One of my favorite shows, CBS Sunday Morning, had a story this morning on the crowds at National Parks in Utah.

Zion, Bryce and the other National Parks in the state are certainly wonderful places worth visiting. But if you’re looking for an escape from urban life and people, consider our state parks and National Forest lands in San Diego county.

Here’s a mostly little-known drive in and around one of my favorite state parks in San Diego county, the beautiful Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in east county. The quick route is Interstate 8 east to Descanso and north on Highway 79. You’ll be there in a half-hour to 40 minutes from central San Diego.

If you have an SUV, take my Curves, Dirt and Cuyamaca book for Kindle. It will guide you up a wonderful wilderness dirt road, around the Pine Hills section of Julian and south on Highway 79 through the park. Even on a holiday weekend, I’ll bet you’ll be one of the few people there.

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