MESA GRANDE RD. Date reviewed - 12/03
Fun . . . . . . . . 5
Difficulty . . . . .High
Traffic . . . . . . Light
Driveways . . . .Light
Condition . . . . Fair to Good
Length . . . . . .19 miles
This road is absolutely great, if you can find it. As the name implies, it runs accross the top of a large mesa in the Julian area. If you are coming south off of S7 E. Grade Road from Palomar, head south on Hwy. 76 for about 2.5 miles until you see the sign for the Mesa Grande Indian Reservation. Take the next left up the hill and have fun. While the map shows alot of little roads in the area, the only paved surface is Mesa Grande so you won't get lost.
If you area looking for the southern end head north along Hwy. 79 out of Santa Ysabel for about 2 miles and it will be on yourleft.
In either direction, the road starts with a steep uphill switchback climb to the top of the mesa. The northern section has a combination of rolling hills and tight hairpins through the trees. Watch out for the bridge that is about 2.5 miles from the northern end and about 9.5 miles from the southern end. The bridge has a 90 degree 15 mph turn at either end with very poor crash protection. If you take the corner too fast headed south it will probably launch you right into the creek.
The southern section of the road is relatively straight and flat, with some good sighlines and just enough corners to make it interesting. Triple-digit speeds are easily obtainable here. If you are headed south, once you drop down off the mesa there is a 1.25 mile straight than allows you to drive very fast, but be careful of the kink just before the road ends at Hwy. 79.- Back to Region
Watch for the bride at the northern end.
Hill climb at the southern end, watch for the hairpin at the bottom.
This bridge can sneak up on you, especially headed north.