Sunny Jim Cave

La Jolla Cave

Useful Information

Location: In La Jolla, at the northern coast of the peninsula. Cave entrance is inside the La Jolla Cave and Curio Shop.
Open: All year daily 10-17.
Fee: Adults USD 4, Children (0-16) USD 3.
Classification: Speleologysea cave, sandstone
Light: electric
Guided tours:
Address: Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla Cave and Curio Shop, 1325 Cave Street, La Jolla, CA 92037, Tel: +1-858-459-0746 or +1-858-459-1886. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1902-1903 entrance tunnel built by Gustav Schultz.


The steep cliffs of southern California's coast contain numerous caves, formed by the continuous work of the sea. At La Jolla seven sea caves are found close together, from west to east they are named Clam's Cave, Sunny Jim Cave, Arch Cave, Sea Surprize, Shopping Cart, Little Sister, and White Lady. The biggest and most interesting one is accessible by an artificial tunnel from land. The other caves are accessible only by boat, for example with one of the kayak trips which are offered

Sunny Jim Cave is accessible by land via a hand-dug tunnel, leading down from the Cave Store, a historical landmark. It was named after W. W. Denslow's cartoon character Sunny Jim, a mascot for British Force Wheat, a cereal company of the 1920s. The entrance of the cave looks like the profile of Sunny Jim. The name was given to the cave by Lyman Frank Baum, the the author of the original 14 Wizard of Oz books. Lyman Frank Baum visited the cave when he was in Hollywood for the filming of the Wizard of Oz movie. The cave is closely connected to Hollywood, as it is colourful and easy to access, so was used as location for numerous movies.

The entrance tunnel was built 1902-1903 by workers hired by Gustav Schultz. The tunnel is lighted and goes down 145 steps into the cave. There are two huge chambers, both about 50 m long and 15 m wide. One chamber has direct access to the sea.