Our County has an incredibly rich and diverse landscape. With the horizonless, blue Pacific Ocean to your back, a short drive east will bring you to the foothills of rural east county, then a long, meandering climb places you in our local mountains via Sunrise Highway, the best of all roads. For an encore, take a long descent into the the arid lands of the Anza-Borrego Desert.
Ever since I first traveled Sunrise Highway I knew it would become my favorite scenic route in San Diego County. I've lived here 40 years now and I'm still of that opinion as this is a striking and awe-inspiring stretch of road. Its winding 35 miles of forests and overlooks runs along the Peninsular Range and in places holds grand and arresting views of Anza-Borrego Desert to the east.
At one time, whenever visitors came, I'd get them up before dawn and drive out to Sunrise Highway to see the sun come up over the rugged foothills that tumble headlong and not-so-gently to the desert floor. Afterward, we'd head down to the small desert town of Borrego Springs for breakfast burritos and coffee. Then, as the morning heat closed-in on triple digits, it's back up to the cooler temps of Mt. Laguna, retrace our path along Sunrise Highway and head west to San Diego. In an hour we'd be soaking our feet in the Pacific while eating fish tacos washed down with margaritas. All this before sunset.
One of my first photos from Sunrise Hwy.
That tree is now gone, destroyed by wildfire as was the overlook platform I was standing on.
The platform has been rebuilt but unfortunately the well positioned tree is gone forever.
The Pacific Crest Trail heading north to Canada
At the north end of Sunrise Hwy, cumulonimbus clouds catch the morning sun
Marching stones climbing out of the desert to cooler temps
Before the summer heat turns everything brown the foothills between the mountains and desert can be a lovely green
My most recent image from my favorite morning overlook