A man suffering from heat exhaustion was airlifted out of Cedar Creek Falls Saturday afternoon. The falls are now open again from the Julian side, after a closure in 2011 following the death of a hiker.
The man on Saturday was taken by ground ambulance to Pomerado Hospital, according to Ramona Fire Station 81.
The Cedar Creek trailhead in the San Diego Country Estates area of Ramona remains closed. However, hikers have been arriving at the gate on Thornbush Road this weekend, a Cleveland National Forest law enforcement official told Patch. The hikers were turned away.
A Sheriff's spokesman said on Saturday that an estimated 35 vehicles had parked on Eagle Peak Road on the Julian side of the Falls. This weekend is expected to draw a lot of hikers, he said.
Cedar Creek Falls trail has been closed from the Ramona side since a at the Falls in July 2011. The Forest Service is working on a potential permit system for hikers due to the overwhelming number of people who visited the trail, entering from Thornbush Road. Some had to be flown out due to heat exhaustion or injuries over the summer, at great expense to emergency responders.
Temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees at the Falls. Residents have complained that some people were going down the trail unprepared, in flip flops with kegs of beer and not enough water. Some left trash all over Thornbush Road and even urinated in people's yards,
On Saturday, the hiker was brought out of the Falls by a CalFire helicopter, operated by a Sheriff's Department pilot.
Signs on San Vicente Road and at the Thornbush Road trailhead in the Country Estates indicate the closure of the Ramona trailhead to the Falls.