SMUGGLER'S CAVE, CA
Located 85 miles east of San Diego, California off Hwy. 8 and near the historic town of Jacumba. Both street legal and green stickered vehicles are allowed on existing routes. The historic Table Top Mountain area is also included
Historical, Rugged and Sensitive! This is the best way to describe the area surrounding the small town of Jacumba, California. Jacumba is about 65 miles east of San Diego off Highway 8. During the heat of the summer months, the Indians moved their camps from the shores of the ancient Lake Cahuilla (now the Salton Sea) into the Jacumba Mountains. Even today darkened soil from animal fat can still be seen around their ancient roasting pits. During the mid to late 1800's, an Overland Stage route passed through Mountain Springs and Jacumba on its way to San Diego. The old stage route winds up the mountain from the north side of Highway 8. The early settlers in the area struggled with cattle rustlers, smugglers, bandits, Mexicans and Indians. Then in 1912, the first dirt road was blasted through the rugged area. Automobiles could now travel a rough and rocky road between El Centro and San Diego. A few years later, the San Diego and Arizona Railroad built its railroad through Carrizo Gorge. The 11 mile journey went through 16 tunnels, of which two are one-half mile long, and crossed 14 wooden trestles. One of the trestles is the tallest wooden span in the world at 186 feet above the sandy wash below. Visit the restored railroad station in La Mesa and Campo. The railroad museum at Campo is open 10a.m. to 5p.m. and offers a short historic train ride (619?)697-7762. The tracks through Carrizo Gorge are currently being repaired.Anza Borrego State Park, private landowners and the BLM all manage portions of the Jacumba Mountains. The area is a great place to explore existing roads with an Off Highway Vehicle: ATV, 4WD, buggy, motorcycle or mountain bicycle. Each managing agency has its own set of rules governing Off Highway use. Here are a few guidelines that will assist you and may help to keep the area open: vehicles must be street legal within Anza Borrego State Park. Obey the road closure signs: they protect ancient sites. Travel only on existing roads. No mechanized travel within the specified Wilderness Area. Building a fire within San Diego County requires a permit issued by the Forest Service Offices within San Diego County. If you prefer to ride in an open area (any vehicle, anywhere) simply continue east on Hwy. 8 to the Plaster City OHV Open Area. The Carrizo Gorge Railroad, cave dwellings, petroglyphs, old stagecoach stations, old stagecoach routes and several legends of lost treasures create the desire to explore the backroads of the Jacumba Mountains. On each trip into the Jacumba Mountains we stopped the vehicles and hiked into the rugged terrain.