If you wanted to, you could spend days, months, and years exploring the great state of California. As the western-most state in the continental United States, California spans from the northernmost tip of Mexico all the way up to the southernmost border of Canada. The coast stretches for thousands of miles, includes endless beaches and cliffs, sand bars, and rocky caves. From glitz and glamour to scenic landscapes and dry deserts, the California landscape can’t be bucketed into a single ecosystem. National landmarks like Yosemite National Park and the inhospitable terrain of Death Valley are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast array of things to uncover throughout the state. Joshua Tree, Disneyland, Big Bear Mountain, Alcatraz Island, and Runyon Canyon are places to camp, ski, learn, and adventure. All of these locations make our great state more than just a Hollywood dream.
During the pandemic, there has been no better time than now to get outside and explore. The sunny California skies offer the warmth we need to break outside of the walls of our homes and enjoy the open air at a safe distance. Carlsbad is a gem in the heart of Southern California with a long list of outdoor adventures to enjoy during the pandemic. If you’re on the lookout for adventures off the beaten path, grab your sneakers and visit these two lesser-known attractions in Carlsbad.
Everyone knows that Southern California has some of the prettiest beaches in the nation. The city of Carlsbad has over 7 miles of coastline with beaches perfect for surfers, swimmers, tourists, and everything in between. No matter where you are in Carlsbad, the ocean is just a short distance away. The coast permeates our culture and serves as a backdrop to local businesses. However, there are some hidden gems located along the coast that not everyone knows about, and Cerezo Bluffs is one of them.
Cerezo Bluffs is located adjacent to Terra Mar Point, and is a well known secret to seasoned surfers. The bluffs are lined by a small beach. You can climb to the top on either side with stops along the way to soak in the views. The bluffs require some adventurous maneuvering, but are worth every step. Depending on the tides, the waves may splash up over the rocks. If you walk along the beach, you will stumble upon a few small caves that you can peak inside of. During high tide, or after a storm, the elevated view from the top of the Bluffs is an exciting thrill. The water can splash high into the air and come down with a loud crash. The Bluffs are a truly spectacular wall of rock against the water. There are caverns and hidden treasures along the way. No two visits are ever the same – with erosion and the movement of the ocean every adventure comes with something new to uncover.
Sometimes, it can be easy to move through a city without getting glimpses of its past. Carlsbad is a city that is full of colorful history and exciting stories. Another one of Carlsbad’s hidden gems is located deep in the woods of San Elijo. The hike starts off with a steep incline – a challenge to get up and over a mountain in order to uncover what’s on the other side. The ravine below is chock full of historical artifacts. The area was once home to one of the largest copper mines in the world back in the early 1900s. Now, the blasted mine shafts are still there and are surrounded by the rushing water of Copper Creek. The Creek’s water is sourced from the Escondido Creek Watershed, and it pours generously into two small waterfalls that can be viewed along the hike. During WWI, these mines were crucial to the war effort and the water in the dam is said to have been where miners could clean ore before transporting it elsewhere.
There are Eucalyptus trees scattered along the hike, concentrated around the larger of the two waterfalls. These trees may have served as firewood for miners, but are a welcome natural treat for guests today. During the spring, the hike is littered with wildflowers. If you’re looking for an adventure brimming with history, Copper Creek Falls & Mine can’t be missed.
No matter where you are, there is always something new to discover if you look close enough. Carlsbad has plenty of treasures to find – explore one of these hidden gems to get outside and find something new.
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