Blue Angels Peak, near Jacumba
A peak labeled "Blue Angels" on government topographic maps of the California/Baja border region happens to be the highest point in California within six miles of the international border. The peak's craggy, viewful summit lies just outside San Diego County in western Imperial County, on land in the public domain. South and a little west of the peak, on a flat patch of ground, lies International Boundary Marker 231, a ten-foot steel obelisk, the 231st marker east from the first one near Brownsville, Texas. Blue Angels peak is accessible by dirt-road driving and then hiking, the mix determined by just how well your vehicle can negotiate bad roads. Exit Interstate 8 at In-Ko-Pah Park Road (east of Jacumba), turn sharply right and go .2 mile along the frontage road, then turn left on an ascending dirt road. Your ordinary car may make it only .8 mile up this road -- if so, the remainder of the distance involves hiking a round-trip distance of five miles. A four-wheel-drive vehicle will get you farther on wheels. Navigational matters are simplified by the obvious visibility of the peak itself. Nonetheless, a topographic map or a sketch map of the area issued by the Bureau of Land Management will help. Call (760) 337-4400 for more information.