About This Place
El Cajon ( /ɛlkəhoʊn/; Spanish: [elkaxon]) is a city in San Diego County, California. The population was 99,478 at the 2010 census. The population is estimated at 100,116 as of 2011. Nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, the city has acquired the nickname of "The Big Box". Its name originated similarly, from the Spanish phrase "el cajón", which means "the big box" or "the drawer".
El Cajon is located at 32°47′54″N 116°57′36″W / 32.79833°N 116.96°W / 32.79833; -116.96 (32.798300, -116.960055). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.4 km²), all land. It is bordered by San Diego and La Mesa on the west, Spring Valley on the south, Santee on the north, and unincorporated San Diego County on the east. It includes the neighborhoods of Fletcher Hills, Bostonia, and Rancho San Diego.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, El Cajon straddles areas of Mediterranean climate (CSa) and Semi-arid climate (BSh). As a result, its often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "Semi-arid Steppe". Like most of inland areas in Southern California, the climate varies dramatically within a short distance, known as microclimate. El Cajon's climate has greater extremes compared to coastal San Diego. The farther east from the coast, the more arid the climate gets, until one reaches the mountains, where precipitation increases due to orographic uplift.