Searching For Mystery? You’ll Find it at The Mystery Spot

the mystery spot santa cruz

Discovered in 1939 by a group of surveyors, the Mystery Spot has stumped hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

It opened to the public in 1940 by its original owner, Mark Prather who purchased the property for a summer cabin or mountain home.

What is it?

According to their website, the Mystery Spot is a “Circular area of effect around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter.” They claim to stun their visitors as perceptions of the laws of gravity and physics are put to the test.

You’ll witness gravitational peculiarities which appear to defy the laws of physics and gravity. Located in the beautiful redwood forest just outside of Santa Cruz, this hot spot is a must see for tourists and local residents alike.

What is it exactly?

The Mystery Spot is located on a gravity hill, thus, inducing a visual illusion to its visitors. According to Wikipedia a gravity hill is “A place where the layout of the surrounding land produces an optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.” This causes the misperceptions of height and orientation of objects, such as balls that seem to roll up hill and children that appear to be standing on slanted walls.

Be prepared to actively participate during this 45-minute fully guided tour. The guides find enjoyment in engaging their audience, and they love to ask for volunteers in every demonstration! I went to the Mystery Spot last summer with my children, and we had a blast. Our tour guide kept us laughing from beginning to end with his cheesy jokes.

Nature path

If you’ve trekked from afar and are looking for more adventure on your trip, I recommend going on the beautiful 30-minute hike which the whole family is sure to enjoy. On this path, you will walk among California Redwoods, Oak Trees, Eucalyptus Trees, see native plants and possibly catch a glimpse of local wildlife!

Pets are allowed on the hiking trail.

Mystery Spot Bumper sticker

What’s with the yellow Mystery Spot bumper sticker that we see all over town? Come on, you know you want one! Well, now you don’t have to wait any longer. After completing the guided tour at the Mystery Spot, you will be the proud owner of your very own bright yellow Mystery Spot bumper sticker that you can place right on your car!

Entrance fee

Tickets can be pre-purchased online or over the phone at a rate of $6.00 per person. Children 3 and under are free. However, you can also purchase tickets at the door for $5.00, but you will not be guaranteed a spot, so be prepared to wait around for a while. This place is generally very busy, and they usually sell out on weekends and holidays.


The Mystery Spot
465 Mystery Spot Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 423-8897


The parking fee is $5.00 per car and is payable on location.

Special accommodations

Wheelchair accessible

Good to know

Children under the age of 5 may find themselves bored silly, so think twice about bringing young kids on the tour.

About Aracelly Macko

Aracelly Macko is teacher and fitness enthusiast who enjoys building friendship and community through exercise.