9400 La Jolla Farms Rd,
San Diego, CA 92037
Mushroom House: 32.872306, -117.252042
Trailhead to canyon that leads you to the Mushroom House 32.875032, -117.247864
Hike: 2 miles roundtrip Level: mildly strenuous
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
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The Bell Pavillion 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. A 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!”‘
Personal Experience: Although the house is no trespassing, the entire hike and perimeter of the home are open to the public. This is a fun hike through a canyon with stunning views. The 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.
The hike begins at Scripps Coastal Reserve. There is a trail to the far left of the reserve that leads you down to the shore.
We’ve arrived!Back up we go!Heading back up we spotted some little caves!