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El Cajon is a city in San Diego County, California, United States. 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 box" or "the drawer."NameEl Cajon, Spanish for "the big box," was first recorded on September 10, 1821, as an alternative name for sitio rancho Santa Mónica to describe the "boxed in" nature of the valley in which it sat. The name appeared on maps in 1873 and 1875, shortened to "Cajon," until the modern town developed in which the post office was named "Elcajon."In 1905, the name was once again expanded to "El Cajon" under the insistence of California banker and historian, Zoeth Skinner Eldredge.Geography and climateEl Cajon is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4sqmi, 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 and semi-arid climate . As a result, it is often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "semi-arid Steppe". Like most 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.El Cajon is in California (CA). Plan your trip to El Cajon and other United States destinations using our handy United States trip itinerary planning app .
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