As Interstate 8 was built across San Diego County’s rugged mountains in the 1960s and 1970s, the most difficult section was creating the two, crisscrossing traffic lanes up and down Mountain Springs Grade, which jumps back-and-forth across the San Diego-Imperial county line east of Jacumba.

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“We’re building a freeway down Walker Canyon now. It’s a strange, harsh, remote region where mountain and desert come together in a kind of mortal combat. A faulted, folded jumble of weathered rocks, of hardy oaks, of juniper, mesquite, and barrel cactus.”

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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.