Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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We are no longer giving directions to Jacob's Cave

Personal Experience: Just like an artist learns to train their eye to detail, we do the same with potential exploratory spots. Either that or it's all the years reading Where's Waldo as a child. 😉

We spotted this cave from the highway one day and decided why the heck not check it out? We went on an overcast day, as these types of hikes just aren't smart to do when it's too hot. It was one bitch of a hike with no actual trail that we could find, but hey, that's all part of the game, right?

After just recently finding several mines in this region and reading about the possibility of more, I have been on the lookout in the canyons for holes. It turned out to be well worth it (for us at least, but we're pretty easily satisfied). I have no clue if this was an exploratory mine or a natural cave.

I would love your opinions! We were not the first to visit this spot, that's for sure, although there were very few human traces left behind. The words "Jacob's Cave" were sprayed on the large rock in front of it. This is not a deep cave, but surely large enough to sleep in.

It could comfortably hold 5-8 people I'd say. We weren't sure if it was a den, but from a distance saw a beer bottle laying above the cave. That is probably the only reason we went any closer. Once we got near we could see right inside, showing that it was empty. Phew!

That little hole is the cave:

We're going in!

There was a much-needed temperature drop inside. I like to imagine the Kumeyaay Indians used this cave for shelter from heat and poor weather conditions. There is something so strange about those large rocks nearby too. This area feels special to me.


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8 Reviews

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Difficulty Finding 0

8 Reviews


  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    You can see that opening from the road -its on the north, a steep hill about a third of the way up kwaypaay mtn. Kwaypaay used to have a huge hole in the top of it ,but it got filled in by the city. Some kind of a mine. Dog spring flows from that area down to the sd river. There used to be piles of broken glass all over that area people had shot with guns, the bottles were super old like 1920s and 1930s style thick glass. We would find stuff like that laying around.

    across the street (south side of mission gorge road)

    on the saddle between Cowles mtn and Pyles Peak, there used to be a cave at the top (camping gear and sleeping bags inside), not sure of its still there. it used to be visible from what is now Golfcrest drive. Yesterday, I was looking at photos of us on top of that mtn dated 1971.

    There are some caves on the other mountain (north of Kwaypaay) used by indians long ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Below the intersection of Golfcrest and Mission Gorge is where the Dog Spring flows year round’.

    Cowles’ mountain used to be called Dog mountain and they were going to change the name back to that after Mr. Cowles died. in the 19th century.

    If you follow the creek below Dog Spring, it flows down to the San Diego River. Under the oak canopy are the ruins of buildings, mostly foundations and piles of decayed wood; (mining operations)

    There were buildings right below the spring until the 1970s when a fire swept through there and burnt down the wood structures.

    there are at least 4 building ruins on both sides (east and west) of Junipero Serra road next to the creek bed. (some are right below the park hQ) one of them has a basement and thick concrete walls.

    Where the creek runs into the SD river, there is another concrete foundation under the oak tree to the left of the road. Probably a mining or a construction building. (pre-1950s)

    April 21, 2014

  • Admin
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Oh my God, so cool!! What’s strange is I was just wondering about that yesterday and if anyone had found the note yet. Lo and behold you came and answered my question! 😀

    May 14, 2014

  • Anonymous too
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    We found this place last week and found your note! I took a picture of your note too. If you want it let me know and I’ll send it to you. It was a hard place to find at first but then after piecing all the information I had together, it seems rather easy now (of course). Cool spot. Very pretty walking there and enjoyed those two rocks that look like ruins. Thanks for the tips!

    May 14, 2014

  • Anonymous too
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    The note wasn’t in the place you originally left it and it was weathered a bit but completely intact and readable. I put it back in the little fire pit. It was a really cool hike! I LOVE your site and you have inspired me to have many more adventures!

    May 16, 2014

  • Kevin
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Are those pictographs on the cave roof? That’s a very unusual cave with such a flat floor.

    March 7, 2019

  • San Carlos Local
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I’ve been there, been able to see it from the road my entire life. Then I finally went in 2009 or 2010. Pretty cool spot off the trail. Used to go to the bunkers and to this cave. I know of another cave on cowles mountain, it isn’t on the site. They used to call it black mouth cave because of the fire pit inside caused the mouth of the cave to turn black. It went pretty far back and got smaller. I don’t know anyone else that knows about it, only took a couple people there.
    At one point there was canned food inside and a chair, not sure if someone lived there, or used it as a hangout. Anyone know about this cave? There is absolutely no information on it, but I can never forget how to get there

    June 29, 2022

  • San Carlos
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    I know of a cave not listed on your site, also on cowles mountain. Does anyone else remember or know about Black Mouth Cave? There’s no information on it, I can still get there.

    June 29, 2022

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