Roads look very different today than they did a century ago… unless you’re comparing this old postcard to today in the San Diego county mountain community of Descanso.

Today, Old Highway 80 and Japitul Valley Road carry most of the traffic, but it’s still possible the road pictured in this undated postcard could look the same.

The actual highway isn’t marked on the postcard but could be a pre-U.S. 80 highway, or perhaps Viejas Grade Road, which runs down a dirt road to the current casino.

The ride through Descanso is one of my favorites and is part of two of my Joyride Guru drives: Towering Old Highway and Curves, Dirt and Cuyamaca.

What you see in this photo isn’t that different than what you’ll see on any trip through this area. In fact, there are plenty of little side streets in the mountains that look exactly like this. Make your San Diego day trip one to find these bucolic routes.


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