Over the hills of Rancho Santa Fe is one of the only places to go off roading in the suburban San Diego area, known by many as Spooks.
I was first made aware that Spooks existed by the original SDA Adventure Club during my sophomore year of high school. We took 3 cars down through the trails after a long hike to the top of the hill overlooking all of La Costa, and I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect. I had never been off roading before, after all, and it seemed a little intimidating.
Driving on the cliffs was pretty nerve wracking the first time, not gonna lie. There are some really steep slopes to fall down, so if you’re gonna go off roading, you better have a lot of preestablished trust in your driver and their off roading abilities.
The clearing before the cave opening looks a lil bit like this:
You’d have to do some peeking around to find the right trail to get up there, but you’ll know it when you see it. It’s on the mountain side, not the cliff side, as you’re gonna go up towards it rather than down.
Once upon a time, the last night of summer 2014 as a matter of fact, I made the mistake of coming here at midnight with a bunch of random people I hardly knew. As we sat in the bed of the truck we drove down in, we heard a strange noise coming from the bushes. One of the ‘tough guys’ we were with grabbed a baseball bat, hoping to fend off whatever caused the disruption. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see and never figured out what was in the bushes. This uncertainty left me a little concerned as we crawled into the cave space, towards the mystery being.
It ended up being fine, (although a lunatic we were with was insistent on whipping out his knife every five seconds) and it was definitely an adrenaline rush to last me a while.
Later on, I brought my good friends Anne and Kate down to the cave, who brought along their amazing dog Ally.
Caves like this are hard to come by in San Diego, so I always get excited when I come down here. Although the caves are narrow and not too extensive, they act as a great unorthodox spot for friends to sit down and have cool conversations in.
However, as with a lot of places I post on here, I have to warn: caves are dangerous. They could collapse on top of you, and as there’s only one way in and out, it’s easy to be cornered. Be careful, as always. Additionally, I’m uncertain as to if this place is legal or not to visit, but I’ve never seen any no trespassing signs or any indication that this area is prohibited.
I would also strongly advise bringing a phone or flashlight with you, because it’s pretty dark in there (I mean it’s a cave what else would you expect?).
To see more pictures of the Spooks Cave, check out the gallery below!