Lovely little casita/cabin on a private farmhouse property, shaded under beautiful oak trees. We visited during the height of Spring so we throughly enjoyed the lush green grass, fresh undergrowth and trickling creek that runs alongside the site. There is lots of outdoor living space for al fresco cooking and dining, relaxing on lounges or sitting in front of the large outdoor fireplace. We hung our hammocks amongst the giant oaks that shroud the site and enjoyed laying back and listening to the birds and the sounds of nature.
The casita has large windows that bring the outside in, and is beautifully lit at night, including multiple mason jars scattered with tea lights. A strand of outdoor lights makes the outside space very functional well into the evening. There is an outdoor shower attached to the casita plus a delightful washroom with hot shower and flush toilet just steps away. We enjoyed visits from Shiloh, the farmdog, their two friendly pet goats and of course the chickens. We had plenty of privacy the entire weekend, but Jason and Dana were right there when we needed anything. We look forward to returning in the future.
Whiteside Mountain is a close enough drive that feels a world aware - but you will definitely need 4WD/AWD. Incredible views on a private mountain top, often above the clouds. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Steve has done an amazing job of creating a comfortable, homey setting for relaxing and soaking in the serenity of this magical place. I have visited 3 times with my daughter, her boyfriend and a couple of her college friends. Lots of space to be together or to enjoy some private time exploring the property. Steve is extremely helpful and accommodating. Can't wait to come back to Whiteside Mountain - one of my "Happy Places."
Second visit and it was just as magocal as the first. Untypical weather made for an amazing experience. Eventhough it was June, fog rolled in 1 hour after we set up camp and lasted for 1.5 days. It was eerie but beautiful. In the three days there, we also had bright sunshine and low clouds. The site is well equipped and orderly - makes for a very enjoyable stay. Lots of places to roam on the property. The views are simply incredible!
We pitched out tent on a lovely location on a high bank above the beautiful Tule River. It was both scenic and private. The property has several camping locations (Hipcamp) and some open air bedrooms (available on airbnb). There is a communal outdoor kitchen, dining and living area. While there were other campers coming and going in the 3 days we stayed, it never felt crowded and we had the opportunity to meet some interesting people. There is a shared port-a-potty and outdoor shower but we enjoyed taking refreshing dips in the river to cool off and clean up. Mehmet and Chico were very welcoming and accommodating hosts. They pretty much leave you to yourself but are also easily accessible and and helpful, as needed. The property is filled with interesting areas to explore and fun surprises throughout. We had an amazing time and can't wait to return!
This is an incredible property nestled in the mountains near Jamul/Delzura- the views are breathtaking. The recent rains have turned everything green and it was hard to imagine we were in Southern California. The drive to the property is gorgeous right now. The property itself is well equipped, comfortable and clean - it even has wifi and electricity. I stayed for three nights with five college aged kids and there was plenty of room for eveyone to be together yet have plenty of space to roam. The main covered structure, a raised deck with shade was a great gathering place complete with a propane stove, cooking counter, sink and sturdy picnic table. Out nine man tent fit comfortably in the adjacent clearing. Steve, the owner, was available by text to answer any questions but things were well marked and intuitive. There is a large firepit as well as a separate cleverly crafted stone fireplace/sitting area. The shower was cold but refreshing and the open air bathroom functioned well. We explored the property, lazed in our hammocks, enjoyed the sunsets, sunbathed on the boulders, played games and enjoyed each other's company. We definitely want to return!!!
Note: The road up definitely requires a 4WD or AWD vehicle. I have read reviews that say you can make it up there w/o one but I can't imagine how, especially after all the recent rain.
Just spent two night's at Mustang Chalet on Running Horse Ranch. Took my two kids 22 and 18 and some of their friends for an outdoor adventure - eight total. We typically pitch our own tents but decided to try something a little different this trip. The horse ranch is a lovely, well kept property set in the foothills. The mountains are on one side and the desert visible off in the distance. The ranch provides plenty of privacy, with space to roam, beautiful sunrise and sunset views and access to hiking trails. A variety of horses from miniatures to workhorses run freely in a large fenced area, goats roam and there are a variety of other farm pets. The 4 guest rooms set-up side by side were rustic but comfortable with a large front porch connecting them all. There is a small kitchen and a bathroom/shower. Other campers have access to the bathroom through the kitchen, so you will meet some fellow campers staying in other places on the property this way. There was a picnic table, large fire pit/ring and a grill set up for our use, right in front of the porch. A fun fearure is the "cowboy pool," a large cicular water trough set up right in front the cabin. Fill it up with the hose and enjoy a refreshing dip on a warm day. Daniella, the owner, who lives in the main ranch house (connected to the Mustang Chalet) was very accessible and helpful. She provided us with suggestions of things to do in the area, drew us hand made maps of hiking trails and even came/drove over to help us find the trail head, when we were unable to access it. The teens/young adults enjoyed: hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that is just minutes away, feeding carrots to the horses and other farm animals, kicking back on the shady porch, roasting marshmallows around the campfire, exploring the property and cooling off in the cowboy pool. For an extra fee you can also take a trail ride on horseback or rent the quad atvs. We experienced dramatic weather changes in the 2.5 days we were there and enjoyed the eerie fog rolling in, as much as we enjoyed the warm sunshine and blue skies. The rooms were equipped with heaters that kept us very comfortable on the first evening that was very cold. We had a wonderful time and would definitely go back again. It is a great way to have a camping experience withouth the added work of pitching tents.
We stayed twice recently at Sage Wind Farms in Jacumba and had a wonderful experience. Ellen and Ken are warm and friendly, available if you need them, otherwise they leave you to explore. You can camp anywhere you would like on the property but we chose the flat area, up a slight incline behind their home. There is enough room to pitch several tents but make sure to bring ground tarps as the base is rocky. You will definitely need pads under your sleeping bags. The campsite provides a picnic table in this area that looks out over a shallow desert valley, bordered by beautiful bouldered hills. Sage Winds sits on 40 acres adjacent to another 40 acres of undeveloped land, so there's plenty of privacy and room for exploring. There is a sink and toilet in the barn and you can plug in your cell phones in the tie-dye shop. Water is available via hoses on the property or from the bathroom sink. For drinking water, it's best to bring what you need. The night skies are gorgeous but it can get windy, so make sure your tent is well staked. The ranch has four large dogs who visit camp regularly. They are friendly and well mannered but if you don't enjoy dogs, this might be an issue for you. Jacumba is an interesting town of only 400 people. It's best to bring all your supplies in as there is only one small convenience store in town and stores close fairly early. There are gas stations nearby. We visited the desert tower and the alien repair shop on our first visit. The sulphur hot springs are a nice treat, especially because there are no showers at camp. It's $25 for a day pass but the rate drops to $15 after 5pm. The outdoor pools are too cold to use after 5pm in the winter but the large jacuzzi and newly working sauna (fits 3 to 4) are a welcome treat. On our second visit we drove 45 minutes to the closest Mexican border crossing, purchased insurance, full coverage at $19 per car, and ventured into Tecate. The beer factory/garden was bought out by Heineken and is being renovated currently, but we parked, walked through town, had margaritas, guacamole and mexican pastries. Recommended by a local, we drove to Parque del Profesor at sunset and had the most amazing views. We ate dinner in Tecate before heading back after dark. It was midweek, but also the holiday, not sure if one cancelled out the other, but we had absolutely no wait rentering. It felt very safe and family friendly the entire time we were there. The highlight of our second visit was a 14 mile roundtrip hike to Goat Trestle Canyon along the abandoned Jacumba railway. The scenery is rugged and amazing with abandoned railcars that are beautifully graffited. While the hike is flat, it is long and unshaded, except for the many dark tunnels. This hike is well worth the effort, but do not attempt without ample research, water, food, flashlights and a comfortable pair of walking shoes.