Tom’s Experience exploring the Mushroom Caves:
This was a very neat place, but it is too bad that so much spray paint has been used on the canyon walls. Almost every wall you see has paint on it in this canyon.
The hike through the San Elijo Lagoon is pretty level and the trail is very well maintained. You have nice views of the lagoon and the ocean.
Once you get to the fork to head toward mushroom caves the trail is not nearly as well maintained. There is a fallen tree covering the trail and numerous trails that seem to dead end in other places.
Once you get into the canyon there are a few different forks you can go and explore and numerous ladders that have been dug out of the soft sandstone to allow people to climb up to higher caves.
The rock is very sandy and very slippery even when dry.
As we were heading into the mushroom caves we passed some workers who had just kicked a few kids out of the area. They said we could go up but that if they saw us climbing on the rocks they would kick us out as well. Dogs are allowed in the San Elijo Lagoon but must be on a leash.
Trail Info: The Mushroom Cave area is a no-trespassing spot. The trailhead is at the northern-most end of North Rios Ave in La Jolla. Follow the trail to the east and you will see a trail taking off heading south. Follow that trail and after a little bit the canyon starts to narrow and you can explore the area.
Trailhead = 33.003684,-117.272505
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