• Michelle Powers

A Hidden Gem in District 7: The Magic Tunnel in Civita

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

If you’ve visited the Civita residential community in Mission Valley, chances are you may have seen a glimpse of the Mission Valley Pedestrian Tunnel. Known to locals as “The Magic Tunnel,” this piece of public art is tucked under a pedestrian bridge next to the Apex and Frame & Focus residential communities.

Visitors can reach the mural by looping around the pathway next to the dog parks until you see the entrance to the tunnel. Look straight through the tunnel for a stunning view of Mission Valley. But first, some details about the mural itself!


The mural is a 72 foot long, 270-degree, full color piece, created by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson. The aim of the mural is to highlight various points of interest in San Diego County. The mural was completed and signed by the artist in July of 2018.

As you walk from the dog park to the first section of the tunnel, glance to your left.

You will see vines of plump grapes with hot air balloons soaring above. The image then moves into an homage to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park with lions, giraffes, and elephants (oh my) bursting from behind pink Seminoles and spiky pink Achmea plants.

Further down the tunnel on the right-hand side, we see some of San Diego’s most beloved residents: dogs. Yes, even man’s best friend makes an appearance in this mural. A husky, flanked by two Great Pyrenees dogs, eyes a small, fluffy white terrier.

In the background, the Star of India floats by a view of the Hotel del Coronado’s Victorian buildings.

Walk further down the tunnel and glance at the left-hand side, where you will see a tribute to the natural beauty of San Diego County – from the flora and fauna to the abundant wildlife, there is something for all to appreciate.


The final panels on the right-hand side of the tunnel show a glimpse of Balboa Park, with Cabrillo bridge rising above the tree line. While the giant panda head is not quite to scale, we recognize this as a tribute to the San Diego Zoo. Neighborhood children were given the opportunity to paint their names and contribute to the finished mural.

A glance to your left reveals a veritable walk in the clouds. The wooden walkway ends suddenly and the sky expands in front of you. Look over the railing for a stunning view of Mission Valley.

Join us in Civita for a walk through The Magic Tunnel and you will be reminded on all that San Diego County has to offer our residents and visitors.


Arts+Culture:San Diego is a coalition of over 100 arts and culture organizations dedicated to strengthening our diverse cultural ecosystem and achieving the Penny for Arts and Culture funding plan in San Diego.

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