A forgotten (by most) part of local history dating back to the Acjachemen people who were the original inhabitants to this area. San Juan Hot Springs is a place that the natives used for its natural healing powers. Later on, when Spanish Missionaries took over the land and forced the natives into their religion at San Juan Mission, this area became abandoned. Later on, as Southern California became developed, this became a resort where tourists and locals would travel to enjoy the natural mineral hot spring pools. Eventually a hotel and mineral spa was developed. To get here, you would need to drive a dirt road which follows the same path as Ortega Highway does now. This was originally a footpath for the natives. Later on as Ortega Highway expanded and was paved, the course was slightly changed and split this resort into two. After that it was all downhill for this place of relaxation including a fire that broke out followed by a decline in visitors. This place was eventually abandoned and sort of covered up. You can still see remnants of the resort and some of the hot spring tubs that still function. A few cabins from this era still stand and are inhabited on the opposite side of the highway.
For more info about the history of San Juan Hot Springs, visit our history page.