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Adobe Creek Falls – series of cascades through a narrow little gorge

But lurid graffiti on the rocks, trash along the banks,

Just north of San Diego State University, the runoff shed by some 15 square miles of chaparral-covered hillsides and suburban streets placidly crosses under ten lanes of Interstate 8 west of College Avenue. Then it tumbles, virtually unseen by anyone today, through a narrow little gorge, forming the series of cascades known as Adobe Falls.

Decades ago, when San Diego State lay isolated at the city’s eastern fringe and I-8 was but a gleam in some civil engineer’s eye, students and professors trekked down to this formerly idyllic site for picnics. Today the runoff from winter storms still rushes head-long over bedrock slabs and boulders beneath a pleasing array of willows, sycamores, and volunteer palms — but lurid graffiti on the rocks, flotsam-and-jetsam trash along the banks, suds floating on the quiet pools, and the rank odor of a nearby sewer pipeline do not serve to inspire the curious traveler.

Map to Adobe Creek Falls

Nonetheless, for those with insatiable curiosity, the following directions are offered: Exit I-8 at College Avenue and go north to the traffic light at Del Cerro Boulevard. Turn left (west), continue 0.4 mile, and turn left on Rockhurst Drive. Rockhurst becomes Genoa Drive and starts descending. At the end of Genoa, turn right on the dead-end Mill Peak Road and descend, passing a horrendous open wound on the hillside above (now being stabilized by much earth-moving activity) and a couple of slide-damaged homes. Continue downhill to the end of the cul-de-sac, and park along the curb nearby. On foot, take the wide dirt path signed “off-road vehicle activity prohibited.” Cross the creek, veer left, and begin the short climb to the falls area. If soaking winter rains have recently fallen, expect to accumulate a couple of pounds of sticky adobe soil on the soles of your shoes. When you reach the falls, watch your step — all rocks, even rough-textured ones, are slippery when wet.

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Just north of San Diego State University, the runoff shed by some 15 square miles of chaparral-covered hillsides and suburban streets placidly crosses under ten lanes of Interstate 8 west of College Avenue. Then it tumbles, virtually unseen by anyone today, through a narrow little gorge, forming the series of cascades known as Adobe Falls.

Decades ago, when San Diego State lay isolated at the city’s eastern fringe and I-8 was but a gleam in some civil engineer’s eye, students and professors trekked down to this formerly idyllic site for picnics. Today the runoff from winter storms still rushes head-long over bedrock slabs and boulders beneath a pleasing array of willows, sycamores, and volunteer palms — but lurid graffiti on the rocks, flotsam-and-jetsam trash along the banks, suds floating on the quiet pools, and the rank odor of a nearby sewer pipeline do not serve to inspire the curious traveler.

Map to Adobe Creek Falls

Nonetheless, for those with insatiable curiosity, the following directions are offered: Exit I-8 at College Avenue and go north to the traffic light at Del Cerro Boulevard. Turn left (west), continue 0.4 mile, and turn left on Rockhurst Drive. Rockhurst becomes Genoa Drive and starts descending. At the end of Genoa, turn right on the dead-end Mill Peak Road and descend, passing a horrendous open wound on the hillside above (now being stabilized by much earth-moving activity) and a couple of slide-damaged homes. Continue downhill to the end of the cul-de-sac, and park along the curb nearby. On foot, take the wide dirt path signed “off-road vehicle activity prohibited.” Cross the creek, veer left, and begin the short climb to the falls area. If soaking winter rains have recently fallen, expect to accumulate a couple of pounds of sticky adobe soil on the soles of your shoes. When you reach the falls, watch your step — all rocks, even rough-textured ones, are slippery when wet.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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