One of the best views in San Diego can be found with minimal effort at Mount Helix. This East County mountain is 1,300 feet tall, and provides great three hundred and sixty degree views of the City of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean to the West, and views of the local mountains of South and East San Diego County. The summit of Mount Helix itself is located in Mount Helix Park, which is a private park that is open to the public year round with no entrance fee. Although small in comparison to some of the other mountains in the county, Mount Helix has a rich history in the county of San Diego. For starters, Mount Helix was named after a snail - the helix aspersa - by Captain Rufus Porter in the 19th century. Secondly, Mount Helix - and the cross that stands upon its summit - was originally designed as a memorial for Mary Carpenter Yawkey; and was opened in 1925. Third, Mount Helix also features stone walls within the park and around the summit that were hand cut and fitted without mortar by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. While the views from Mount Helix were different when it was named by Rufus Porter, it remains a great place to watch the sun set, have a picnic, or take in a class or performance at its amphitheater. Although Mount Helix Park does have some hiking, most of the trails are short and mostly uphill near the summit view, but are suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Directions: Mount Helix is located at 4905 Mount Helix Drive. The Mount Helix Park Foundation provides some great directions to the park on their website here.