Back in the 1950s Raul “Roy” Tarango and his friends would set out on a 40-minute hike to the Salt Falls. Tarango and his friends would bring a small paper bag of avocados, tomatoes, apricots and watermelon from orchards along the way. Once they arrived, the boys would strip off their clothes and head into the water.
“I started going to the falls when I was 8. We called it Marron Falls then,” Tarango said. “We weren’t supposed to be there, but once you were down in the hole it was difficult to be seen. It was solid granite and shaped like a horseshoe. The waterfall was in the middle. Our goal was to find the bottom of the pond. We never did, and we were pretty good swimmers. The pond was full of fresh water, and there was always watercress growing nearby that tasted great with salt.”
Indians originally settled along here about 9,000 years ago. The falls is a registered sacred site with the Native American Heritage Commission. The springs were used to irrigate agricultural fields that remained in the Marron family into the 20th century.
Personal Experience: This is a pretty legit waterfall going by San Diego’s standards. I would say the main fall is around 15-20′ with several different cascades and pools. This is a short adventure but very peaceful. If you do venture out here please do your part to respect the land and help pick up any trash. Thank you!