Desert View Tower

While there are many interesting things to see between San Diego and El Centro, the most visible is the Desert View Tower. Constructed in 1922 by Bert Vaughn as a roadside attraction, the Tower is also located near the old Mountain Springs Station, which was used from 1862-1870 as a stopping point for wagons hauling items from Yuma to San Diego. Today, the Tower remains a roadside attraction, with a museum, gift shop, and observation deck that has great views of the Anza Borrego desert and the In-Ko-Pah Mountains. In addition to the Tower, there are a number of other quirky items scattered around the area, including an “Alien Parking area”, along with a number of boulders that were sculpted into animals by M.T. Ratliffe, a Great Depression era artist.

Directions/Information: The Desert View Tower is located directly off of Interstate 8 on In-Ko-Pah road at the edge of the Anza Borrego desert. At 3,000 feet of elevation, it is easily spotted from the East and West. From the freeway, it is a five minute drive to the Tower. The Tower is open year round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and as of 2015, it is $4.50 to climb up to the Observation Deck, which is the top story of the seventy foot tower. Even today, this remains a great stop for anyone traveling East to West along the Interstate 8, or West to East.