With a blustery storm hitting San Diego County, those of you who want a bit more of winter should head to the mountains. My Kindle books are your guide to the best roads in the rugged mountains surrounding San Diego.

  • Jaunt to Julian: I don’t think they got snow in San Diego’s favorite mountain town, but get out those heavy coats for your trip. The wind should be blowing.
  • Journey to the Stars: Keep those coats handy when you wander up Palomar Mountain in northern San Diego County via two twisting paved roads or a historic dirt byway. Route passes a historic mission, an open-space park, agricultural areas, and casinos. The unpaved road will be a mess; four-wheel-drive highly recommended.
  • Towering Old Highway: Pine Valley’s on the well-preserved former U.S. 80 in eastern San Diego County, an old road wandering through the lower elevations (the high point is under 3,000 feet). It has all the charms of driving on an old country highway. Generally devoid of traffic, it has gentle curves with spectacular vistas in terrain ranging from high desert to mountain pines to California coastal hills. Desert View Tower is a must-see that isn’t like anything on Route 66. Windy and cold is the forecast.
  • Curves, Dirt and Cuyamaca: It’s going to be muddy on the dirt road section, so four-wheel-drive is recommended. Enjoy a 45-mile loop in the central portion of the Laguna Mountains in eastern San Diego County through natural open space and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Includes challenging curves on SR-79 through Cuyamaca, 18 miles of public, unpaved road; all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive recommended. It’s a must for anyone who lives or visits San Diego County.

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Explore San Diego County's backroads, beaches, mountains and deserts with Joyride Guru® and award-winning author Jack Brandais. Make them your San Diego day trip.
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