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Best of 2003: Best Roadside Attraction

Boulder Park
At the Desert View Tower, Jacumba (80 miles eastof San Diego; from I-8, take In-Ko-Pah Park Road exit)

Although the Desert View Tower grabs your attention and is worth a visit, it's the outcropping of granite boulders located across the parking lot that captures the imagination. As you climb the concrete steps that are wedged between gigantic rocks, you notice larger-than-life creatures carved into granite. A turtle, bison, salamander, crocodile, and yawning dog are rendered in the softly rounded style of 1930s cartoons. Up the pathway a fallen rock is transformed into a ceremonial Indian head. A gigantic skull looms ahead, inspired by the boulder's natural shape. It was during the Depression that folk artist and out-of-work engineer W.T. Ratcliffe sculpted these boulder carvings, which still show remnants of black, white, and red paint used to accentuate teeth, eyes, and tongues. Sensible shoes and limber bodies are recommended for negotiating the wind-weathered nooks and crannies. Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Adults $1, kids 50 cents. Purchase tickets at the tower gift shop.

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Boulder Park
At the Desert View Tower, Jacumba (80 miles eastof San Diego; from I-8, take In-Ko-Pah Park Road exit)

Although the Desert View Tower grabs your attention and is worth a visit, it's the outcropping of granite boulders located across the parking lot that captures the imagination. As you climb the concrete steps that are wedged between gigantic rocks, you notice larger-than-life creatures carved into granite. A turtle, bison, salamander, crocodile, and yawning dog are rendered in the softly rounded style of 1930s cartoons. Up the pathway a fallen rock is transformed into a ceremonial Indian head. A gigantic skull looms ahead, inspired by the boulder's natural shape. It was during the Depression that folk artist and out-of-work engineer W.T. Ratcliffe sculpted these boulder carvings, which still show remnants of black, white, and red paint used to accentuate teeth, eyes, and tongues. Sensible shoes and limber bodies are recommended for negotiating the wind-weathered nooks and crannies. Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Adults $1, kids 50 cents. Purchase tickets at the tower gift shop.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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