View Attractions Related to: Mountains & Desert

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Menghini Winery

Location: Julian (64 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 4PM (5PM on Weekends)

Cost: $5 for Wine Tasting

Features: Wine Tasting near the Historic Town of Julian

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William Heise County Park

Location: Julian (57 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Dawn – Dusk

Cost: $3

Features: Good Place for a Hike with Mountain and Desert Views

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Fly Sailplanes Above the Mountains and Desert

Location: Warner Springs (75 Miles / 1.5 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9AM – 5PM (Weekday reservations strongly recommended)

Cost: Rides start at $125 for 20 Minutes. ($160 for 2 people)

Features: Glide over the Mountains and Desert on a Sail Plane

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Glamis & The Imperial Sand Dunes

Location: Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area (150 Miles / 2.5 Hours East of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Open Year-Round (October – May are the Main Months)

Cost: $25 per Vehicle and Up. (See Fee Information Below.)

Features: World’s Most Popular Sand Dunes; Off-Roading; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Camping

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Borrego Badlands & Fonts Point

Location: Anza-Borrego Desert (100 Miles / 2.25 Hours East of San Diego Coastal Areas)

Best Time to Visit: September – May

Cost: None

Features: Spectacular Scenic Vistas; Hiking

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Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

Location: Ocotillo Wells (93 Miles/ 2 Hours from the Coastal Areas of San Diego)

Open Daily: Open Year-Round (October – May are the Main Months)

Cost: Free

Features: Desert Playground for Off-Road Vehicle Enthusiasts

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Desert Adventures

Location: Borrego Springs (93 Miles/ 2 Hours East of San Diego Coastal Areas)

Time: Most Events Take Place Between October and May

Cost: Starts at $55 per Event.

Features: Desert Jeep Tours; Group Tours on Military Transport Vehicles; Astronomy Nights; Ghosts & Legends; Wine Tasting; Customized Tours

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Astronomy in San Diego County

The San Diego Mountains and Desert provide one of the best places in the world to get a clear view of the night sky. Good weather patterns help to limit atmospheric distortion while the remote location and support of nearby communities to keep lights dim provides the darkness needed to create a stargazer’s paradise.

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Cycling in the San Diego Mountains and Desert

Location: Julian (62 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego); Borrego Springs (93 Miles / 2 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego); Palomar Mountain via Lake Henshaw (62 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego).

Time: Cycling Events Take Place at Various Times During the Year

Cost: Starts at $49 per Event.

Features: Go Cycling or Mountain Biking in San Diego’s Desert and Mountains. Rides Range from 11 miles to 100 miles.

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Vallecito Stage Coach Station

Location: Anza-Borrego Desert (90 Miles / 2 Hours East of San Diego Coastal Areas)

Open Daily: Labor Day Weekend (September) – Memorial Day Weekend (May); Closed During Summer

Cost: $2 per Vehicle, Extra for Camping

Features: Restored Butterfield Stage Coach Station; 45 Camping Sites; County Park; Hiking; Scenic Vistas

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McCain Valley Recreation

Location: Boulevard (67 Miles / 1 Hour East of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Open Year-Round

Cost: Free for Day-Use; $6 for Camp Site

Features: Less Crowded and Cooler Desert Area for Off-Road Vehicle Enthusiasts, Hikers, Horseback Riders, Birdwatchers, and Campers

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Mountain Horseback Riding in Julian

Location: Julian (62 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Time: Reservations Can Be Made for Weekdays and Weekends.

Cost: Starts at $50 per Hour.

Features: Ride Horses in San Diego’s Mountains; Enjoy Mountain Views, Peaceful Meadows, Wildlife, and if you are lucky, Catch a Glimpse of the Ocean on a Clear Day.

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