An official California scenic route sign.
Seen one of these?

I’ve had many friends over the years who are various kinds of government engineers but they’re not always the best at presenting information.

Take, for example, the San Diego County scenic highways.

In such a diverse-road region, one would think that there would not only be a network of scenic highways but some sort of document or website that lists them, as the classic San Diego day trip does include a drive in the back country.

After you’re done with the Scenic Drive, there are more great places to drive in San Diego county. Pick up a copy of my best-selling driving-tour book, Joyrides Around San Diego on, Barnes and Noble (online and in-store, check the website), or download right now from Amazon Kindle. I give you 10 drives around the county… mountains, desert and beaches. Discover San Diego county like a native.

Not true, as far as I can tell. So, I’ll work on setting up one here at

I’ve already talked about the City of San Diego’s 59-mile scenic drive. Outside of the city, there are places where you’ll see scenic drive signs, but it’s really difficult to find out what they mean and sometimes even to follow them.

They just seem to pop up, as if the guy on a county truck said “this looks good” and put one up. Such was the case as I was scouting my next Kindle e-book, a trip to Julian (watch for its debut in a few weeks). There are several on roads around the mountain town, but who knows where they come from or where they go?

The folks at Caltrans have a Scenic Drive page for San Diego County, probably put together by an engineer, that shows not only the designated routes, but those that are eligible. It’s an old, frame-based page so it won’t work well on smart phones and you’ll need to use this link to search the rest of the state.

There are several other agencies that designate scenic and historic routes; I’ll keep digging and see what I can come up with for those roads.


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