Mount Soledad sits within Soledad Park, a large urban park approximately a mile from La Jolla Bay. It can be accessed on foot, by bike, or by car. Soledad Park Road loops around the historic Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial, which was provided by the Mount Soledad Memorial Association. The memorial originally comprised a simple cross made of redwood, but today a large white cross towers over brick steps and black granite plaques. There are currently more than 4,000 of these plaques, and each is dedicated to a veteran. Some of them honor veterans who served as far back as the Revolutionary War.
For years the land on which the memorial is perched was public land. Since it appeared, there has been opposition to the religious nature of the monument. Sixty-one years after the current monument’s construction, the U.S. Department of Defense ended the controversy by selling the land to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association for $1.4 million. The property is a mere half acre, but the association was thrilled with the deal.
While many people are drawn to the top of Mount Soledad by the memorial, the breathtaking panoramic view can be equally impressive. If you look northwest you will see Torrey Pines and Pacific Beach. San Diego stretches to the southeast, and if the weather cooperates you might be able to see all the way to Mexico. This is an excellent place to enjoy a picnic, watch the sun set, or check out the city lights by night. If you want to get in some exercise, hike or bike up Capri Street, and then head down on La Jolla Scenic Drive South. You can extend your journey by heading to nearby Windansea Beach or Nicholson Point. San Diego residents and visitors alike will not want to miss out on a trip up Mount Soledad.