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!
Mushroom House: 32.872306, -117.252042
Hike: 2 miles roundtrip Level: mildly strenuous
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
This is a fun hike through a canyon with stunning views. The Mushroom House is just south of Black’s Beach. Keep your eyes peeled during the hike down. We spotted some shallow hand-carved caves in the sandstone. They are nothing more than a quick stop-by, but still cool nonetheless. Although the house is no trespassing, the entire hike and perimeter of the home are open to the public.
The Bell Pavillion (also known as the Mushroom House) was built & designed in 1965 by Dale Naegle for Sam Bell of Bell’s Potato Chips & General Mills. Bell had purchased a summer home overlooking the Pacific Ocean and wanted to add a guest house.
The property included a 300 foot cliff and below was an isolated beach only accessible at low tide through rugged rocks. The 300 ft. tramway from the main house to the guest house was constructed first, necessary for developing access to the beach. Surfers who often hung out at the nude beach known as Black’s Beach gave the oddly-shaped home the name ‘Mushroom House’ due to the resemblance of a fungus.
Originally the home did not have the wall around it. It had a cabana underneath to use while on the beach. There was a draw bridge from the rail car to the house to make it secure.
Dale’s son Eric Naegle commented on our page saying “When asked why my dad chose to design this house the way he did, he would always answer “To resist the most destructive force in nature…” Invariably people would offer up: land/rock slide? Tidal wave? Earthquake? Dad would then fill in the blank: “Teenagers!”‘
We were those “teenagers”. We would occasionally come down from Orange County and surf the “small gentle break” at Blacks. We’d stay overnight in a shack that was just above the beach along the trail (last time I was there c: 1966-67) it had burned down. On one trip, in the evening, one of us was stung through the foot by a stingray. The occupants at “Bell Tower” were very helpful and we were allowed to use the Tram to get him up the cliff to the road and to Scripps for treatment.
November 7, 2018
it looks illegal frankly. thinking of cwa
November 7, 2018
Those caves – hand carved? Not so sure about that, perhaps there was some ADDITIONAL carving but they very likely started out as “wind caves” or other natural features. Clearly people have been carving outside them, as there are letters there, but that is a shame, actually, since it takes away from the natural beauty of the spot.
March 3, 2019
June 20, 2019
Im curious, is there a way to enter the building? it seems that you may have entered to take some of these pictures.
October 21, 2019
Can you get in the house
October 22, 2019
Wish I could post a pic here…..I have a couple of the inside of this place…..of us being those teenagers.. In high school, my gal pal’s dad owed it. So he bought all the furnishing and new bbq, then drove us all down and had us set up the place…..party!!!!
October 22, 2019
Does it rotate?
January 19, 2020