Descanso

Hacked-out, spectacular view

A view of an unbroken 3000-foot drop to the desert floor.

Views of the desert and an exploration of part of the original Sunrise Highway.

Middle Peak

Hikers have wide open views of the peak in the aftermath of the Cedar Fire.

In 1907, General Land Office (GLO) survey records note “Mid Peak” as the peak between North and Cuyamaca peaks. It was not until 1970 that “Middle” Peak appeared on forest maps. Middle Peak used to ...

Airplane Monument

Trail to past tragedy in the Cuyamacas

Hike this year-round trail through chaparral and oak woodland to stunning views and to see a mounted 12-cylinder aircraft engine. 

UPS Can't Find Me. FedEx Can't Find Me. Visitors Always Get Lost.

San Diegans outside the bubble.

What’s it like to live in what passes for “the wilds" of San Diego County? Bill Manson finds out.

The Wiggle Is Back

I’ll never forget the time, probably somewhere in early 2003, when Holy Molar played their first and only show at the Ché Café. Like most present, I was a high school kid whose primary release ...

East County Western

In a role not that far removed from its actual history, Descanso recently stood in for a Western frontier town. Chula Vista–based Southwest Pistolero Productions used the area to film scenes for a movie titled ...

Dyar Spring/Juaquapin Loop

If water is an element essential to your hiking pleasure, then this hike in the Cuyamacas may be for you. Along Juaquapin Creek, you can sit in the shade and listen to the most peaceful ...

Cuyamaca Ski Routes

Skiing in San Diego County’s mountains? Fact or fiction? The answer in any given winter season varies, but it is typically “fact” for one or two brief periods of time per year. The type of ...

Roberts Ranch

Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinetmaker Duncan McFetridge (affectionately known by some as the “Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest”), certain privately owned lands in Cleveland National Forest near Descanso, formerly slated for housing ...

Perfect Drought

A view of the future from Descanso.

"It's catastrophic!" Duncan McFetridge flings his arms out. "Look, can't you see the change?" Several years ago, when I last came here to the Cleveland National Forest outside of Descanso, McFetridge's cabin nestled in a ...

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