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Historic County Route S2

Take a Delightful Desert Road Trip

Formerly the Great Overland Stage Route of 1849, County Route S2 stretches more than 65 miles from the small desert town of Ocotillo to the Historic Highway 79 junction near Warner Springs in San Diego’s rural East County. Along this desert roadway, a dramatic landscape unfolds with popular hot springs, campgrounds, parks and photo-worthy roadside attractions to discover.

1. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Take in the vast expanse and natural beauty of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California’s largest state park, encompassing 640,000 acres. The park features many miles of hiking trails, palm groves, cacti, desert wildlife, seasonal spring wildflowers and sweeping desert landscapes.

2. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitors Center

Where: 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Stop in at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitors Center, located on the desert floor, featuring informative exhibits and the award-winning 15-minute film, A Year in the Desert. The Desert Garden outside the center provides a quick look at some of the vegetation typical of the 640,000-acre park, with the species identified.

3. Agua Caliente County Park

Relax in soothing waters of geothermally heated mineral springs at the Agua Caliente County Park, with three naturally fed pools including two outdoor pools and an indoor spa heated to 102 degrees. The park also features camping, picnic and play areas, and miles of trails to hike through scenic canyons and hillsides.

4. Vallecito County Park

Relive local history at Vallecito County Park, a 71-acre oasis, built around a reconstruction of the Historic Vallecito Stage Station. Vallecito, Spanish for "little valley," has been a campsite for hundreds of years beginning with the native Kumeyaay.

5. Fossil Canyon and the Painted Gorge

Check out the unique natural wonders in Ocotillo. The walls of Fossil Canyon hold 50 million years of shell fossils, while three kinds of rock have been exposed to heat and movement over millions of years at the Painted Gorge, causing remarkable coloration of the mountains.

6. San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area

View wildlife at the 17,800-acre San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area in San Felipe. The area features a unique blend of diverse habitat types including chaparral, oak woodland, native grassland and acacia shrub, and supports a tremendous diversity of species including bobcats, gray fox, Southern mule deer, golden eagles and more.

7. "Rancheti" Bigfoot

Where: 37552 Montezuma Valley Rd, Ranchita, CA 92066
Take a unique photo with the “Rancheti” Bigfoot statue, a massive 11-foot, 300-pound white yeti statue built by local resident Joe Rauh that keeps watch over the Ranchita Country Store, a short distance from San Felipe. For years, the imposing beast has supposedly been spotted in the region by residents and visitors.

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Find Your Open-Road Smile

Explore San Diego's epic roadways along with the best places for visitors to stop along the way and live out their SoCal road trip dreams.

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