Tell Me About Mt. Soledad
Mount Soledad stands at 822 feet tall and is a popular tourist destination in San Diego and also the starting point for our La Jolla Bike Tour. Mt. Soledad is located in the heart of La Jolla at the top of Via Capri, and is a popular spot to enjoy the sunset. Most people know Mt. Soledad for the 43 foot cross atop it, which sits amidst a war memorial. There is an amazing 360-degree view from Mt. Soledad and you can see La Jolla Shores, Scripps Pier and all the way up the coastline to the north. To the south, you can see downtown San Diego’s skyline, Mission Bay and the Coronado bridge.
The best way to see Coronado Bridge or downtown San Diego up close is on one of our bike tours. To book your bike tour, call (858) 454-1010 or save money online. Special pricing for advance tour reservations
Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Walls are comprised of six concentric walls that hold granite plaques featuring war veterans. This war memorial, erected in 1952 for the Korean War, has stirred up much controversy because the cross is a religious icon. In 1989, the City of San Diego was targeted in a lawsuit that claimed that the cross on public property posed a conflict of church & state, and violated the California Constitution. In 1991, a federal court ruled in favor of plaintiff Philip Paulson, an atheist. Subsequently, the city attempted to sell the land to the nonprofit Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, in 1994 and again in 1998. These sales were later voided by a Court of Appeals and declared unconstitutional on grounds of religious preference.
In November 2004, voters rejected a ballot measure to authorize a third sale of the land. In March 2005, City Council voted against a proposal to transfer the land to the National Park Service, a move which proponents believed might avoid the court-ordered removal of the cross. Opponents have claimed this would shift the church-state issue to federal jurisdiction and would only delay the removal of the cross. In September 2005, a Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the transfer of the cross to the U.S. Interior Dept. until the issue was settled.
In October 2005, the judge ruled the transfer unconstitutional, and again ruled that the cross must be removed. The ruling stated that the cross is found to be an unconstitutional preference of religion in violation of the California Constitution, and the transfer of the cross and war memorial to the federal government to save the cross as is, where it is, is an unconstitutional aid to religion also in violation of the California Constitution. However, in August of 2006, President Bush signed Public Law 109-272, turning the memorial over to the Department of Defense.
The cross still stands today, but litigation continues. A new lawsuit is in its early stages and will likely take years to resolve.