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!
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
About the abandoned cabins:
There were once large aspirations for this glamping (glamorous camping) resort. New ownership with deep pockets had just taken over the property and many high promises were being made.
The glamping tents were just one of the ideas pitched. What made this resort special was that it was only a stone's throw away from the rest of the city, making it good on gas, but secluded enough to make you feel as though you were hours away.
Set to open late 2013, the cabins came complete with canvas tent lining, electricity, a ceiling fan, furniture, individual decks overlooking the lake with modern restrooms, showers and a picnic area nearby. The cabins were to be accessed by boat only, giving a slight feel of adventure without actually getting dirty. It was the perfect way for couples who have different preferences for what a romantic weekend feels like to meet in the middle: you have the luxury amenities of a hotel with the outdoorsy-vibes of camping. It's a pretty brilliant idea in my opinion.
The cabins overlook the lake and mountains with a dam nearby. There were options of boating, fishing, hiking and a luxury restaurant that recently opened on the lake as well. Sadly, the glamping resort suffered a major setback when the local residents voted "NO" to glamping on their community property.
The initial proposal was for the owner of the resorts to purchase a small strip of land for the cabins which would get permits in line with the county. If approved, the agreement was to keep a limit of only 4 cabins on the land, offering minimal disturbances to the surrounding residents.
Sadly, the community rejected the entire property line adjustment proposal. As of today, the skeletal remains of the cabins remain desolate and we are left with only our imaginations of all that could have been.
Due to the county widening the access road to the site for emergency response, boating was no longer the only way to get to this spot. Because of this (I have been told) homeless were beginning to sleep in the abandoned cabins, forcing them to be dismantled. Whether or not this is true, I am not sure.
About the lake and dam: We will not be naming the lake to hopefully keep foot traffic to a minimum in hopes of preserving the dam and cabins, therefore will not be giving a full history on the spot. There are early records of this area being inhabited by Native Americans. Over time, the land became part of a Spanish land grant. After the Mexican-American War, floods of new settlers came to the valley.
It is said that the Butterfield Stage line used to journey along the creek here. In 1927, a couple wealthy families purchased the land and in 1946 a dam was built, enclosing the creek and creating the 40 acre lake we see today. The lake was used mostly for irrigation for local cattle ranches but later became the main water source for growing food. Avocados can still be seen on the hills today.
Personal Experience: I'm surprised I had never visited this dam before or heard about these glamping cabins. This is a really fun and beautiful hike which very quickly whisks you away from the rest of society and out into the wilderness. It's sad to witness the "what could have been's" of these cabins. I think the idea had potential to be a lovely getaway which could have benefited many and with minimal disturbances to the land. The dam is really cool and around 25' high I'd say. I'd like to explore the creek below another day. Looks like a fun adventure!
Are the coordinates right for the Entrance? The GPS can’t read it and the listed address does not have a trail head or even a trail…
May 24, 2020
This was my first time here. it very close but still feels secluded and easy to find from directions. Very pretty and cool to see the lake and glamping sites. The trail isn’t maintained so I had to go through some bushes and wasn’t able to get to the dam but besides that it was great!
August 31, 2020
Private property patrolled all day long. Will tow your vehicle in under 20 mins. Might be able to hike in but there’s security at the trailhead 24/7 stopping anyone trying to enter to walk. Happened to us.
June 21, 2021