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Escondido ( ES-kən-DEE-doh) is a city in San Diego County's North County region, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of downtown San Diego, 15 miles from the ocean, and 40 miles from the Mexican border. The city occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills. Incorporated in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. It had a population of 143,911 in the 2010 census.
"Escondido" is a Spanish word meaning "hidden". One source says the name originally referred to agua escondida or hidden water; another says it meant "hidden treasure".
The city is known as Eskondiid in Diegueño.
The Escondido area was first settled by the Luiseño, who established campsites and villages along the creek running through the area. They named the place "Mehel-om-pom-pavo." The Kumeyaay migrated from areas near the Colorado River, settling both in the San Pasqual Valley and near the San Dieguito River in the southwestern and western portions of what is now Escondido. Most of the villages and campsites today have been destroyed by development and agriculture.
Spain controlled the land from the late 18th century to the early 19th century, and established many missions in California to convert the indigenous people. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the local land was divided into large ranchos. Most of what is now Escondido occupies the former Rancho Rincon del Diablo ("Devil's Corner"), a Mexican land grant given to Juan Bautista Alvarado (not the governor of the same name) in 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena.
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