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El Cajon Mountain Conservation Area

One of the most visible landmarks in San Diego County is El Cajon Mountain, commonly known as El Cap or El Capitan. It is a stunning granite monolith that towers above the San Diego River and El Monte Valley in Lakeside. Much of the Mountain is within the Cleveland National Forest or the County of San Diego’s El Capitan Open Space Preserve.

Location: Near El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside


Conservation Values:
  • Golden eagle nesting and foraging
  • Lakeside ceanothus (Ceanothus cyaneus)
  • Hiking and climbing (as appropriate)
  • Protection of views

  • Location
    - Additional Information
    Google Map

    Adjacent Ownership and Goals:
    When the River Park Foundation started the El Cajon Mountain Conservation Project, there were a number of privately owned properties surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest, El Capitan Open Space Preserve and Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary. Our goal was to work with these landowners toward a conservation strategy. All but one property of the originally identified properties, we have now acquired for conservation. This remaining property is in what we call the "West Face" section of the Mountain. Our goal and vision is simple, that all of these lands should be in public trust and stay the way they are forever..

    Volunteer Opportunities:
    Assist with Fundraising Efforts for Acquisition
    Participate in Seasonal Hikes to Visit Property
    Join the Preserve Monitoring Team
    Photography - Photos are needed to support fundraising efforts.

    Current acquisition project: Build Fund for Final 20 Acre Property



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