San Elijo Hills Park: Joy-Filled View  LbNA # 43369 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 11 2008
CountySan Diego
LocationSan Marcos, CA
Planted ByRocky Road to Dublin    
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

San Elijo Hills Park: Joy-Filled View

Joy-Filled View # 1

Drive to the San Elijo Visitor Parking at 1215 San Elijo Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 798-1765. Isabella O’Brien’s is a local coffee house. You can begin your hike with a coffee or a snack before the hike. (THIS HIKE IS BEAUTIFUL FOR SUNRISE OR SUNSET HIKES!!!)

When you walk out the doors of the Visitors Center or Coffee shop you will make a right and walk on over to the San Elijo Road cross the street, turn right and contine walking up San Elijo Road . The baseball park will be on your left and continue walking to the 2nd driveway on your left which is a "service vehicle access only" road. Turn into this driveway going N/W (left) You will come to a sign "Restraint of Dogs Required. As the road splits at this point stay right and continue on the asphalt trail passing the dog park run that will be on your left.

As you climb the hills you will see the ocean on your left. You will pass a utility vent PO43064AV. Stay on the asphalt trail. You will see a very steep hill; continue to stay on the asphalt trail. Pass marker PO4305IAV. The view from the top is breathless…it’s worth the climb! (Please note: We have boys 5 and 6 years old that climb these hills with us, however, some children may find this hike too difficult due to the intense grade of these hills) You will continue on the rolling hills path and pass the marker PO43042AV.

You will come to a street, turn right and pass through the metal gate. Immediately you will see a trail on your left. Take this asphalt trail as you climb above all the housetops of San Elijo. You will soon discover a bench with a “Joy-Filled View”. Have a seat and take in the views of the Pacific Ocean and the San Marcos Lake Dam. (During the rainy season, the dam is spilling over and is a magnificent water fall) Turn to your right and you will see a curb that has a break in it. As you walk over to the “run-off break” of the curb, look at the right corner. Your treasure is beneath this small pile of rocks.

At The Cross # 2 (This is about a 45 minute hike from the Visitor Center to the cross depending on your pace)
From the bench continue up the steep grade (or use the switch back trails. Turn right and continue on the dirt road trail until you reach the asphalt road. Turn left at the asphalt road (going west) continuing up the hill.

On a Clear day you can see from Catalina to Mexico from the top of the San Elijo Hills!!

As you climb, you will see a cell tower (also known as “The Evil Castle of Dr. Do No Good” by our boys!) Proceed on the trail closest to the “Castle of Dr. Do No Good” staying left as the road wraps around the cell tower. You will now be able to look out over San Marcos. Stay left and go down the hill. You will see San Marcos Lake on your right. If you are taking this hike at sunset, you may find the cross illuminated as you go down the hill. You will pass a gate that is always open. Enjoy the views as you walk closer to the cross and a little “shed” that is in a fenced area. (A little history….this cross has illuminated the hillside just south of Lake San Marcos since 1963 when Bob Layton, the builder of an early cable system, climbed the hill and erected the cross for publicity. He never dreamed there would be such uproar when he was going to take the cross down. Now, 45 years later, the cross still shines every night lighting a dark hillside.)

Before you reach the cross, you will find a metal post about 5 feet high, sticking out of the ground. Stand with your back to the post and look straight ahead. You will see a log—behind the log under a small pile of rocks on the right side will be your treasure.

The day I planted this letterbox it was Sept 11 (9/11) and was the 7 year mark since such a horrific tragedy upon the US. This is a small memory box in honor of those who perished at the hands of such evil.

Note: Leaving the area, take the road away from the San Marcos Lake View. Going down the trail you will pass marker PO33032AV. You will find the steep decline and switch backs shortly after.

May you truly enjoy the beauty of these majestic and enchanting trails!