#357 Museum of Man

The San Diego Museum of Man is Balboa Park's premier anthropological museum. Housed in the historic California Building, the museum originated from the 1915 Panama-California Exposition when Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett of the School of American Archaeology created the exhibits with his travels from the American Southwest to Guatemala.

After the Fair, a group of residents helped create a permanent museum to house the collections. Famous exhibits include Mayan History with original casts from Quiriguá, Footsteps Through Time which includes 65 million years of human evolution with more than 100 touchable replicas, Kumeyaay Native American history and the Ancient Egyptian Collection, one of only a few in the world.


#333 Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is one of San Diego's hidden gems with 1.5 miles of sculpted sandstone cliffs & arches, hidden coves and endless ocean vistas. Sixty-eight acres preserve 100 bird, 20 mammal, 10 reptile and 80 native plant species. The land began forming 75 million years ago during the Cretaceous Era and preserved many fossil species now housed in the San Diego Natural History Museum. An afternoon or sunset stroll is an iconic San Diego experience.


#166 Shelter Valley

Directly along the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route lies a magnificent valley known as Shelter Valley or geologically, Earthquake Valley. This desert valley, once home to the Kumeyaay Native Americans, is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Southern California. It is protected by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Pacific Crest Trail passes through. Spring wildflowers dot the ground while mountains rise majestically in the background. With its clean air, light streams down and paints the ground and makes it the perfect spot for stargazing at night.


#156 Daley Ranch Preserve

Daley Ranch Preserve is a 3,000 acre park with more than 25 miles of trails in Escondido. Robert Daley settled here to build a ranch in 1869 while Kumeyaay Native Americans have lived here for thousands of years. A 1.2 mile hike along the ranch house trail takes you to the ruins of the ranch property while winding through beautiful canyons of oak woodland.


#143 Kwaaymii Point

One of the most beautiful views in Southern California is Kwaaymii Point. Located on the Sunrise Highway in the Laguna Mountains, the point offers a jaw-dropping vista of the Colorado Desert from a mile high in Cleveland National Forest. The Pacific Crest Trail also passes this point and offers great hiking. A group of Kumeyaay Native Americans called the Kwaaymii have called this land home for thousands of years.


#130 Mission San Diego de Alcalá

Mission San Diego de Alcalá was the first of the 21 California Missions founded on July 16th 1769. It is known as the birthplace of Christianity in the West and was created to convert the Kumeyaay Native Americans. The Mission System was a new way of life for the Kumeyaay whose lives now consisted of living and working by the ringing bells. This linear idea of time did not serve the Kumeyaay well and the mission system crumbled during Mexican Independence. Unfortunately, many Native Americans had passed away from the diseases they were exposed to during Mission times.

#56 Kumeyaay Village Site

The Kumeyaay Village Site is located in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Kumeyaay Native Americans inhabited these beautiful boulders and caves in the winter months for thousands of years. They survived off of plants, jackrabbits and bighorn sheep. The site can be found right off Highway 78 with a short drive through Mine Wash. Though a gravel wash road, it is usually passable for most vehicles. 


#4 Pictograph Trail

Pictograph Trail is located in the Little Blair Valley region of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. More than two thousand years ago, the Kumeyaay Native Americans lived in this desert. They painted these fragile Pictographs on giant boulders. Though the meaning is now lost, some believe they were created for spiritual rituals.

These Pictographs in the deserts of San Diego County (The Great Outback) are a must see. Hiking involves an easy 2 mile round trip hike if starting from the trailhead parking lot. Please note that it is an unpaved dirt road to the trailhead for a few miles and 4 wheel drive is strongly recommended. Use extreme caution when traveling in the desert. Hike this trail in the winter if possible, let people know where you are going and when you shall return. Carry plenty of water.

Pictograph/Petroglpyh Etiquette: Take many photos but DO NOT TOUCH. Oils from our hands can destroy forever. Do not alter the rock art in any way or form and please stay on the trail to protect the fragile desert ecosystem.

Unknown even to most locals of California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a treasure trove of scenic beauty at every turn. Stay tuned for more from this beautiful State Park!