Elfin Forest



Elfin Forest

 Location: Elfin Forest & Harmony Grove intersection

The Elfin Forest, which neighbors Questhaven and Harmony Grove, is not only great for hiking but also for delving deeper into the mysteries that surround this area. Like its popular neighboring communities, the Elfin Forest is rumored to be extremely haunted with hundreds if not thousands of stories and sightings to back up this claim.

The most popular myth is about the white witch. As the story goes, her husband and son were murdered out here a long time ago. Rumour has is she is still looking for her family, or possibly the person who murdered them. If you speak to the people at the Harmony Grove Spiritual Center, which is the area's psychic village, they say that she finally found the light many years ago. They used to see her regularly but haven't seen her for years. There are also stories of the Northern Diegueno Indians haunting these grounds. Upon hiking, if you're lucky enough, you may come across mortars, metates, pictographs, and petroglyphs.

Elfin Indians: There has been a lot of evidence that Northern Digueno Indians lived in this area. Archaeological digs have found artifacts, mortars, metates, pictographs and petroglyphs. These primitive drawings have helped to further decipher the Uyman language, which was spoken more than 9,000 years ago. There are petroglpyhs which have been found on one man’s property.  Tours to view these ancient findings are occasionally held but you have to be in the "in" to be part of them.  It is believed that the symbols found in this area are tied into other similar drawings which have been found in Escondido, Hemet, Borrego and Rancho Bernardo. They were once used as navigating symbols.

Sources suggest that the Elfin forest and its surrounding areas were a meeting ground for many tribes and that these grounds were said to have good energy. One must wonder what went wrong for a once peaceful meeting-ground to now be rumored to have dark energy.

Two tribes that we know of whom inhabited this area were the San Dieguenos and Luisenos indians.

The Campground:  During your exploration of this area, you will begin to notice an abundance of debris and ruins from days long ago.  Much of these ruins are from what used to be known as the Elfin Forest Vacation Ranch. In 1959 developers purchased 97 acres and began creating from a beautiful vision. This vision came complete with a lake and dam, a grocery store and spaces for trailers, campers and mobile homes.  There was boating, fishing, movies, dancing and many great memories were created. Heavy rains in 1978 washed away the lake and swept away much of the ranch though.  Since then, what was left of the ranch has slowly continued to waste away.

Personal Experience:  I haven't had anything crazy happen to me personally in the Elfin Forest.  I have had friend's cars get totaled or broken down mysteriously which are the same types of stories that happen in the surrounding areas of Questhaven and Harmony Grove.  

UPDATE: 3/27/14- I had gotten messages that none of the stuff in my photos is there anymore and many people have asked me for an update.  FINALLY, on a wonderfully overcast day, we headed back out there. The main difference is the Elfin Forest sign is gone. :( BUT, that is the only main difference I found.  We hiked far more than I ever had before and were astounded by all the remnants of the past that still remain.  And we only scraped the surface!  This area is huge and filled with trails.  We just followed our intuition on where to go.  I visited the old ruins I have always had on here to see if they're still there and they are.  We looked for the doll head but then ran into a snake so got out of there.  The doll head is planted deep and I found it by sheer luck one day so don't expect to find it easily! I have stumbled upon it on two occasions though. Like I always say, if you stay on one traditional trail expecting to find all sorts of interesting things, you most likely will be sorely disappointed.  I've always been an off-trail type of girl and that's why I think I get so lucky!

I was fortunate enough to interview a man who used to frequent the vacation camp as a kid.  Here is what Vernon Jaworsky had to say about it:

"Elfin forest was my first memory of camping. My friend's family brought us there in 1973. When we first got there, we saw the beautiful lake. It had an island in the middle with Tiki's and hen houses for the Peacocks and chickens. There were canoes and pedal boats for use. The store was painted red and had a bonfire pit in front. At night we would go to the store and they would have people playing music or showing movies against the wall.

As you entered the main gate, the office and store was to your left. Two sisters ran the park. Between the lake and Harmony Grove Lane was a camping area. If you drove to the right and crossed the dam, you entered the residential trailer park. Some were regular mobile homes, some were fifth wheel. Just past the creek on the right was a road that pararelled the creek. This was where we always camped. Beneath a huge oak tree that was hollow underneath.

There were these huge spool ends that we used to be like huck fin and pole raft our way down the creek. We would swim and raft and even fish off these. The bluegill in the creek fought like bass, but would bite anything. Even bare hooks. Wild celery grew along the creek. It was my favorite place in the world.

When the flood occured in 1978 the lake was filled in by all the runoff down the river. The dam burst and the birds escaped. But people still came, it was like a second home. We could still swim in the creek and fish. The peacocks spread to the hill and bred. The sisters ran it as long as they could. I even played my firsf video game there, it was Space Invaders."



Here is a beautiful photo that a reader provided of this area in its heyday!

Elfin Forest

UPDATE: The fence no longer looks like this.  It has been replaced by an intimidating black fence.  Walk to the right side of it and there are trails that say no motor vehicles allowed, but implies that by foot is okay:

Elfin Forest

Now it looks like this:

Elfin Forest

We parked here:

Elfin Forest

Old photos from around 2007:

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest


 New photos 3/27/2014:

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest 

Elfin Forest

We ran into this guy at one point and he refused to move!  Darn!  That forced us to explore another area instead:

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Somebody please help me out on what this could have been!

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

There were so many ruins everywhere that I just stopped photographing them.  There are interesting things scattered all over this forest!

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

All the ruins from the old trailer home resort are still there.  Just look at the older photos above for reference:

Elfin Forest

Watch out for this beast Singing Nettle!  Grrrrrr.....

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Was there a restaurant here at one point??

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Locations Nearby:

   questhaven retreat     

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...



Alpine Historical Society


Anza Borrego Desert

Galleta Meadows

Anza Borrego State Park


Bankers Hill

Balboa Park Archery Range

Balboa Botanical Building


Balboa Dirt Bike Trails


Desert Garden


Bridle Trail


Centro Cultural de Raza


Florida Canyon


Free Tuesdays at the Park

Top of the Park

Japanese Friendship Garden

Marston Canyon & Footbridge


Marston House


Maple Canyon


Mingei International Museum


Museum of Man


Natural History Museum


House of Pacific Relations International Cottages


Old Cactus Garden


Palm Canyon


Reuben H. Fleet Science Center


Spanish Village Art Center


Twilight in the Park


World Beat Center





The Grave of Kathy Fiscus (Lost History)



Campo Stone Store Museum

Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley Cemetery



Batiquitos Lagoon

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Hosp Grove

Leo Carrillo Ranch

Museum of Making Music

Self-Realization FellowshipHermitage & Meditation Gardens


City Heights 

City Farmers Nursery 

New Roots Community Farm

San Diego Peace Garden

Wat Sovannkiri Buddhist Temple


Chula Vista

Living Coast Discovery Center

Proctor Valley Rd.

Zorba's Greek Restaurant

U.S. Olympic Training Center

Upper Otay Lake



Coronado Sand Dune's Secret Message

Hotel Del Coronado

Dog Beach



Cuyamaca State Park


Dyar House Ruins 

Green Valley Falls

Stonewall Mine

Del Mar


Four-o-clock Friday's

Exotic Bird Sanctuary



Altitude Sky Bar

Chinese Historical District

East Village Tavern + Bowl 

Grant Hotel

Horton Grand Hotel

The Noble Experiment


Zombie Walk

Shout House


William Heath Davis House


Good Morning

San Diego Botanic Gardens


El Cajon

Kuma Bonsai Nursery

Water Conservation Garden


Summers Past Farms

Crestridge Ecological Reserve


 Altipiano Vineyard & Winery

Cordiano Winery

Daley Ranch

Deer Park Winery & 
Auto Museum

Distinction Gallery

Deer Park Monastary

Dixon Lake

Elfin Forest

Grand Tea Room

Philosophical Library

Felicita Park

Grape Day Park

Harmony Grove Spiritualist Center

Harmony Grove

Kit Carson Park Hiking Trails

Orfila Winery

Lake Wohlford

Lake Wohlford Dam

Plan 9 Alehouse

San Pasqual Cemetery 

San Pasqual Indian Cemetery

Sikes Historic Adobe Farmstead

Street Life

Record Paradise

Questhaven Retreat

Questhaven Rd.

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Phap Vuong Monatsery

Stone Brewery

Stone Farms


Dinwiddie Preserve

Grand Tradition Gardens

Masonic Cemetery

Odd Fellows Cemetery

Palomares House & Park

Santa Margarita River & Ruins


 Golden Hill


Golden Hill Park

Villa Montezuma

Victorian Homes of Golden Hill






Suspension Bridge


Imperial Beach

Mt. Olivet Cemetery

Suzie's Farm

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Community Garden


Desert View Tower

Boulder Park


Carrizo Gorge Railyard


Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrievals & Repairs


Institute of Perception



Wolf Sanctuary

Downtown Julian

Golden Gem Mine

Julian Pioneer Cemetery

Eagle Mine

Three Sisters Falls

Kearny Mesa

 94 Aero Squadron Restaurant

99 Ranch Market

The Fruit Shop


La Jolla

Munchkin House 

Seal Beach

Secret Swings

La Jolla's Caves, Coves and Tidepools

Mount Soledad

Salk Institute

Scripps Coastal Reserve

Secrets of UCSD

Sunny Jim Cave

Pottery Canyon Natural Park

La Mesa

La Mesa's Secret Stairs

Mount Helix

McKinney House

Wat Lao Boubpharam Temple



Blue Sky Ranch

Linda Vista

Tecelote Park


Little Italy

Downtown Little Italy

Washington St. Skatepark


 Logan Heights

Chicano Park Murals

Technomania Circus

The Chrch

Writerz Blok

Mira Mesa

Camino Ruiz Trail



Aesthetigeist Art Collective

Christmas Light Displays

Community Acupuncture

Haunted San Diego Events

Little Free Library

 Urban Ruins of HIghway 80


Mission Hills

Pioneer Park

Presidio Park

Presidio Park Historic Spots 

Topiary Garden

Mission Valley 
Adobe Falls

Mission Basilica San 
Diego de Alcala


Normal Heights

Folk Arts Rare Records

Herb Shoppe



Ray St.


Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

Sunset Cliffs Caves & Coves

Sunset Cliffs Hiking Trails

Villa Surf Ruins


Villa Surf (Lost History)



Succulent Cafe

San Luis Rey Mission


San Luis Rey Pioneer Cemetery


Old Town

Casa de Estudillo

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Dia de los Muertos

El Campo Cemetary

La Casa de Machado y Stewart Museum

Mason Schoolhouse

Old Adobe Chapel

Seeley Stables

Whaley House

Victorian Village Heritage Park

Pacific Beach

Kate O Sessions Park 


Abandoned Homes of Pala


Mission San Antonio de Pala Cemetary

Oceanview Mine & Inn


Palomar Mountain

 Palomar Mountain

Palomar Observatory

The Weir

Point Loma

Cabrillo National Monument

  Fort Rosecrans Cemetery

Old Point Loma Lighthouse


Blue Sky Reserve & Lake Poway 

Meadowbrook Tunnels

Metate Meadows

Lightning Brewery

Old Poway Park

Old Pomerado Rd.

Poway Back-Trails

Meadowbrook BMX Trail

Midland Tunnel

Xpressive Arts Center BYOB Classes


Black Canyon

Devil's Punchbowl

Lake Ramona

Mount Woodson Castle

Oasis Camel Dairy

Sutherland Dam



Rancho Bernardo

  Battle Mountain

Buddha's Peak

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges Waterfall

Bernardo Winery



Rancho Penasquitos

Black Mountain Glider Port

Cara Knott Memorial Garden 

Eichar's Grave

McKamey Manor

Rancho de Los Penasquitos 

Rancho Penasquitos Waterfall 



Kumeyaay Lake & Campground

Santee Drive-In Theater

Old Mission Dam

Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center


San Marcos

Double Peak Park

Jack's Pond

Scripps Ranch

Ballast Point Brewery

Hendrix Pond

Lake Miramar

Evan's Pond


Seaport Village

B-39 Submarine

Berkely Ferryboat

HMS Surprise Ship

Medea Steam Yacht

USS Dolphin Submarine

Star of India


Serra Mesa

Murphy Canyon


Sorrento Valley

Pet Cemetery

Seabreeze Organic Farm




Torrey Pines

Blacks Beach

Mushroom House

Torrey Pines State Reserve


University Heights

Buchanan Canyon

The Massage Center

Soltan Banoo

Red Fox Piano Bar

Lips Restaurant

Rose Canyon

Valley Center

Bates Nut Farm

Lavender Fields

Metta Forest Monastery

Morning Star Ranch

Old Castle Ranch

Valley Center Historical Museum

Yellow Deli



Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Alta Vista Gardens

Butterfly Farm

Koral's Tropical Fruit Farm & Museum

Exotica Rare Fruit Farm

Indian Store

Yellow Deli

Rancho Guajome Adobe



Warner Springs

Chapel of St. Francis Assisi 

Santa Ysabel Mission

Sky Sailing

Warner Springs Town


Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park

Ewoldsen Trail

The Henry Miller Library


Limekiln Waterfalls

Los Padres Beach

McWay Falls

Cafe Kevah & Nepenthe Restaurant

Partington Cove

Pfeiffer Beach

River Inn

Salmon Creek Waterfall & Cave

Spirit Garden

Soberanes Creek Watershed



California Market Restaurant

Point Lobos State Reserve

Catalina Island

Trans Catalina Trail System


 Los Angeles

Abandoned Zoo (Griffith Park)

Bronson Caves (Griffith Park)

Hidden Treasures (Topanga)

Murphy's Ranch (Pacific Palisades)

Korean Friendship Bell (San Pedro)

Lake Shrine (Pacific Palisades)

Malibu Hindu Temple (Malibu)

Mosaic Tile House (Venice Beach)

The Getty (Brentwood)

The Last Bookstore (Downtown)

Museum of Death (Hollywood)

Sunken City (San Pedro)

Witch's House (Beverly Hills)


Glass Beach (Fort Bragg)


Highways 1, 101 & 46

Orange County

Mission San Juan Capistrano (San Juan Capistrano)



Abandoned Homes of Salton City

Abandoned All-Boys Military School

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Cabazon)

Eagle Mountain Railroad (Bombay)

East Jesus (Niland)

Salton Sea (Salton City)

Salvation Mountain (Niland)

San Jacinto Mountains & Tram (Palm Spring)

Slab City (Niland)

Tios Tacos


San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley

 Eberle Winery (Paso Robles)

Madonna Inn


Santa Barbara


Santa Monica

Willet & Sespe Hot Springs (Ojai)


San Simeon

Hearst Castle Registered & Protected