Pine Valley

SD Water Authority: "Pine Valley has water! Kill them and take their water!"

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER, PINE VALLEY — "We always knew this day would come," said Jedidiah McTavish, his eyes fixed on the interstate that would inevitably bring the marauding hordes to his doorstep, gallon jugs ...

Corte Madera Mountain

Ascend and sign the peak register at the top of San Diego’s “Half Dome.”

Bring friends, as this is a trail less traveled. The route averages a 7 percent steady climb with short sections of 60 percent (stairs) at the 4588 peak before reaching the plateau to Corte Madera ...

Stalled thunderstorms over Mt. Laguna

Emergency Alert System provides flash-flood warning

On July 22, the National Weather Serve activated San Diego County’s Emergency Alert System. Monsoonal moisture was causing large thunderstorms, running from Barstow south into Baja. The storm in San Diego was going to be ...

Big Laguna-Gatos Spur

Aromas of butterscotch and grape soda in Cleveland National Forest

Pines, oaks, and incense cedar on this six-mile loop of the Gatos Big Laguna Trail Spur.

Cold morning over Corte Madera Dam

Snowbird’s eye view

Flying eastbound along Interstate 8 this Saturday morning of January 12, I could not help but notice the beauty of our East County with a light dusting of snow. It has been so cold (in ...

What Will Burn, What Will Not

Fires make David Hogan nervous. It's not because he's afraid his Pine Valley house will burn down. It's because after every fire in Southern California, politicians start clamoring for reduction of the "fuel" that covers ...

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 ...

Trek to the obscure summit of Guatay Mountain, between Descanso and Pine Valley.

Guatay Mountain, a gently swelling, chaparral-covered ridge rising about 900 feet over the hamlet of Guatay, is distinguished by its old-growth population of Tecate cypress trees. This particular species of cypress has a very spotty ...

Best of 2003: Best Local Fall Foliage

Pine Creek Road, Pine Valley Take the SUV, not the sedan, and drive east on I-8 to the Highway 79 exit. Go north on 79 toward Julian, then take Old Highway 80 toward Pine Valley. ...

Your Dad Arrested My Dad

For most people who live "down the hill," as San Diego's backcountry residents refer to everything west of the mountains, the thought of living "on the mountain" usually ends when the subject of work arises. ...