- East of San Diego through Cleveland National Forest
- 24 miles (38 km)
- 1 hour
- Drivable year round
Sunrise Scenic Byway travels through the Cleveland National Forest and showcases the Laguna Recreation Area. Known for its stunning mountain meadows and wide panoramas, this drive is blanketed with natural beauty and wonder.
Sunrise Scenic Byway begins from the intersection of I-8 and County Road S-1, just east of Descanso and 39 miles east of San Diego. The byway winds around Laguna Mountain Recreation Area on S-1 and ends at the junction with HWY 79.
This trip has many types of recreation to be found during its course. One of the most astonishing views is from Desert View, a picnic spot located where visitors can see the stark contrast between the Cleveland National Forest and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Spring flowers, fall colors, and summer sun are all great reasons to come experience this drive and its many recreational opportunities like hiking, biking, or horseback riding.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (CA)
Located on the eastern side of San Diego County, Anza-Borrego is the largest state park in the United States. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti, and sweeping visitas.
Cleveland National Forest (CA)
The Cleveland National Forest is the southern-most National Forest in California. Consisting of 460,000 acres, the forest offers a wide variety of terrains and recreational opportunities.
Cuyamaca Ranco State Park (CA)
The park encompasses 25,000 acres through which over a hundred miles of hiking, horse and mountain biking trails provide visitors a rich view of Southern California forests.
The historic gold mining town located approximately an hour or east of San Diego. Julian features shops housed in historic buildings, some dating back to the 1870s.
Take SR 79 north about 8 miles to Julian
McCain Valley National Wildlife Management Area (CA)
McCain Valley encompasses 38,692 acres of the In-Ko-Pah Mountains and features numerous large granite rock formations that tower above the chaparral-covered landscape.