Desert View Nature Trail

After having a nice picnic lunch at the Desert View Picnic area, it was time to burn off a few of those calories by exploring the Desert View Nature Trail. This trail is just over a mile in length and has minimal elevation gain, but it offers some incredible views despite those small stats. Starting from the southeast edge of the picnic area, we began hiking south. 

Soon, the views to the east opened up and the Anza-Borrego desert was spread out before us. I could see Red Top and Sawtooth directly in front of me. We continued on until we reached a junction in the trail. From our starting point, this trail is basically a “lollipop”. We soon passed a nice wooden bench nestled under some shady Black Oaks, taking the right fork. The trail continued on until it reached Burnt Rancheria Campground, the other starting point. We walked briefly along the road eastward, until we picked up the trail again. Upon leaving the campground, we found a “water drinker” that had been installed, along with a water trough for horses. To the east was a barbed wire fence and a sign denoting the land beyond was an Indian Reservation.

We followed the trail north back to our trailhead. This portion of the Desert View Trail is also shared with the PCT. Soon we found ourselves back in our car after an enjoyable little jaunt. Either a day pass or Adventure Pass will be needed to park at either the Desert View Picnic Area or Burnt Rancheria’s Day Use area. Dogs are allowed on leash. 


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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