Old Overland Stage Route is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Julian, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.8 miles Elevation Gain: 147 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching


wild flowers


no shade

no dogs

scenic driving
Sat Jan 22 2011

Old Overland Stage Route (aka Great Overland Stage Route, Imperial Highway, San Felipe Road, and just plain old HWY S-2) is a fun drive through the deserts and mountains of San Diego and Imperial Counties. The following details were found at http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/dpw/organization/desertroads.html: "Highway S-2 has several names: San Felipe Road, Great Overland Stage Route of 1849, Sweeney Pass, and Imperial Highway. Trumpeted by the El Centro Chamber of Commerce in the late 1920s as a "Gateway to Imperial County", it followed much of the route of the Southern Emigrant Trail, which began during the Gold Rush of the 1850s, and the old Butterfield Mail route, which began in 1851. The Imperial Highway Association, formed in 1929, urged the paving of the old Butterfield route. Imperial County did the first paving, from Ocotillo to the San Diego County line. From there to the bottom of Sweeney Pass, it was a set of meandering, sand-bound tracks. In 1951, County engineers designed and constructed the route along the hillsides and down the pass, but the road was still unpaved for several years. In 1953, a group of property owners lobbied the Board of Supervisors for road improvements, which finally came in 1959-61. The petitioners also asked for a name change, from Imperial Highway to the Great Overland Stage Route of 1849. The Supervisors agreed, despite the fact that the Overland Mail Route was never known as "Great," the route was not "Southern," and it didnt exist in 1849."