On December 19th 2012, the US Forest Service signed and passed the Cedar Creek Falls Visitor Use Permit System. The permit system and closures are scheduled to be implemented in early April of this year. Until the implementation, the existing closures of the San River Gorge Trailhead and the San Diego River Gorge Trail are still in effect.
You read that right. You will now have to purchase a $6 permit via their reservation website (http://www.recreation.gov) to go visit the Cedar Creek Falls. According to Will Metz, the permit systems is the “best, most balanced method available to us to restore public access to Cedar Creek Falls while addressing natural resource concerns.” It will also permanently prohibit the possession and consumption of alcohol in the visitor use permit area, at the San Diego River Gorge and Saddleback Trailheads, and along the San Diego River Gorge Trail and Eagle Peak Road that lead to the falls. On top of that, the surrounding hills immediately around the falls are now closed.
After reading through the documentation at least some of the crazy ideas the public proposed were not taken seriously like: “Minors under the age of 18 should be prohibited from entering the area surrounding CCF unless there is a minimum of one adult over the age of 30 for every four minors” and “Visitors to CCF should be required at a minimum to bring 100 ounces of water, sunscreen, proper footwear, a map, and a flashlight on their hike.” Really, a map and flashlight? While these are good things to have, people should not be required to bring anything.
The see the closures and permit maps: Closure Maps
For the press release, visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5403790.pdf
For the full report (including Q&A):
Oh, and don’t forget that you need to list each individuals name on the permit online before you print it out (up to 5). And make sure that everyone has their government issued ID with them, or else it’s a $75 fine!