The Mystery of Lost Lake of the Cajon Pass

It is not known to many people, but it is still possible to use the old highway up through a portion of the Cajon Pass. Present day highway 15 runs well above old 395 and Historic Route Highway 66. Such rustic areas as Blue Cut and Halls Ranch (Yes my Family again), and Sullivan's Curve still exist.

As you drive up the badly surfaced road from Devore (Use the Kenwood Exit from the Northbound 15 and make a left, pass under the 15 and then make a right on Cajon Blvd [old 395 & route 66]) you notice that for the most part you are driving on what would be the southbound lanes of the old 4 lane highway. As you come around the curve at Blue Cut you notice that there is now a mountain sitting over the right-hand lanes into the center divider. You might think that this is ample proof that the San Andreas Fault zone is alive and moving. But you would be wrong. It is actually the San Jacinto Fault Zone that straddles the highway. The San Andreas is still one mile ahead.
Two Faults zones so close together and visible? As you proceed north you notice that the entire area between the faults is moving to the north and at different speeds. Only 2 or 3 inches a year, but they are moving. So much so, that railroad crews from both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, have to go out twice a year and reset the tracks. Otherwise, the train tracks would bend out of shape, just like old 395 has.

As you proceed, you will see a sign that says 'Lost Lake'. It also says private road so most people ignore it and just keep heading up towards Sullivan's Curve. Sullivan's Curve by the way, is a favorite Train Watcher area and has also been the scene of several major train accidents over the years. The best way to get into this area is to exit highway 15 at Cleghorn Pass Road, make a left under the freeway if you are going north bound that is and then make a right on the first roadway you see. This will take you back to a triple track bypass area, a small yard, and the beginning of the lower end of Sullivan's Curve.

But if you take the time to make the left turn onto the dirt road and cross the triple set of tracks that tend to hide it's route, you eventually find a quiet little area that should not exist. For there are no streams, creeks or rivers that feed into Lost Lake. The water seeps up from beneath the ground. A direct result of two major earthquake faults zones passing within a half mile of each other.

Some say that Lost Lake has no bottom, that it feeds directly from the center of the earth. The water is also very cold, below freezing even in summer time. Fire crews have used its water supply to help fight fires, and they have never noticed a drop in water levels. It always stays the same, even in heavy rain seasons. And snow fall has no effect on it. But it has never frozen either.

Lost Lake is surrounded by lush grassy vegetation, some what like what you might see back in Kentucky or Tennessee. In fact Kentucky Blue Grass grows all around the lake.

As you drive further into the narrow valley you realize that both fault zones are coming together. All of a sudden you run into a wall of a mountain that blocks your way. You can climb up this 500 foot high rock fall and look out over the valley you have just passed through. To the northwest are the 10,000 peaks of Mt Baldy, Cracka Ridge and the Mountain High Ski area. As you hike through the area you become aware of how insignificant you are amongst the grander of the Fault Zones, the Mountains and the trees.


went last week and it was almost completely dry sad being that it was my first time ever going and hearing about how it never drys an inch or has no bottom well it definetly had a bottom and I saw it deepest spot was about 2 feet

Sounds like the water is very low, should make a good place for metal detecting. Who knows what treasures that lake has hidden from everything it has swallowed in the past. Old swimming hole spots are the best places for metal detecting.

My dad showed me this place.use to get 8+lb large mouth using live blue gill caught at socombee lake in the ghetto of SB. Use to be family oriented a place to chill smoke a lil flower and have a few beers but apparently it's all gone to hell because nobody gives a SHIT about anything that's not theres. That's a sad thing when humans don't give a crap about a beautiful place to destroy it as they have done.

I just came back from Lost lake in the Cajon and it is completely dry. The bottom is all dead vegetation and black mud.
I found the bottom but not as I had dreamed about in the past.
The lake when full is problibly about 10 feet deep in the center. This was the first time I got to take my kids and I was very disappointed. I pray for the rain to come and drench this state.

You mean all those idiots that swore it was bottomless and the scuba divers that could never find the bottom were wrong?

Went to Lost Lake this week. Unassuming sand was closest thing to quicksand I have encountered. Stepped off a rock, instantly sank to my knees.
Recommend a posted warning for other adventures!

Well looks like lost lake does have a bottom after all. The lake went dry this fall.

Parking area not maintained since El Cajon fire in 2015. No doors in restrooms and very dirty. Trail not too bad and lake area was clean and beautiful. Lake was about 30-40 yards long and 20 yards across. Will be coming back in july.

The assumption that Lost Lake has dried up due to thfe long suffered drought is only partaily true. Yes the drought has in fact dried the contents of the lake but the only reason it could is due to the source of its water supply has been cut off. This is due to the ever shifting of the tetonic plate convergence that was the source of Lost Lake to begin with. The plates have moved and cut the water supply off and the weather was allowed to consume the lakes content.

I love history. We're headed out to Lost Lake with Forest Service to clean up all the graffiti and trash out of the area. It is easy for the general public to stand back and watch history get destroyed by the scum of our society. What is not easy is getting up and actually contributing time and labor to take it all back and restore it, preserve it. It takes effort and public volunteering. If anyone here is interested in helping and attending the clean upo event, let me know and I will post up details.


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