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The Desert View Trail at the Burnt Rancheria Campground is a very easy and dog-friendly one-mile scenic loop through the campground to a rewarding view of the desert floor below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a column written by Jack Riordan that appeared in the East County Magazine

Nestled in the pines, beneath a blanket of starlight, you’ll find Burnt Rancheria in East County, Calif.

According to eastcountymagazine.org, as part of the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area in the Cleveland National Forest, this lush East County campground sits at 6000 feet above sea level, offering dream-like mountain scenery, as well as an easy escape from the day to day life in the city.

Our goal with this trip was to get into the mountains and catch the peak of the Orionid Meteor Shower, an annual occurrence resulting from our planet crossing the orbit of the famous Halley’s Comet.

Burnt Rancheria did not disappoint. Framed by towering Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pine trees, an infinite backdrop of stars and galaxies gave way every few minutes after midnight to dazzling streaks of light across our San Diego sky.