Scenic Drives – Sunrise Highway

Sunrise Highway is a road that runs through the Laguna Mountains east of San Diego. Rising from around 4000′ to about 6000′, the roadway is very scenic. This roadway is popular with bicyclists and motorcyclists as well. A very scenic overlook, not marked on the roadway, can be found at the summit, just beyond the Desert View picnic round. Just turn right on the roadway past the picnic ground and follow it up the mountain. It will end at a gate for the old USAF installation.

The highway was originally built in the 1920’s though the modern roadway was constructed between 1950 and 1975. Two major realignments were built near Wooded Hill and Kwaaymii Point eliminating two bad sections with persistent rock slide and snow problems.

While there is no gas on the entire route, there are services near each end at Lake Cuyamaca and Pine Valley. Food services, such as a general store and restaurant, are located at Mount Laguna.

S1 signage at I-8

Former Laguna Summit, with the former start of Sunrise Highway alignment heading north.

Old Sunrise Highway in the fall, south of Wooded Hill.

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