A nice drive in the countryside to Lake Sutherland in Ramona California.

We found this on Google Maps. A nice lake with no houses around it and truck trail that claimed you didn’t need four wheel drive. There is even an old camping area that was closed due to flooding in the 80’s. 

Sounded like a great adventure, the road was just more than than a goat trail, or I guess you would say donkey trail around here. There are wild donkeys that roam the area still. 

Are you ready? Let’s go! 

#1 A little over an hour from our house..

Our first stop was at Lake Sutherland and Dam.

History: A civil engineer named Post surveyed the Dam Site in the 1920's and named the survey, Sutherland's Dam Site. 

Mr. Sutherland was a Ramona Pioneer, real estate developer and rancher. 

#2 The dam history..

Construction began over Santa Ysabel Creek in 1927, but was halted in 1928 with a little more than a quarter of the dam complete. The battle was over water rights between the town of Escondido, and the city of San Diego. This lasted for a long time. 

Construction for the second time began in 1952, and was completed in 1954. 

#3 Seventeen

Seventeen curved semi-ecological arches between eighteen buttresses soar 161 feet over the creek bed to a width of 1,240 feet. 

Concrete 10 feet thick at the base tapers to only 40 inches, just wide enough for a walkway on top. NO I did not go on top. (I am very afraid of heights.)

We decided to risk the no trespassing signs and went to take a peek. In San Diego County you could get fined 1000 dollars for trespassing. This area is actually going to be opened to a thru hike from crest to ocean, they are in the process of clearing the trail now. 

I wanted a sneak preview... Do you? I promise you won't be fined....

#4 It was an odd feeling

I stood there, not sure of going in under all that water. Kind of spooky. My son and the dogs make it there first. 

#9 Santa Ysabel Creek

Reaching the car, we get one last look at the green valley below. Now for the drive... Let's just say they were loose when they said okay for 2 wheel drive vehicles, but that just could be my fear of heights.. 

#10 Looking across at Corral Mountain

Do you notice my mirror on the car? I was also hugging a bluff, this was how wide the road was. One lane road, barely. And that sure is a long way down. 

Our next stop will be the beginning of a hike to see if we can find the abandoned campground. 

Look for the post titled, Black Canyon Campground coming soon. 


What do you think?


Written by Kim_Johnson

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