One of two access points to Cedar Creek Falls will re-open Sunday morning. The falls were closed to the public shortly after a teenager from a rocky cliff last summer.
The eastern entrance to the falls, off Eagle Peak Road near Julian, will be available to the public again, but the western entry point, reached from Thornbush Road in the San Diego Country Estates, will remain off-limits to the public until further notice, the U.S. Forest Service announced Friday.
Alcohol will be prohibited in the area, along with jumping or diving from the sheer cliffs surrounding the waterfalls and a rocky pond that are popular attractions.
'We're opening access to the falls from the east side, as many hikers are very interested in regaining access to the area," said Joan Friedlander, district ranger for Palomar Ranger District in Cleveland National Forest.
"We feel we can currently grant access from the east side in a manageable manner that provides for safety to the public, and allows forest visitors to enjoy this part of the forest. We are continuing to work on that will allow access from all Forest Service trails."
Visitors have been kept out of the falls area since July 9, 2011, three days after 16-year-old Joseph Meram of El Cajon slipped off a trail alongside an 80-foot-high rocky precipice over a pooll.
The teen struck his head on boulders before landing in the pool. He was pronounced dead while being airlifted out of the area.
The secluded spot had been a for public safety personnel for some time. Increasing numbers of visitors were being injured there or becoming stranded without enough water or proper footwear for the challenging terrain, authorities said.
Last Fourth of July weekend, emergency crews had to transport 10 or more injured, dehydrated or heat-exhausted people out of the area, according to Cal Fire.
-- City News Service