Area Information


Settlement in what is now San Diego County began with the founding of the Mission San Diego de Alcala by the Spanish, in 1769. San Diego County became part of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, ending the U.S. - Mexican War. This treaty designated the new border as terminating at a point on the Pacific Ocean coast which would result in the border passing one Spanish league south of the southernmost portion of San Diego Bay, thus ensuring that the United States received this excellent natural harbor.

San Diego County was one of the original counties of California, and was created at the time of statehood in 1850. It was named after San Diego Bay, which had been re-christened in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno in honor of the Franciscan St. Didacus of Alcala, known in Spanish as San Diego de Alcala de Henares, and whose name was borne by Vizcaíno's flagship. As originally created in 1850 San Diego County was quite large and included most of southeastern California south and east of Los Angeles County. As such it included major parts of what are now Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties. The later part of the 19th century witnessed numerous realignments of county boundaries. The most recent changes were the creation of Riverside County, in 1893, and Imperial County, in 1907.

The first people to live in what would become Alpine were the Kumeyaay Indians roughly a thousand years ago, but the first white settlement in Alpine began as a stage stop for the mines in the Cuyamaca Mountains. The stop boasted a supply of fresh water from the springs in front of the general store. Alpine's population grew as miners spread word of the area's beauty and wonderful springs.

Benjamin R. Arnold, seeking a place to cure his asthma, arrived in Alpine in 1887. His health improved, and he built the first hotel for people who sought to come to the mountains for their own health. Arnold spearheaded many further improvements that aided the expansion of the town.

Alpine gained major publicity during World War I, when a government survey declared Alpine's climate the best in the nation. "Best Climate in the USA by Government Report" became the town slogan for many years to come.

Average high temperatures in the area reach only 89 degrees Fahrenheit in late July/early August, and average lows get down to just 42 degrees in December and January. The area's average winter temperature is 54.1 degrees. Come spring, the average temperature is about 59.5 degrees. Average summertime temperatures are around 74.7 degrees, while average autumn temperatures are about 66.8 degrees. The monthly precipitation average is 1.5 inches with the majority falling during the winter months.

6 public schools and an early learning center provide education to area students. These include Alpine Elementary, Boulder Oaks Elementary, Shadow Hills Elementary, Mountain View Learning Academy and others. Higher education is offered through many institutions within 30 miles of town. These include Cuyamaca College, the University of California - San Diego, Grossmont College, California State University - San Marcos, Grossmont College, San Diego State University, Southwestern College and San Diego Miramar College.

Health care needs are served by Scripps Hospital - East County from 10 miles outside of town. Other medical facilities located nearby include Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and Alvarado Parkway Institute Behavioral.

There are numerous bodies of water around Alpine loaded with fish waiting for your bait. Nearby Loveland Reservoir and El Capitan Lake provide the opportunity to fish for largemouth bass, blue and channel catfish, bullheads, black and white crappie, bluegill and red-ear sunfish. It's also less than 20 minutes to Lake Morena, a body renowned for its rainbow trout and bass fishing. Lake Jennings is under the jurisdiction of the Helix Water District, and the Lake Jennings campground is operated by the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department. The lake is only open for private boating and boat rental.

Sycuan Resort & Casino provides visitors with an amazing 54 holes of golf, world class tennis courts, a selection of award-winning restaurants, recently renovated guest rooms and of course the excitement of the casino.

One of the highlights of events around Alpine is the Lakeside Rodeo, which takes place 11 miles northeast of town. It is a 3-day event that includes real cowboys who compete in calf roping, team roping, bareback and saddle bronco riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, barrel racing and a wild horse race.

Vallecito and Agua Caliente regional parks are among 30 facilities administered by California's San Diego County. They are only 6 miles from each other in the Carrizo Valley Region of Anza-Borrego Desert. The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is located in southwestern San Diego County, and currently includes approximately 9,478 acres. Established in 1997, the San Diego Refuge will protect, enhance and restore habitats for endangered species, migratory birds, and rare plants and animals found in a variety of habitats.

All the amenities of beautiful San Diego are just half an hour away. You can visit the world famous San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, Sea Wordl of San Diego, more than 20 museums and the professional sports of both the San Diego Padres and Chargers.

Other sites of interest close to Alpine include the Mount Laguna Observatory, Palomar Observatory, the Ramona Valley wine-producing region, the Mission Bay Recreation Area, Fiesta Island, Mission San Diego de Alcala (the first of California's 21 Spanish missions) and much more.

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