Mountains

WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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PINE VALLEY MOTORCYCLIST DIES IN BORREGO CRASH

East County News Service

February 2, 2023 (Borrego Springs) – A Pine Valley man, 68, died January 25 in a crash that occurred around 3 p.m. in Borrego Springs.

He was driving a 2015 Indian Roadmaster motorcycle south on Great Overland Stage Route north of Agua Caliente Springs Road when he missed a curve and crossed over the double yellow lines, then onto a field on the opposite side of the roadway.


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PINE VALLEY FATALITY ROLLOVER CRASH

East County News Service

February 2, 2023 (Pine Valley) – A 27-year-old man from Anaheim died at the scene of a solo vehicle crash in Pine Valley on January 26.

According to Officer Jared Grieshaber with the California Highway Patrol, around 220 p.m. the victim was driving a 2019 white Ford F-350 Super Duty westbound on Old Highway 80 west of Buckman Springs when “for reasons still under investigation, the driver made an unsafe turning movement to the right as the roadway curved to the left.”  As a result, the vehicle went off the roadway, struck a tree and overturned.


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SNOW AT LOW LEVELS IN MOUNTAINS; RAIN, WINDS AND COLD WEATHER FORECAST ACROSS COUNTY

East County News Service

File photo: Snow at Pine Valley bridge, by Julie Salmons

January 29, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy snow is forecast in East County’s mountain areas today through Tuesday morning, dropping as low as 3,500 feet in elevation by Monday morning.  Strong winds, particularly in mountain and desert areas, are also predicted through Monday, along with widespread rain at lower elevations over the next two days.

The National Weather Service predicts the following snow levels in San Diego County mountains:


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VALENTINE TEAS AT JULIAN TEA AND COTTAGE ARTS

East County News Service

January 24, 2023 (Julian) – Julian Tea & Cottage Arts invites you to romantically-inspired Valentine’s Teas from Feb.9 through Feb. 14.  The four-course menu features soup, finger sandwiches and savories, a scone with curd, jam and whipped cream, plus a grand finale served on a three-piece dessert tray.


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WOLF CENTER IN JULIAN OFFERS TOURS FEB. 4

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2023 (Julian) – Here’s an event worth howling about.  The California Wolf Center in Julian is offering guided tours on February 4. The tours last an hour and provide an opportunity to see the facility’s critically endangered wolves and learn about wolf conservation.


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NEW COUNTY STUDY ADVANCES WAYS TO CLOSE DIGITAL DIVIDE IN UNINCORPORATED AREA

By Donna Durckel, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 22, 2023 (San Diego's East County) - A recent analysis of census data as part of the County Comprehensive Broadband Plan showed that approximately 37,000 households in the unincorporated area of San Diego don’t have a broadband internet subscription. This places them at a disadvantage when it comes to things such as online education, healthcare services or emergency notifications.


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FUNDRAISER TO SEND MOUNTAIN EMPIRE AYSO SOCCER TEAM TO CHAMPIONSHIP

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-send-these-kids-to-the-championship?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=poster&utm_term=undefined

East County News Service

January 18, 2023 (Alpine) – Roth Ward, a coach with the Mountain Empire U14 Patriots AYSO Soccer Team, has launched a GoFundMe account to send team members to a championship tournament.


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DOG RESCUED FROM WELL FILLED WITH OIL IN RAMONA

By Chuck Westerheide, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 17, 2023 (Ramona) - County Animal Services officers rescued an 11-year-old dog from an oil-filled mechanic’s well inside a private garage in Ramona.  The owner of the shop called the County Department of Animal Services the morning of Jan. 17 saying a dog was trapped.

Audio: 

Mia rescued from oil filled well

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MOUNTAIN-AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSED TUESDAY

East County News Service

January 17, 2023 (San Diego's East County) -- Due to the winter storm, the Julian Union Elementary School District, Julian Union High School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, Spencer Valley School District and Warner Unified School District will all be closed today, according to the San Diego County Office of Education.


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SAN DIEGO RIVER PARK FOUNDATION ACQUIRES LILLIAN HILL, 80 ACRES NEAR THREE SISTERS FALLS

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mysteri LeMay, courtesy of San Diego River Park Foundation

January 11, 2023 (Descanso) – To save a wildlife corridor and scenic vista from proposed housing construction, the San Diego River Park Foundation announced on December 30 that it has acquired the 80-acre Lillian Hill property. The site is located between Descanso and Pine Hills near Three Sisters Falls. It includes the only section of Sheep Camp Creek that until now was on private land. The site has sweeping 360-degree views overlooking Boulder Creek, headwaters of the San Diego River, as well as Eagle Peak and other scenic vistas.

Audio: 

Lillian Hill Acquisition mp3 for KNSJ

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ALPINE CRASH INJURES MOTORISTS FROM SANTEE AND DESCANSO

East County News Service 

January 11, 2023 (Alpine) – Multiple injuries occurred in a two-vehicle crash in Alpine last night around 6:30 p.m., the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports.


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WINTER STORMS TO CONTINUE IN FIRST WEEK OF NEW YEAR, SNOW TONIGHT IN MOUNTAINS

By Miriam Raftery

January 1, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 10 p.m. tonight due to a winter storm bringing rain across the county, with snow forecast above 5,500 feet. Ice, snow and fog could make travel difficult at higher elevations. Gusty winds are also forecast.

Stormy weather will continue for most of the week. The National Weather Service predicts a chance of showers each day, with rain likely on Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night.  Be careful on rain-slicked roads and if traveling at higher mountain elevations, carry chains.


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SANDBAGS AVAILABLE FOR UPCOMING STORMS

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 30, 2022 (San Diego) - The County and CAL FIRE are offering sandbags to residents and businesses in the unincorporated areas as another round of storms prepares to hit the region on New Year’s Eve. The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and high winds.


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ANDERSON RAISES CONCERNS OVER COUNTY’S PROPOSAL FOR CANNABIS BUSINESSES IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS

East County News Service

December 27, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) -- In early 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop a "socially equitable" cannabis program as the first step towards implementing commercial cannabis at the County level. The County contracted Womxn’s Work Consulting to create a report called the "Social Equity Assessment for Commercial Cannabis."


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MOUNTAIN LION EXPERT TO SPEAK JAN. 20 IN ALPINE

East County News Service

December 26, 2022 (Alpine) – Robin Parks, field representative with the Mountain Lion Foundation, will give a “Mountain Lions 101” presentation on January 20 at 1 p.m. in the Alpine branch of the San Diego County Library (1752 Alpine Blvd., Alpine). 

 

“Some of this interest has been prompted by the whole P-22 matter,” says Parks, referencing the mountain lion that gained fame for surviving in the Hollywood Hills before being euthanized at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park earlier this month due to injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle and other health conditions including a skullyfracture and kidney failure.  


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VIEJAS HOSTS NEW YEAR’S EVE BASH WITH LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2022 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort invites you to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Viejas Casino & Resort in the Park.  The party will feature live entertainment with Earth to Mars, the Bruno Mars experience, as well as go-go dancers from the Femme Fatale Dancers and DJ Gemini Nikki.  At midnight, a fireworks show and ball drop will cap off the night’s festivities.


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EAST COUNTY PREP SOCCER: VAQUEROS TAME BULLDOGS ON COLD NIGHT IN LAKESIDE

Story and photos by Liz Alper
 
December 20, 2022 (Lakeside) - Ramona High boys soccer traveled down the hill to face off against the Vaqueros of El Capitan in a pre-Christmas matchup.  Both teams are shaky to start the season; the Vaqueros are 6-6-1, while the Bulldogs are winless at 0-2-4.

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PEDESTRIAN KILLED RUNNING ACROSS MAIN STREET IN RAMONA

East County News Service
 
December 12, 2022 (Ramona) – A 56-year-old Ramona man who ran across eastbound lanes of State Route 78 (Main Street) in downtown Ramona on Dec.6 at 6 p.m. was struck by a vehicle and later died at Palomar Hospital.
 
The man was struck by a 2019 Toyota Camry driven by another Ramona resident, a 50-year-old woman. He was transported by medical personnel to Palomar Hospital, where life-saving measures were taken but the victim later succumbed to his injuries.

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JULIAN BRANCH LIBRARY AND KAISER PERMANENTE HOST BLOOD DRIVES WITH SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK

East County News Service

December 10, 2022 (Julian/El Cajon) - San Diego Blood Bank will host two blood drives during Christmas week.  Julian Branch Library will host a blood drive on Wednesday, December 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Kaiser Permanente Travelodge will also host a blood drive on Thursday, December 22 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 250 S. Travelodge Drive, El Cajon 92020.


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CREATIVITY ON DISPLAY AT RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL

By Christianne McCormick

Photo:  Kristi from Custom Candles holds up a photo of her handmade candles

December 6, 2022 (Ramona) -- East County artists of all kinds and wine makers who are passionate about what goes into your glass helped to bring in the 10th annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival which was held at Ramona Ranch.


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STORM TO BRING SHOWERS TO REGION, SNOW IN MOUNTAINS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo:  snow at Lake Cuyamaca

December 6, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A storm system is bringing rain this week to area valleys and mountains. After last night’s rainfall, a new storm system will move in Tuesday, with light rains and colder weather. A dusting of snow is forecast as low as 4,500 in East County’s mountain communities.

Winds and wet weather may produce difficult driving conditions. Wind gusts could reach up to 55 miles per hour over mountain peaks and ridges, and through wind-prone canyons and passes. Use caution, particularly with high-profile vehicles.  Be prepared for delays and carry chains if driving at higher elevations.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: FALL FOLIAGE IN EAST COUNTY

December 4, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- It's a beautiful time of year for a drive through East County's mountain areas.

Our editor, Miriam Raftery, snapped the image in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (left) and of the town hall in Ramona (right, below), resplendant in fall foliage.


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WHY THE NATIVITY? LOCAL CAMELS PLAY KEY ROLES IN NEW FILM

East County News Service

View trailer of “Why the Nativity”   

November 30, 2022 (Ramona) – If you watch the docudrama “Why the Nativity” that opened over Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll see some local talent.  Camels and their handlers from Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona are key players in the film, which depicts the Christmas story in Bethlehem.  


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: INAJA MEMORIAL

East County News Service

November 27, 2022 (Inaja) – Claudia White took this photo of the Inaja Memorial between Santa Ysabel and Julian, where she stopped to remember the 11 men who lost their lives battling the Inaja Fire on November 25, 1956.  She writes, “My husband, Dean White, was across the canyon on the same fire. He was affected by what they saw and heard for the rest of his life. He was especially saddened by the death of his friend Carlton Lingo.”

She adds, “God bless Albert Anderson, Forrest Maxwell, Carlton Lingo, Leroy Wehrung, Miles Daniels, William Fallin, George Garcia, Virgil Hamilton, Joseph O'Hara, Lonnie Shepherd, Joe Tibbets. Rest in peace. You are not forgotten.”


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ECM SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: EAGLES SOAR TO FIRST DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIP WIN IN EAST COUNTY SHOWDOWN

Story and photos by Liz Alper
 
November 26, 2022 (Escondido) - Since August, we’ve waited for this moment and now it’s finally here.  Ramona.  Granite Hills.  The Bulldogs and Eagles met tonight on neutral turf at Chick Embrey Field at Wilson Stadium at Escondido High for the Division II CIF Final in an epic East County showdown.

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CELEBRATION OF LIGHT AT FORT CROSS IN JULIAN

East County News Service

November 25, 2022 (Julian) - Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures in Wynola, near the quaint mountain town of Julian, will host a Celebration of Light and more holiday fun each Friday and Saturday in December from 5 to 8 p.m. The celebration includes a walk-through light display with seven different lighted musical scenes to dazzle guests.


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WINDS ROAR THROUGH EAST COUNTY MOUNTAINS

By Miriam Raftery

Updated 3 p.m. with new outage information

November 24, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Gusty winds howled across East County’s mountains and rural region last night and early today, Thanksgiving morning.  Strong winds are forecast to continue through Friday.

The National Weather Service reports peak gusts as high as 89 miles per hour on Sill Hill near Descanso and 75 mph on Cuyamaca Peak in San Diego’s inland region between 10 p.m. last night and 10 a.m. today. Many other local areas had strong winds as well.

SDG&E reports outages in Campo, Dulzura, and Potrero with power restoration expected around 6 p.m. due to a foreign object hitting a power line, putting a damper on Thanksgiving cooking. In Granite Hills/Bostonia areas of El Cajon, outages have left people without power until an estimated 6 p.m. power restoration time. Two outages in the Julian, Wynola, Pine Hills and Santa Ysabel areas is due to have power restored around 5:30 p.m. Outages in East County have a 4 p.m. projected power restoration time. An earlier outage in Live Oak Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba, has been restored. Find out the latest outage info at to the SDG&E outage map.  


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUNBEAMS

November 22, 2022 (Alpine) -- Josh Stotler snapped this inspirational image of a starburst sun beaming morning rays onto a field in Alpine, California. 


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UNIDENTIFIED MAN STRUCK BY VEHICLE IN RAMONA AND SERIOUSLY INJURED

East County News Service

File photo

November 21, 2022 (Ramona) – An unidentified male pedestrian was struck by a 2020 Nissan Sentra at 1:19 a.m. in Ramona, suffering major injuries.

A 24-year-old man was driving the Nissan north on State Route 67, just south of Rancho De Oro Drive when the pedestrian was walking westbound across traffic lanes on the highway, according to Officer Jared Grieshaber with the California Highway Patrol.


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