Sunrise Scenic Byway is San Diego's most scenic drive. At 24 miles, this drive winds 6,000 feet high through Cleveland National Forest and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area with green meadows, forested peaks and stunning desert vistas that overlook Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Enjoy Fall colors, Winter snow and Spring wildflowers making it a four season destination.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area is a 932 acre park outside of Santa Clarita in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. Located along the San Andreas Fault, these sandstone rocks were formed 25 million years ago. Tataviam Native Americans lived in grass hut villages here and considered the site sacred. The rocks were named for Tiburcio Vasquez, a notorious bandit who used the area as a hideout in 1874. Hollywood has filmed here since the 30's including The Flintstones, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes.
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was created on October 10th, 2014 to protect 346,177 acres of pristine wilderness above Los Angeles. More than 15 million people are within a 90 mile radius of the monument, but a visit will feel uncrowded with 4 designated wilderness areas. 300 species of plants and animals are found here and nowhere else on Earth making it a rich biodiversity zone. The San Gabriel Mountains provide Los Angeles with 70% of its wild space and 30% of its drinking water. Native American history here dates 8,000 years.
Garnet Peak is the crown jewel of San Diego. Located along the Sunrise Highway in Cleveland National Forest, this 6,000 foot peak offers jaw-dropping 360 degree views of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, beautiful alpine forest mountain terrain and even the ocean 50 miles away on a clear day. A moderate 2.2 round trip hike take you to the top and past the Pacific Crest Trail.
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.
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.