arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

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.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert
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.

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 1 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

Activities

Save $10 off 2 Tickets on the Beer Train Tour

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Sep 17, 2020 - ongoing

JULY 1, 2020 - We have cov-id safety protocol in place for your safety, comfort and FUN! We're open for business and continue to take you to the best of the best local breweries. BOOK THE...

Venues

$5 Off Any Cruise for Cruise Ship Passengers

Flagship Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 23 - ongoing

Welcome to beautiful San Diego. Explore the San Diego Bay with the local, Flagship Cruises. Get $5 off any cruise: San Diego Harbor Tour, Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride, Whale Watching, Nightly Dinner...

Events to check out

Event

Museum Month

San Diego Museum Council
Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021

San Diego area residents and visitors are in for a special treat in February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at participating libraries or when you stay at a Hilton to enjoy 50% off the...

Event

Old Town Trolley's Holiday Lights and Sights Tour

Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego Inc
Dec 3 - Dec 30, 2020

When it comes to living that laid-back West Coast lifestyle, San Diegans do it better than most. Whether it's sunbathing with the seals in La Jolla or seeking out the hottest regional Mexican food,...

Event

Flagship Patriot Jet Boat Tour

Flagship Cruises & Events
Jan 23 - ongoing

Climb aboard the Patriot for one of the most thrilling rides in San Diego! Zip and zoom around the bay on an entertaining tour of the waterfront's most scenic spots - past military ships, along the...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish