike this gorgeous trail.

The only problem? There's a folded over piece of paper flapping on the chain link fence that apparently reads"No Trespassing" if you get close enough to unfold it and see what it says. We didn't and didn't know until after visiting that this was the case. 

Since then I've learned that if you're caught at Adobe Falls, you will likely receive a citation, or worse. All because kids tend to throw parties there and between the litter and the noise disturbance and the underage drinking and the slipping and the being medically airlifted out of there, they've pissed authorities and the residents off enough to shut it down, with good reason.

An alternative title for this post was going to be: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. 

But Adobe Falls is freaking magical. It's a natural waterfall and while the graffiti art surrounding it may seem crass and disrespectful to some, it does make the entire scene that much more surreal. And I hate that San Diegans can't hike freely to this beautiful place and enjoy the serenity of it anymore.

So while I won't recommend going there or explain how to get there because I don't want anyone to get in trouble, I'm can't resist sharing pictures of our adventure at this hidden treasure. 

After parking the car and taking a short 7-10 minute hike across a stream and up a steep trail, we made it to the Falls and it was breathtaking.

For a color addict like me, the natural colors of the trees and the sky mixed with the bright neons of the graffiti was almost too much to handle. I was totally in awe and so happy that Ryan and I were the only ones there so we could take our time letting it soak in. 

I attempted a few easy yoga poses, AKA the only ones that could be done in skinny jeans, then spent several minutes just meditating next to the waterfall and trying to borrow a little peace from my surroundings. It was wonderful. It is the closest I've ever felt to being tucked away in nature in San Diego's city limits and I didn't realize how much I missed it until that moment.

Spot the difference!

Finding adventure right here at home was a great way to kick off the new year. And while I wouldn't ever recommend attempting to find and trespass Adobe Falls, I would strongly encourage those who do to bring a trash bag and gloves - there's no better way to pay your respects to such a beautiful place than to do a little cleanup while you're there.