Panoramic Views from Mount Helix Lookout


Location: La Mesa (16 Miles / 20 Minutes East of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset

Cost: Free

Features: Magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean to the West and Peninsular Mountain Ranges to the East.

Mt. Helix Park Highlights: Mt. Helix Park is one of the few viewpoints near San Diego’s urban area where visitors can drive up to the top of the hill and enjoy sweeping panoramic views from the ocean to the mountains. Located at 1,370 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest points within view of the ocean.

Mt. Helix Park is a privately owned park that is home to a memorial cross and amphitheater. The amphitheater hosts special events, including concerts and theatre performances. It also hosts morning yoga and pilates classes, which are open to the public.

Visitors are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the views from atop Mt. Helix.

What to Expect

  • The setting is very quiet, with the exception of special events.
  • You will pass some amazing homes on your way to the top of Mt. Helix, including the famous rotating house.
  • Some days are clearer than others. (Sometimes clouds hover over the San Diego Coastline and block the view of the ocean – occurs more frequently in May and June. On the positive side, sometimes you get look down on the clouds.)

Food: The Village of La Mesa, along La Mesa Boulevard near Spring Street, is a very walkable area full of shops and restaurants. You can buy some sandwiches and take them up to Mt. Helix or you can visit one of the restaurants after your visit. Here is a merchant map of La Mesa. You will also find a farmer’s market on Friday afternoons.

Information on Visiting Mt. Helix

Website: Mt. Helix Foundation – See pictures and video of Mt. Helix Park and learn more about special events.

Directions from Google Maps to Mt. Helix Drive Circle in La Mesa, CA 91941. For visitors approaching the area on Fuerte Drive and making a right on Mt. Helix Drive, take note that trees partially block the street sign and view of your turn. So, be aware that the right turn is immediately after Lemon Ave. Also take note that as you drive your way up Mt. Helix, Mt. Helix Drive becomes a one-way street that circles up and around Mt. Helix before returning downhill part way as a one-way street.

Parking – There is limited parking at the park on top of Mt. Helix. You will see it as soon as you reach the top of Mt. Helix. If parking is not available at that location, you can circle your way around Mt. Helix and go back down the hill to Vivera Drive (where Mt. Helix Drive changes from a one-way to a two-way street). Make a right on Vivera and you will immediately see a dirt parking lot, which you may use. It is about a quarter mile walk uphill from this parking area.

Traffic – Traffic is heavy approaching Mt. Helix using highway I-8 when heading eastbound during the evening rush hour. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.) On busier days, you will probably need to park on the street, which is free and a very short walk to the entrance.

Transit – There is a Trolley Station in La Mesa. However, there is no bus service that takes you up the hill to Mt. Helix, which is about a 2.5 mile walk. (See San Diego Transit Information for trolley schedules and information for the online Transit Planner.)

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: East County, Scenic Views |

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