Just next to the thriving metropolis of La Mesa, CA is the thriving census-designated place of Casa de Oro-Mount Helix (named after the European snail Helix aspersa), home to Mt. Helix, atop of which sits Mt. Helix Park , the “Crown Jewel of East County”.
We live close enough to Mt. Helix that we can see it from our backyard and visit often. It’s an incredible place to watch the sun set over San Diego.
It’s an easy drive; signs are everywhere.
Folks have been active here for a long time, by American standards.
The “Friends of the Park” sponsor many events in the park’s amphitheater.
According to the Mt. Helix Park’s website: “Built as a memorial to Mary Carpenter Yawkey, Mt. Helix Park with its huge outdoor Amphitheatre nestled into the hillside below the magnificent 35-foot-tall Christian Cross crowning this 1,370 foot mountain peak, is one of the most recognized landmarks in San Diego County.”
Yes, the cross is BIG.
You are probably thinking, “Wait a minute. That’s a symbol of Christianity on public lands, which Article I of the United States Constitution has been interpreted to forbid.” And, although you may be correct, there are a sufficient number of Supreme Court justices who see otherwise, so the cross can stay.
Mt. Helix is also a wonderful place for photoshoots of your favorite guy or gal, with just the right amount of privacy and scenery.
Okay, but we are here to watch sunsets, so let’s get to it!
The top of the mountain affords a grand view to the horizon.
Sometimes the view is unworldly.
On cloudy days, the sun illuminates the bottom of the clouds just before it falls below the horizon.
The evening sky favors us with a dazzling display of colors.
Enjoy this slideshow of even more sunsets. 🙂
Eventually, it becomes dark enough and the lights of San Diego county come alive, outlining the neighborhoods with roads and highways.
Of course, you can always face east towards the Laguna Mountains and watch the moon rise.