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Jacumba – the far edge of San Diego

Across border in Jacume, De Anza nudists, In-Ko-Pah, Border Angels, hippie fest, flying saucers

Coyote: “I just like flying saucers."
Coyote: “I just like flying saucers."
  • A quiet street and an old hotel

  • Jacumba is a kind of living ghost town out in southeast San Diego County, on the Mexican border, in what’s called, the Mountain Empire district. It has come through all the typical Western growing pains — a gold and silver rush, the slaughter of local Indians by cattle ranchers, the turmoil of the Mexican Insurrection of 1912.
  • By Steve Sorensen, March 16, 1978
Hotel's sauna
  • How They Ended Up In Jacumba

  • Mexican Jacumé shares at least one quality with U.S. Jacumba: Jacumé is also an end-of-the-road town. It’s 70 miles east of Tijuana along the Mexicali-Tijuana highway, and then 7 miles north on an unmarked dirt road. The town doesn’t appear on most maps. There are no tourists, Mexican or American.
  • By Patrick Daugherty, April 19, 1990
On Saturdays and Sundays starting about noon, 20 or so Mexican men gather at the fence. About half drive in from the U.S. side, half drive or walk in from the Mexican side. The weekend has begun. The men go to the fence, build a fire, drink beer.
  • Jacumba trusts Dave Landman, the naked guy

  • “I wasn’t planning on owning a town. Not at this stage of my life. I’m 65 years old,” Landman says. “Our goal is to make Jacumba a tourist destination again. So far, we are having fun with it.”
  • By Siobhan Braun, May 23, 2012
Visitors soak in Jacumba’s public, hot-spring-fed tub.
  • Water level appears low at Jacumba Hot Springs

  • Jacumba’s only official census in 2010 put the population at 561, and it doesn’t appear to have changed much since. In fact, the town hasn’t grown significantly since a county visitors guide put the population at 400 inhabitants in 1945. And really, why would it?
  • By Chad Deal, Nov. 16, 2016
Old Highway 80 in Jacumba is located less than a mile away from the U.S./Mexico border.
  • Imagine climbing the 30% grade to reach this outpost

  • The sculptures of Boulder Park have amused and surprised people for more than 80 years. W.T. Ratcliffe, an unemployed engineer during the Depression years, carved the stone sculptures in the 1930s where the natural shapes of the granitic boulders inspired him.
  • By The Canyoneers, May 31, 2017
Kids will be fascinated by the sculptures in Boulder Park.
  • Party at the snakes' place

  • The joke is that nobody is from here, because we are on the edge of nowhere, but, sure as snake’s teeth, the right kind of folks will settle just about anywhere, and that includes the boulder-strewn peaks and cactus-studded gullies surrounding In-Ko-Pah’s Desert View Tower. Joining them for the fourth year now are 526 outsiders converging over two stages and 14 bands playing from early afternoon ’til bar close.
  • By Chad Deal, June 21, 2017
Over 525 showed up for the fourth annual In-Ko-Pah High Jinks on the outskirts of Jacumba.
  • Border Angels takes water out to Jacumba area

  • A small crowd gathers in the courtyard outside the Border Angels headquarters located at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Island Avenue four blocks south of State Route 94 and five blocks east of Interstate 5. All 60 volunteer slots and ten wait-list spots were filled four days prior for today’s desert water drop. Filling spots was once difficult, but not since Donald Trump was elected.
  • By Siobhan Braun, Aug. 16, 2017
My eyes constantly scan the landscape for shade.
  • Hippie fest near Jacumba – more to come

  • Though it is best described as a version of Burning Man, organizers stated they didn’t burn anything, nor have any alcohol or drugs (other than some natural, now legal herb). Attendees brought small RVs, or slept in their cars, or set up tent camps.
  • By Ken Harrison, Oct. 16, 2018
“Our purpose is to seek a higher consciousness and to be in gratitude.”
  • "I’ll show you around when my coffee break’s over”

  • If I were ever going to see a UFO, I figured it would be in the desert. Then, last Tuesday while innocently driving through In-Ko-Pah, near Desert Tower, that rock edifice standing lookout over a moonscape of red boulders, wrecked pickups, and broken dreams, I spied a small fleet of flying saucers parked on the side of the road, as if refueling.
  • By Chris Ahrens, Feb. 25, 2019
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Coyote: “I just like flying saucers."
Coyote: “I just like flying saucers."
  • A quiet street and an old hotel

  • Jacumba is a kind of living ghost town out in southeast San Diego County, on the Mexican border, in what’s called, the Mountain Empire district. It has come through all the typical Western growing pains — a gold and silver rush, the slaughter of local Indians by cattle ranchers, the turmoil of the Mexican Insurrection of 1912.
  • By Steve Sorensen, March 16, 1978
Hotel's sauna
  • How They Ended Up In Jacumba

  • Mexican Jacumé shares at least one quality with U.S. Jacumba: Jacumé is also an end-of-the-road town. It’s 70 miles east of Tijuana along the Mexicali-Tijuana highway, and then 7 miles north on an unmarked dirt road. The town doesn’t appear on most maps. There are no tourists, Mexican or American.
  • By Patrick Daugherty, April 19, 1990
On Saturdays and Sundays starting about noon, 20 or so Mexican men gather at the fence. About half drive in from the U.S. side, half drive or walk in from the Mexican side. The weekend has begun. The men go to the fence, build a fire, drink beer.
  • Jacumba trusts Dave Landman, the naked guy

  • “I wasn’t planning on owning a town. Not at this stage of my life. I’m 65 years old,” Landman says. “Our goal is to make Jacumba a tourist destination again. So far, we are having fun with it.”
  • By Siobhan Braun, May 23, 2012
Visitors soak in Jacumba’s public, hot-spring-fed tub.
  • Water level appears low at Jacumba Hot Springs

  • Jacumba’s only official census in 2010 put the population at 561, and it doesn’t appear to have changed much since. In fact, the town hasn’t grown significantly since a county visitors guide put the population at 400 inhabitants in 1945. And really, why would it?
  • By Chad Deal, Nov. 16, 2016
Old Highway 80 in Jacumba is located less than a mile away from the U.S./Mexico border.
  • Imagine climbing the 30% grade to reach this outpost

  • The sculptures of Boulder Park have amused and surprised people for more than 80 years. W.T. Ratcliffe, an unemployed engineer during the Depression years, carved the stone sculptures in the 1930s where the natural shapes of the granitic boulders inspired him.
  • By The Canyoneers, May 31, 2017
Kids will be fascinated by the sculptures in Boulder Park.
  • Party at the snakes' place

  • The joke is that nobody is from here, because we are on the edge of nowhere, but, sure as snake’s teeth, the right kind of folks will settle just about anywhere, and that includes the boulder-strewn peaks and cactus-studded gullies surrounding In-Ko-Pah’s Desert View Tower. Joining them for the fourth year now are 526 outsiders converging over two stages and 14 bands playing from early afternoon ’til bar close.
  • By Chad Deal, June 21, 2017
Over 525 showed up for the fourth annual In-Ko-Pah High Jinks on the outskirts of Jacumba.
  • Border Angels takes water out to Jacumba area

  • A small crowd gathers in the courtyard outside the Border Angels headquarters located at the Sherman Heights Community Center on Island Avenue four blocks south of State Route 94 and five blocks east of Interstate 5. All 60 volunteer slots and ten wait-list spots were filled four days prior for today’s desert water drop. Filling spots was once difficult, but not since Donald Trump was elected.
  • By Siobhan Braun, Aug. 16, 2017
My eyes constantly scan the landscape for shade.
  • Hippie fest near Jacumba – more to come

  • Though it is best described as a version of Burning Man, organizers stated they didn’t burn anything, nor have any alcohol or drugs (other than some natural, now legal herb). Attendees brought small RVs, or slept in their cars, or set up tent camps.
  • By Ken Harrison, Oct. 16, 2018
“Our purpose is to seek a higher consciousness and to be in gratitude.”
  • "I’ll show you around when my coffee break’s over”

  • If I were ever going to see a UFO, I figured it would be in the desert. Then, last Tuesday while innocently driving through In-Ko-Pah, near Desert Tower, that rock edifice standing lookout over a moonscape of red boulders, wrecked pickups, and broken dreams, I spied a small fleet of flying saucers parked on the side of the road, as if refueling.
  • By Chris Ahrens, Feb. 25, 2019
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