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Green Hills | Back Country Alive In Spring

2009 Subaru Forester

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More on Black Canyon Road

More Drives in the Mountains

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  • From April 2009

DirtWho says we don’t have seasons in Southern California?

At 4,000 feet, in the mountains east of San Diego, there are golden leaves in the fall, snow in the winter, and in the spring, wonderful green valleys and peaks.

There are also fabulous wilderness roads that are easy enough for any grocery-getter SUV to tackle.

Online ExclusiveOne of the best is Black Canyon Road, which heads south from Mesa Grande to Ramona. It’s a nice, maintained dirt road and even has a historic bridge.

Leading to it is Mesa Grande Road, a fun, twisting highway through pasture land and an Indian Reservation. Our route also includes a cruise by two lakes — Wohlford and Henshaw, a couple of Indian casinos and nice twists.

This is really one of my favorite routes, so let’s hit the road.

I’m taking a new route this time; rather than going north from Ramona, I decided to come south from Mesa Grande. Drives, especially on back-country trails, can look very different depending on the direction you're going, so even if you’ve taken this route before, switch it up. You’ll enjoy it.

Escondido was the first stop, and rather than taking the through-route east on West Second Avenue, I went out Grand Avenue, home to Cruisin’ Grand, one of the great car shows around. I plan on attending April 17, so check out the Blog for my impressions.

While traveling through the fast-food mecca that is East Grand Avenue, I stopped in for lunch at Farmer Boys, a burger chain I hadn’t seen before. Well, I hope I just caught them on a bad day…

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