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!

Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok

Calhoun St, San Diego, CA 92110


32.7562438908, -117.19836819783

Dog-Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes



Check out our list of Hidden Spots in Old Town for the ultimate day trip!

About the Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok

One of the most recent additions to Old Town State Park is the Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok, Land of the First People.

This interpretive garden has been in the making since 2014 actually. Discussions for the park had been made between the Old Town Working Group and Tribal members from: Barona, Campo, Ewiiaapaayp, Inja-Cosmit, Jamul, La Posta, Manzanita, Mesa Grande, San Pasqual, Santa Ysabel, Sycuan, and Viejas Bands of the Kumeyaay Nation.

It’s so amazing to finally see the vision brought to fruition. When walking around the park make sure to really take your time and read the informative plaques.  You will learn a lot from reading them.

The garden is full of Native plants that the Kumeyaay have used for thousands of years with educational plaques to teach you their names and uses. The park also includes a public gathering area for events and ceremonies. Keep your eye out for the stunning mosaic pieces as well!

The chosen location for the Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok center is not by chance.  This exact area is where the Kumeyaay village Kosa’aay used to sit.  It has a very long and bitter history which involves Spanish missionaries attempting to wipe out the Natives.  I have written more in depth about this story on this page.

While you’re in the area, make sure to check out Mason St. Schoolhouse nearby!

It is so beautiful to finally see this area giving the Kumeyaay proper recognition and a beautiful space.  Old Town is not complete without it.  There is also a lovely shop in the heart of Old Town called the Kosay Kumeyaay Market where you can purchase hand-crafted goods that goes directly to supporting the tribe.

The people of Kosa’aay worked very closely with what we know as the San Diego river.  Now due to so much development, it’s a bit harder to realize how close it actually is to Old Town.  From what I was reading, it used to be much larger and closer too.  Today at the center, there is a dry riverbed exhibit as shown below:

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