7 Noteworthy Facts About The San Diego Backcountry

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2019 is upon us—a time to recap the things we’ve learned and accomplished. Here’s to learning! May your New Year be full of wonderment and discovery!


1. There is an optimal month for transplanting plants in our specific mountainous region.

The best time to transplant native plants into your landscape is during the month of November, according to a local Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve manager. This is likely due to the plant being able to fully establish its roots into the new soil, giving it a favorable advantage for the coming seasons.

Optunia Prickly Pear

2. Morganite was discovered in the San Diego Backcountry.

Tiffany & Co.’s beloved gemologist, George Kunz, named it in honor of JP Morgan a year after it was discovered in San Diego County. It was formerly known as Pink Beryl. Have you ever wondered why the city of San Diego has so many streets named after gemstones? It is partly due to the exploration of gemstones in San Diego County, largely funded by JP Morgan.


3. Rattlesnakes aren’t the only venomous snakes in the backcountry.

The California Lyre snake, or Trimorphodon biscutatus lyrophanes, is a rear-fanged colubrid snake native to Southern California. Although they are only mildly venomous, you may want to familiarize yourself with this snake subspecies, since a bite could cause significant discomfort. The California Lyre snake is primarily nocturnal, good at climbing and maneuvering difficult terrains, and well camouflaged.


California Lyre Snake

4. The Backcounty used to be scattered with crystals.

The Warner Springs region was so rich in rare earth minerals that, according to Cupeño legend, there was once a waterfall where native women were said to dive into, and the quantity of blue crystals each woman carried out of the water is how many sons she would birth. These crystals are now believed to have been either aquamarine or tourmaline, both found in the San Diego Backcountry.


5. Chihuahua Valley in Warner Springs boasts its very own microclimate.

The only climate suitable to sustain large-scale peony (paeonia) agriculture in San Diego County, according to the owner of Kent’s Bromeliad Nursery in Vista, CA, is in the small community of Chihuahua Valley. Peony agriculture is generally done in Northern states such as Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. Let’s count our blessings that we can grow beautiful, highly desirable flora in San Diego’s backyard! Browse our Chihuahua Valley Road listings to find the perfect property to make your dreams a reality!

backcountry Peony farm

6. The US military sunk lots of treasure off of the San Diego coastline.

When the United States joined the Allies during WWI, our military began preparing its shores by establishing barracks and hospital wards. Museums and other buildings were emptied of their contents to accommodate troops. These contents, many of which were invaluable items, were loaded onto barges and squandered into the Pacific Ocean. At least one of the cargo containers was salvaged in secret before it ever reached San Diego’s beaches. The route used to transport the cargo to safety was through the San Diego Backcountry.


7. Bob Dylan wrote a song in the Backcountry.

“Maggie’s Farm” was written on, yep, Maggie’s farm a few miles off of CA Highway 79.


What would you add to this list? Have a favorite? Let us know on Facebook!