Explore San Diego: Desert View Tower in Jacumba

Explore San Diego
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JACUMBA, Calif. — Way out east on Interstate 8, where the mountains meet the desert, is a historic landmark many lifelong San Diegans don’t even know about.

At five stories tall, the Desert View Tower in Jacumba was built in 1920 and is the only functioning roadside attraction between San Diego and Yuma.

Several dogs roam the tower, which is filled with trinkets for sale. At the center, a spiral staircase leads to the top, where you’ll find an incredible panoramic view of the Salton Sea, sand dunes and more.

If adventure is what you’re after, across from the tower is the entrance to Boulder Park. The park is filled with caves and 18 animals carved out of the granite – a snake, alligators and some scary faces – not to mention really tight squeezes.

The carvings have been standing proud since 1933 but recently, a surprise was added at the end of the trail — you’ll just have to go see for yourself.

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