Hike to Crystal Cave



1 miles

Route Type


Added by Alex Seger

San Diego county is literally scattered with old mines from days past. Many are discovered, and many still lay untouched in the wilderness. Crystal cave and the adjacent mines are slices of history that give you a sense of wonder when visiting.

Starting at 8100 Mesa road, you will see parking along the side of the road in a few places, take advantage where you find it. 

Pass over the trail gate that marks the start of the journey. This will be a quick trip, as the total distance is less than a mile out and back. Head a quarter mile or so before you come across a waterfall and small pond on your right hand side. Depending on the time of year you go, you may have to cross over boulders and such, avoiding the water, so be mindful of your footing! Just a short distance up the mountain after you cross the waterfall is crystal cave. 

The city has filled in the entrances for safety reasons. Entering an old mine is extremely unsafe and risky. From the risk of collapse ,to the very air you breathe inside, it's best to observe and enjoy from the outside! Take care not to pick up or take any minerals or rocks in the area. The area is protected, and we need to do our best to keep it that way! Enjoy the adventure!

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Easy Parking



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Where exactly is the cave?

I've hike Cowles Mt. many times, lived off Boulder when I was a kid and i remember going up to it once. But I cannot remember exactly where it is and tried looking on google maps to no avail. could you provide a little more details to get to the location? Thanks!!!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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