Jacumba Hot Springs

EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED IN MCCAIN FIRE THAT THREATENED DE ANZA SPRINGS RESORT

Update July 6, 2025 8 a.m.--The fire is 95% contained, per Cal Fire.

Update July 4, 4:30 p.m. -- All evacuation warnings are lifted and all roads are open. Cal Fire asks that people please drive carefully. Smoke is still visible, but there is no danger to the public at this point, per County Emergency Services.

Update July 3, 8:30 a.m.  The #McCainFire has burned 1,352 acres and is 50% contained. Evacuation warnings remain in place for portions of Boulevard as firefighters continue working in rugged terrain, though evacuation orders were lifted.The Red Cross has closed the evacuation center at Golden Acorn.

Update July 2, 3:30 p.m.-- De Anza evacuation order has been lifted. Residents can return home but some nearby areas remain under an evacuation warning; these residents are asked to remain vigilant since the fire is still burning. To see the zones for the evacuation warning, follow this link.

Update July 2, 8:00 a.m.-- I-8 West has reopened.  The fire has burned 1,000 acres and is 5% contained.


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“THERE WERE GUYS WITH GUNS, WITH SILENCERS…” - RUSSIAN MIGRANT AND OTHER IMMIGRANTS SPEAK OUT

By Bransen P. Harper

Photos by Bransen P. Harper and Patrick J. Watkins

April 3, 2024 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Last week, I took a journey out east to a hotspot along the border where undocumented migrants cross over into the U.S. on a daily basis, near the small town of Jacumba Hot Springs and Desert View Tower. International border crossings here have increased over the last couple of years significantly, although the area has seen prevalent human traffic in prior decades.

Using a Google translation program and translators among the migrants,  program, my associate,  Patrick J. Watkins, and I interviewed and photographed several undocumented migrants, whose stories were interesting and diverse. We also spoke with local volunteers aiding the asylum-seekers.


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SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER KILLED IN ROLLOVER CRASH IN JACUMBA

East County News Service

December 27, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The driver of a red Ford Edge sustained fatal injuries in a solo-vehicle accident yesterday around 4:35 p.m.,  The crash also injured a passenger.  

The driver, a 52-year-old woman from  Wilmington, California, veered off I-8 westbound just east of McCain Valley Road in Jacumba Hot springs.  The vehicle rolled over multiple times, tumbling down an embankment.


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IS EAST SAN DIEGO COUNTY’S ILLEGAL MIGRANT SURGE SUBSIDING?

 

 By Rebecca Person 

A bleak landscape is what  migrants face. Photo: R. Person 

 

November 6, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The abandoned youth center building in Jacumba Hot Springs, which has been pressed into service as a staging area for emergency supplies going to undocumented border crossers, is crowded with bags and bags of donated clothing, sorted and marked, ready for coming waves of new migrants into the area. While a lower number of migrants seems to be arriving, there is no reason to believe it won’t increase.


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THE MIGRANT CRISIS IN PHOTOS

By Rebecca Person

Photos by Rebecca Person and photographers who asked to be anonymous

October 1, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) -- Waves of border crossers quietly filter into the high desert towns of Jacumba Hot Springs and Boulevard in the farthest eastern corner of San Diego County.

Local residents and volunteers there respond with rounds of water and supplies. Surprisingly, many locals are unaware of the human drama unfolding all around them. Some who do encounter bands of migrants on back country roads use caution, fearing arrest for assisting illegal border crossers.


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FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS: LABOR DAY WEEKEND EVENTS IN JACUMBA

By Rebecca Person

 

August 29, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Over Labor Day weekend on September 2, Jacumba Hot Springs celebrates its wild sunflowers -- cheerful survivors of a challenging high desert clime - with a friendly Pop-Up Art Show, Nature Photography Exhibit and its monthly Bathhouse Bazaar.


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JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS BOUTIQUE SPA REOPENS IN SAN DIEGO’S BACKCOUNTRY

By Rebecca Person
 
August 29, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Maybe you've been waiting for it too, the rebirth of this cultural landmark in the high desert backcountry, a historic health destination for Hollywood luminaries and international visitors. After years of planning and rebuilding, Jacumba Hot Springs Hotel is open again, and the little town of Jacumba Hot Springs is breathing a sigh of relief.

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JACUMBA BATHHOUSE BAZAAR: SAN DIEGO BACKCOUNTRY’S LIVELY STREET MARKET

If you find yourself craving a ceramic bird whistle, a new painting, zucchini plants or luffa sponges, you’re likely to find them at the Bathhouse Bazaar.

By Rebecca Person

August 28, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - High desert heat, the cold, the wind - the threat of a category 2 hurricane - the elements have not diminished interest in Jacumba’s lively backcountry street market, The Bathhouse Bazaar, now in its 3rd year. 


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NUDITY NO MORE: DE ANZA SPRINGS RESORT ORDERS RESIDENTS TO COVER UP

Owner cites financial need, but residents say they're getting a raw deal and seek legal counsel

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Milt Cyphert

August 3, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs, CA) – For nearly three decades, the De Anza Springs Resort in the high desert community of Jacumba Hot Springs has provided a 523-acre haven for naturalists to bare all, as one of the nation’s largest clothing-optional destinations.

But two days ago, residents received stark news:  a letter from the resort’s new management informing them of a decision to become a “textile” park. Starting September 1, clothing will be required in all common areas such as the pool and hiking trails. Then on October 1, nudity will be banned everywhere on the property, including privately owned and leased sites.

The action has laid bare resentments and anger among residents who bought or leased sites specifically for the freedom to be clothes-free,  as well as among frequent visitors who purchased club memberships. Some are seeking legal counsel over what they contend were deceptive marketing practices, as well as concerns over loud concerts and other problems stemming from changes implemented by the new owners.

“We understand that change can sometimes be met with mixed feelings, and we empathize with those who might feel upset or uncertain about the introduction of the new clothing rule,” the owners’ letter states, also encouraging residents with questions to  setup an appointment by emailing Luke Wasyliw, who blames residents for not supporting some events and cites financial needs.


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EAST COUNTY ARTIST LINDA CHURCHILL RALLIES FROM LOSING HOME AND STUDIO IN BLAZE

By Rebecca Person 

Photos by R. Person and L. Churchill

June 15, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The shell of a rock-walled artist’s studio stands charred and quiet among the arid hills outside a small town in the backcountry of East San Diego County. 

The house that once stood beside it has been leveled into a pile of blackened charcoal - all that is left of the residence local legend Dennis Ruth had once built his parents out of solid wood timbers; the hardwood flooring is black. 

This has been the residence of Ruth’s’ partner, Linda Churchill, since his passing. It’s placed in a harsh boulder-strewn and brush-covered landscape, full of inspiration and vitality, an area that draws outdoors folks, artists, photographers, rockhounds, adventurers.


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JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS COMMUNITY STUNNED BY ARRIVAL OF HUNDREDS OF MIGRANTS - SEEKS DONATIONS

By Rebecca Person

Photo, left: John Schultz and Rebecca Person

May 14, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - Humanitarian actions are in full swing in the high desert commmunity of Jacumba Hot Springs and neighboring In Ko Pah Park at the far eastern end of San Diego County. 

Small family and humanitarian groups responded Friday and Saturday to get water, food, blankets and other essentials to hundreds of stranded migrants who have crossed the border fencing and whose dreams of having a more prosperous life in California languish amid frigid nights and daytime wind and sun in these stark high desert areas.
 
A plea has gone out to local communities in Imperial and East San Diego counties and donations are being sorted by volunteers.

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EARTH DAY BOULDER FAIR AT DESERT VIEW TOWER APRIL 22

East County News Service

April 12, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – For its annual Earth Day celebration, the Desert View Tower and Boulder Park will host a Boulder Fair on Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


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IMPOSSIBLE RAILROAD TRADING POST: A BACKCOUNTRY WAY STATION FOR VISITORS IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Rebecca Person

 

March 4, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - In San Diego’s high desert backcountry off I-8 East, a forgotten hot spring oasis awakens to a new future. Jacumba Hot Springs’ revival at the hands of a tribe of youthful designers and creators brings promise to town.

Inspired by all the changes, David Lampley has opened a vintage clothing shop directly across from the town’s hot spring lake. Since its heyday as a retreat for Hollywood in the 1930s, Jacumba has attracted a long list of international visitors.  

We’ve been calling Jacumba the corner of humanity, “ says Lampley, who chose Jacumba for his longtime dream of owning a business because he always liked the area. The Impossible Railroad Trading Post is named for a defunct rail line that used to bring revelers and health seekers to enjoy the town’s healing waters, fresh air, star-filled nights and the old hotels, now gone. The old tracks and train cars are a short stroll away from the shop’s front door, itself only a few hundred feet from the towering spectacle of Mexico’s border fence.


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HOT HAPPENINGS IN JACUMBA

East County News Service

February 5, 2023 (Jacumba Hot Springs)  - From bathhouse bazaars to a candlelight concert and organized hikes, Jacumba Hot Springs has something for everyone coming up.


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MAN MISSING IN JACUMBA NEAR IN-KO-PAH: LAST SEEN WEDNESDAY

Source: San Diego Sheriff

November 17, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit has been activated to find a missing man in Jacumba in the East County.


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EARTH DAY BOULDER FAIR PLANNED FOR APRIL 24 IN JACUMBA

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2022 (Jacumba) - Jacumba Hot Springs celebrates its vast landscape of boulders this year at the annual Earth Day event at The Desert View Tower from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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MAKE A SPLASH: APRIL 18 MEETING TO BRING TWO SWIMMING POOLS AND A CLUBHOUSE TO JACUMBA

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Jacumba is known for its hot springs. But now the Jacumba Community Service District wants to build two swimming pools and a clubhouse at a community park for residents and guests to stay cool on those sweltering hot days.  The community is urged to attend a meeting April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Highland Senior Citizens Center to show support for this proposal.


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HOLIDAY POP-UP GIFT SHOW DEC. 4 IN JACUMBA

East County News Service

November 18, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – If you’re ready for some holiday shopping, the Gilliam Gallery is hosting a holiday pop-up gift show on December 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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HEALING IN JACUMBA NOV. 21 AT THE DESERT VIEW TOWER

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs will host “Healing Jacumba” this Sunday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

 

 

The event includes energy healing, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Reiki, herbcraftersAnushi healing salves, cystal bracelets and more.


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GILLIAM GALLERY HOSTS FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS POP-UP ART SHOW OCTOBER 2 IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

Monthly bazaar and street market also set for same datea

By Rebecca Person

September 9, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The Festival of Sunflowers is an annual exhibit featuring the work of a handful of local artists. This year, the event hosted by Gilliam Gallery at 44555 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs will be held October 2 from 12 noon to 6 p.m.


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HELP SOUGHT TO FIND MISSING MAN IN JACUMBA; CELL PHONE FOUND ON TRAIL

East County News Service

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Pine Valley Sheriff’ substation is asking for public help to find Derek Barge, 41, who has been missing since Saturday night, July 31. He was last seen at the DeAnza Springs Resort on Carrizo Gorge Road in Jacumba.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS PUTTING OUT SOS: LEARN ABOUT SOLAR PROJECT TRYING TO “SWALLOW THE TOWN” AT ICE CREAM SOCIAL AUG. 7

By Jeffery Osborne

August 5, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The Jacumba Hot Springs community is getting together Saturday, August 7th at 11 a.m. for an Ice Cream Social and swim at Jacumba Lake to raise awareness about the mega solar project that is trying to swallow up the community. Nothing like this project has ever been proposed in San Diego County.


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JACUMBA RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO FIGHT SOLAR PROJECT: JULY 9 PLANNNG COMMISSION HEARING IS NEXT STEP

Story and photos by Henri Migala 

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

June 30, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Imagine moving to a small, quiet, rural community over an hour away from a major metropolitan area to enjoy the quiet solitude of the open backcountry--only to learn that an international investment group is planning on building a massive solar project, six times larger than your entire community, within feet from you house.<--break->


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JACUMBA MEETING SHINES LIGHT ON ARRAY OF SOLAR ISSUES

“Nothing in this project does a hoot for anyone who lives out here.” – Cheryl Diefenbach
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 11, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Residents in Jacumba Hot Springs are shining a light on their concerns about the proposed Jacumba Valley Ranch Solar Project, which includes a 643 acre solar energy facility on 1200 acres of land. That’s six times the size of Jacumba Hot Springs’ downtown district.Residents of this high desert town along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego’s East County held a community meeting Friday night.  The meeting was held in person, since many in this remote enclave lack access to high speed internet and the County is only allowing the town’s planning group to hold virtual meetings. More than 50 people showed up—around a tenth of the town’s population, based on the last Census. 

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EARTH DAY IN THE HIGH DESERT APRIL 24

East County News Service

(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)

April 10, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs will host an Earth Day celebration on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You’re invited to come experience Earth in the high desert including an Earth blessing ceremony and Sacred black Star Eyed Eagle Dancer, an array of live music, healthy natural foods including vegan options, and a wildflower and plant walk. There will also be alternative healers, local arts and crafts, nature art, native plants for sale, herbal products and essential oils, EMF awareness, nutritional counseling, natural beauty, country collectibles and more.


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JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS HOSTS OPEN AIR PRE-HOLIDAY EVENTS DEC. 19: GIFT AND ART SALE, PLUS BBQ TURKEY AND BRISKET TAKEOUT DINNERS

By Rebecca Person
 
December 17, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The scenic route along Old Highway 80 and the I-8 freeway toward Jacumba Hot Springs is a welcome break these days as people seek the fresh air and scenery of San Diego County’s outback.

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FIERY FATALITY CRASH IN JACUMBA

East County News Service
 
October 12, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The driver of a blue 2008 Toyota Camry died at the scene of a fiery single-vehicle crash shortly before 6 a.m.  The unidentified male driver lost control on I-8 west, just west of Carrizo Gorge Rod. The vehicle plunged down a rocky embankment, overturned and caught on fire. 
 
California Highway Patrol and fire personnel responded to the collision, but unfortunately the driver succumbed to his injuries on scene.  The Medical Examiner’s office was notified, responded and took possession of the deceased. 

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RENEGADES, ROCK HOUSES, AND RESORTS: NEW BOOK CHRONICLES EAST COUNTY HISTORY

 

By Larry Johnson, President, Mountain Empire Historical Society

July 16, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Have you driven down scenic Highway 80 through its eastern stretch of San Diego County and noticed a lone chimney standing like a silent sentinel in a field, or a very old building that appears to date back to a previous era and wondered about their history?

If so, a new book written by historian and author Cherry Diefenbach called Renegades, Rock Houses and Resorts…the Stories of Jacumba Hot Spring and Surrounds may be just the ticket.

This nearly 500-page book provides a comprehensive history of the area using more than 1,200 photos, hundreds of old newspaper articles, and personal accounts from the descendants of early settlers. Many of the photographs have not been published elsewhere.

Finished after nearly five years of research, the book chronicles the colorful history of local mountain and desert comunities including Bankhead Springs, Boulder Park/Desert View Tower, Boulevard/Manzanita, Hipass/Tierra Del Sol, Jacumba Hot Springs, Live Oak Springs, Mountain Springs, and Oasis.

 

 

 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: EASTER LAMBS

East County News Service

 

April 18, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs)  - Photographer Debbie Merrill writes, “While on a `Sanity drive’ on Easter Sunday, we spotted a small group of Desert Bighorns below Desert View Tower on the boulders along the highway. I was able to get quite a few pictures before they moved over the ridgeline.  Easter lambs!”
 
Click "Read more" for two more of Merrill's sharp, crisp and clear bighorn sheep photos.
 

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HEARING FEB. 3 ON PROPOSAL TO RELEASE YET ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS; COMMENTS DEADLINE IS JAN. 17

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Despite recent protests over the highly disproportionate percentage of sexually violent predators placed in rural East County, the Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place yet another in Jacumba Hot Springs.  A hearing will be held Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court (1100 Union St., Dept. 2202) to determine whether Michael Poulsom should be placed at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, a community of just 561 residents, according to the 2010 Census.

Poulsom is diagnosed with Pedophilia Disorder. In 1985, he was convicted in Georgia of child molestation with two victims. In 1989, he was convicted in San Diego County of a lewd act on a child under 14. In 1995, he was convicted again locally for a lewd act with a fourth victim, also under 14 and served 15 years in prison. Prior to his release, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office filed a petition to have Poulsom civilly committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator . He was committed, underwent treatment and petitioned for conditional release, which was opposed by the San Diego D.A. and the hospital. A year later he filed for release into the conditional release program for sex offenders, which the Dept. of State Hospitals supported over the objections of D.A. Summer Stephan.

The public may submit comments between Jan. 3 and Jan. 17 to be considered by the court. You can email comments to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org, or call (858)495-3619. Comments may also be mailed tol the SVP Release/Safe Task Force at 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 02123.  Comments will also be accepted at the hearing.


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