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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Cabrillo National Monument hidden san diego

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr.
San Diego, CA 92106

Phone: (619) 557-5450
32.673714, -117.242541

**Open Every day from 9am-5pm**

Passenger vehicle: $10.00 per vehicle    Motorcyclists: $7.00 per vehicle    Walk-ins/bicyclists: $5.00 per person

Hike: There are many trails on this land    Level: Each hike varies in level of difficulty

Dog-Friendly: No    Kid-Friendly: Yes


Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932.

Cabrillo National Monument hidden san diegoOn October 14, 1913, by presidential proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for “The Order of Panama … to construct a heroic statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.” By 1926 no statue had been placed and the Order of Panama was defunct, so Calvin Coolidge authorized the Native Sons of the Golden West to erect a suitable monument, but they were also unable to carry out the commission.

A major renovation of the half-acre monument was undertaken in 1935; the deteriorating lighthouse was refurbished, a new road to the monument was built, and the Portuguese ambassador to the United States presented a bronze plaque, honoring Cabrillo as a “distinguished Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain” who made “the first Alta California landfall”.

Personal Experience:Though this would be considered one of San Diego’s tourist traps, it is also a historically significant part of our city as well. The hiking trails offer great glimpses of abandoned bunkers and gun positions, the old lighthouse, impressive tide pools and a cave which is not accessible to the public due to safety reasons.

Check out this cool map from their website:

We first stopped by their museum before heading down to explore the tide pools:

There are many different hiking trails you can take, all of which are interesting in my opinion.  You will come across a lot of old history on these trails!

Look out for bunkers!

Cabrillo National Monument hidden san diego

I am actually super curious about this little cave I saw in a ditch.  Obviously completely overgrown with brush now but I wonder how deep it goes and if it is actually an old mine?  Impossible to tell!  This shot was majorly zoomed in btw:

Filled in mine:

We spotted an osprey!

We found an old gun position.  From what I was told, the military built cannons on circular mini railroad-like tracks in multiple locations along the west coast.

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4 Reviews

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4 Reviews


  • To Baxter
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Read our slogan: For all hidden, haunted and amazing spots in San Diego. This area has a lot of history, therefore goes under the category of amazing (to us).

    October 4, 2015

  • Baxter
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in San Diego, certainly a beautiful place but in what possible way is it “hidden”?

    October 4, 2015

  • Paking fee
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    too bad they charge for parking now. This is one of my favorite all time views in San Diego.

    March 19, 2017

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Faze rug and his cuz went the sherven the verman

    April 27, 2017

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Contact info

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA