Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Our Top 8 Scenic Drives
San Diego is known for its beaches and vibrant city, but don’t sleep on the off-roading scene. There are amazing things waiting out there for the people that dare venture off the beaten path. San Diego is home to some of the most incredible off-roading trails that are guaranteed to provide thrills and scenic views. If you’re an explorer at heart, check out our top 8 off-roading sites located right here in sunny San Diego.
#1 – Palomar Divide Road
The Palomar Divide Road will take you on an incredible journey to scenic High Point Lookout, which is located in the Cleveland National Forest. Clocking in at 25 miles, this trail holds the distinction of being one of the longest unpaved trails in the county, fantastic for hiking or driving. Look forward to the sensational views of Lake Henshaw and Dodge Valley.
#2 – Otay Mountain Truck Trail
The Otay Mountain Truck Trail gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a low difficulty level drive that’s jam-packed with spectacular views. Nestled in the San Ysidro Mountains near the U.S. and Mexico border, this trail allows you to see Lyons Peak to the northeast, Jamul Mountains to the north, Tecate Peak to the east, and Mexico to the south. It’s a fun and stress-free drive.
Just a heads-up, don’t be surprised by the military and border patrol presence.
#3 – Smugglers Cave
When you venture to Smugglers Cave you can expect a one-of-kind off-roading journey. The trail is fairly easy to drive and pretty short at only 3.5 miles, but you will be treated to some jaw-dropping views and caves to explore. This trail also offers a number of activity options.
#4 – Proctor Valley Road
Proctor Valley Road is an epic dirt trail spanning over 5 miles, giving drivers mesmerizing views of the beautiful countryside in Jamul. Make sure you check out Mount Miguel while you’re there. If you’re on the trail during the spring, you’re going to be in for an additional treat since this will be the time when a variety of stunning wildflowers are in bloom.
#5 – Anderson Truck Trail
The Anderson Truck Trail is quickly becoming one of the best places to go off-roading in San Diego. Located in Alpine, this trail offers drivers a winding path through the hills that features multiple views of the El Capitan Reservoir, as well as dozens of side paths to conquer. This is also a great spot for mountain biking and to see some fantastic wildlife.
#6 – Bear Valley Road
You’re going to get some great views of Bear Valley and Cottonwood Valley on the Bear Valley Road. Although not normally a difficult trail under normal circumstances, it can become dangerous if it’s been raining. Make sure to stay off the road during inclement weather.
#7 – Cedar Creek Road
Cedar Creek Road is an easy difficulty trail that any off-roading vehicle should do well on during dry conditions. It offers amazing canyon views and is a pretty fun and straightforward drive. Just go slow and be mindful of any rocks that can occasionally litter the steep areas.
#8 – Boulder Creek Road
Located just southwest of Julian, Boulder Creek Road offers 13 miles of unpaved glory to explore. While the trail can look a bit challenging, it’s actually quite safe and shouldn’t pose any real difficulty for your off-road vehicle. Expect a relaxing scenic drive.
Get Your Car Ready for Off-Roading at Stereo City
We’re well known in the San Diego area for upgrading car audio, but we also do suspension upgrades and lift kits so that you can explore off the beaten path in your truck or SUV. You’ll finally be able to push the limits of what your vehicle can do, taking on any backcountry road or steep incline your vehicle comes across. We’re one of the top local retailers of aftermarket truck accessories.
If you’re ready to upgrade your vehicle, the experts at Stereo Depot can help you pick out the best lift kit or new suspension for you and get it installed with an extremely quick turnaround. Stop by one of our stores in San Diego or El Cajon to check out your options.