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is route 76 safer then route 78

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San Juan...
posts: 2
is route 76 safer then route 78

Going to borrego from san Juan Capistrano am from Midwest don't much care for steep winding mountain roads, beautiful but scary-thanks

8 replies to this topic
Palmdale, California
Destination Expert
for California Desert
posts: 1,213
reviews: 44
1. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

Hello, ChiTownJuan, and welcome to TripAdvisor and the Borrego Springs forum.

It's been a while since I've been on these two roads east of Interstate 15, but my recollection is we enjoyed the trip along California State Route 78. You might like a stop at Julian, where you can enjoy the apples and associated foods there.

Mainly two lane road, not steep or winding. . . not the Rocky Mountains or anything like that. Pretty safe rural mountain driving that shouldn't scare the typical driver, much less one from Chicagoland.

Enjoy your travels with us.

San Juan...
posts: 2
2. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

Thank you Underdog, believe it or not I drove the Big Sur as a kid but now I need to get my "mountain legs" back on I feel my spine getting stronger all ready.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 27,556
reviews: 26
3. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

As Riff M stated in your other post -- you have to go over mountains at some point (unless you drive out through Palm Springs past Indio to the Salton Sea and then approach Borrego from the east -- but that's way out of the way).

You can either take Montezuma Valley Road (which I believe is S2 not 76) or 78 through Julian. You'll be at a lot higher altitude at Julian but I don't think the drive is quite as twisty. However there are turnouts on both.

Frankly, I think the views are better coming down Montezuma Valley Road and it lets out right at the town of Borrego. If you come down 78 you still have quite a ways to Borrego through Scissor's Crossing and then a section which is a bit twisty and also rather narrow.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,186
reviews: 7
4. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

Between I-5 and I-15, hwy 76 has a bunch of stoplights and road construction. Can be slow going at times. 78 is freeway until you cross over I-15.There also is construction on the east end before I-15.

I prefer hwy 76 over 78 east of I-15.

Julian is worth a stop for some apple pie, and Dudleys in Santa Ysabel is a good stop for bread and pastries.

Edited: 12:14 pm, April 18, 2013
Oceanside...
posts: 556
reviews: 40
5. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

If you want to avoid steep windy roads, I guess it depends on your definition of steep and windy. Traveling on Hwy 78 out of Julian will take you down the Banner Grade which does have a steep and windy section, but is a relatively short section. Once down the grade the road levels off. From 78 you have 2 options for getting to Borrego Springs. Option 1 - continue on 78 through Julian until you come to S3 at Yaqui Well, go left and follow S3 into Borrego Springs (S3 does have a short steep windy section as you go up Yaqui Pass). Option 2 - on 78, before you get to Julian is Santa Ysabel. Turn left there onto Hwy 79. Stay on Hwy 79 past Lake Henshaw and look for S2. Turn right and after about 5 miles turn left onto S22 which will take you into Borrego via Montezuma Grade (another steep and windy section). Other than taking the very long way around, there is almost no way to avoid some amount of steep and windy road.

Los Angeles
posts: 1
6. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

Having just returned from Borrego Springs this weekend, I can tell you that I absolutely will NOT be traveling down Montezuma Valley Road again, ever! It is too scary. Who can look at the scenery when you're afraid of flying off the road and the cliffs that are over 3000 feet high??

On the way back, we took S3 to 78 through Julian (since we wanted to stop at Mom's for apple pie) and then back up 79 through Warner Springs. I felt much safer. Alternatively, from Google Maps, it looks like one can take San Felipe Road all the way to 78 and avoid Montezuma Valley Road. The very small amount of steep windy stuff at Yaqui Pass Road is over before you know it.

Edited: 9:36 pm, August 11, 2013
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Borrego Springs, San Francisco, Solana Beach
posts: 27,556
reviews: 26
7. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

There's quite a bit of winding road on 78 up to Julian ... it probably didn't bother you as you were heading uphill.

<<Who can look at the scenery when you're afraid of flying off the road and the cliffs>>

Nothing says you have to be traveling at speeds that would have you "flying off the road." And there are plenty of turnoffs to take in the scenery or let other people pass.

Each to their own but I love driving down Montezuma Road into Borrego!

Edited: 10:04 pm, August 11, 2013
Oceanside...
posts: 556
reviews: 40
8. Re: is route 76 safer then route 78

I with you RamblinSal - I very much enjoy the drive down Montezuma Road. I also enjoy the drive on 78 past Scissors Crossing as it winds through the canyon (Sentenac Canyon I think) and then comes out into the valley. We usually camp at Tamarisk Grove.

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