Desert View Tower, In-Ko-Pah Road (just off I-8 near Jacumba), +1 619 766-4612. Daily 9AM-5PM. Located at the San Diego County/Imperial County border, this stone tower dating back to the 1920s once was a stop along the once treacherous journey between San Diego and Yuma, Arizona. Today it is a museum and offers a scenic view of the desert to the east. Nearby is a collection of boulders crafted into beautiful carvings. $3.50 adults, $2 children.
Rock climbing is very popular in the area, with many excellent spots. Specialist climbing companies offer guided rock climbing from professional climbers for the beginner to the experienced climber. All the climbing companies provide all the required equipment such as helmets, shoes and harnesses, and usually require an orientation meeting the week of the climb for all participants. They are also a great resource of information on the best local climbs.
El Cajon Mountain is one of the hidden gems for local climbers. There are over 70 multipitch routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 on the granite wall. There is a stout 90 minute approach hike to the cliff but well worth the effort for the quality of climbing you will find here.
Mount Woodson is a world class bouldering and toproping area with over 500 climbs. Crack climbing and thin face climbs mostly in the 5.10 and 5.11 range can be found on the mountain.
Close to the Mexican border is Valley of the Moon, about an hour and a half drive east of San Diego. You need a four wheel drive for the last leg of the drive. This is mostly a sport route area with a few crack climbs and the best time of year to visit this area is fall through spring due to the desert-like climate.
Santee Boulders in the town of Santee is a very popular destination for the casual climber. Extremely easy access and parking makes a visit to these 30 granite boulders a popular after work hang out, where all you will need are a decent pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag.
Stonewall Peak at 5730 feet and consisting primarily of granite, is located off Highway 79 in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park about 9 miles south of Julian. It is a relatively easy hike that takes about one hour to the summit. Formerly a mine that was closed n 1892, it was originally known as the “Stonewall Jackson Mine,” named after the great Confederate General. About a mile away there is also Middle Peak, another relatively easy climb at 5883 feet, even though there may still be a few restrictions imposed by the rangers after the 2003 forest fires.
Alpine Beer Company Pub, 2351 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901 (I-8 to Tavern Rd. exit, turn right on Tavern, then left on Alpine Blvd.), ☎ (619) 445-2337, . 11am-10pm, later on weekends. Alpine Beer Company Pub is located in the same building as the brewery and is open every day except Mondays. This is one of the best places to get a late-night meal or snack, especially on Friday or Saturday when the doors stay open until midnight. Special dinners are served on Fridays and are not to be missed. Alpine Beer Company produces world-class, award winning beers, many of which are available in the pub.$8-$14. edit
Ayers Lodge Alpine, 1251 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA, 91901 (I-8, Tavern Rd. exit), ☎ (619) 445-5800, . Alpine's finest (and only) hotel. There are 98 rooms in this pet-friendly lodge. The amiable and courteous staff is very helpful, and can arrange for a shuttle to the nearby Viejas Casino if you're feeling lucky. Plenty of dining choices are walking distance from the hotel lobby.$107-135. edit
Best Western Santee Lodge, 10726 Woodside Avenue, Santee, ☎ +1 619 449-2626 (fax: +1 619 449-0819), . edit
Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa, 3845 Yaqui Pass Road, Borrego Springs, ☎ 760-767-5323, . A luxury resort with private casitas, Tom Fazio golf, a spa, team building exercises, health and fitness programs and outdoor activities in the surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert.edit