Shelter Valley
Shelter Valley is located in California
Shelter Valley
Shelter Valley
Location within the state of California
Shelter Valley is located in the United States
Shelter Valley
Shelter Valley
Shelter Valley (the United States)
Coordinates: 33°04′39″N 116°26′18″W / 33.07750°N 116.43833°W / 33.07750; -116.43833
Country United States
State California
County San Diego
Elevation2,320 ft (707 m)
 • Total320
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes442/760
GNIS feature ID2664910

Shelter Valley is a community in San Diego County in the U.S. state of California. The town is located along County Route S2, two miles (3.2 km) south of its intersection with State Route 78 (known as Scissors Crossing) and 12 miles (19 km) east of Julian. It lies within the boundaries of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the geologic feature known as Earthquake Valley. The Pacific Crest Trail passes along the northern boundary of the community.

The Anza Borrego Desert State Park acquired property to the north of the community in 1998, making Shelter Valley the second community (the first being nearby Borrego Springs) to be entirely surrounded by the park.[2] The Sentenac Canyon and Cienega[3] to the east of Scissors crossing were acquired in 1998. The state purchased parts of Rancho San Felipe to the west of Shelter Valley in 2004[4] that became part of the San Felipe Valley Wild Life Area and increased the contiguous extent of public lands surrounding the hamlet. In less than one year (2011 and 2012), multiple wildfires threatened the small community.[5][6][7] The Banner Fire exited state park lands and entered the edge of the community, while the Vallecito Lightning Complex burned into the San Felipe Valley (connecting valley to the north of Earthquake Valley) after menacing the nearby town of Ranchita. All were successfully contained by CAL FIRE and the Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Dept through the San Diego County Fire Authority and no structures were lost. Improvements to the Shelter Valley fire station were completed in 2012 to provide better quarters for the volunteers that provide protection for the surrounding region.[8]



  1. ^ "Shelter Valley Volunteer Fire Department". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  2. ^ Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Map, 2003, California State Parks, "Digitally created with current GIS data. Cartography L.Louise Jee, Design Brian Cahill, Editorial Joanie Stadtherr Cahill & Bettina Townsend, Advisor Mark Jorgense",
  3. ^ Press Release, Anza-Borrego park acquires wetland, September 1998, Anza-Borrego Foundation, P.O. Box 2001, Borrego Springs, CA 92004,
  4. ^ Land Management Plan for the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area, California Department of Fish and Game, South Coast Region, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Lands Program, 4949 Viewridge Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123, Chapter 3,
  5. ^ CAL FIRE incidents page for 2011 Great Fire,
  6. ^ CAL FIRE incidents page for 2012 Banner Fire,
  7. ^ CAL FIRE incidents page for 2012 Vallecito Lightning Complex,
  8. ^ "Shelter Valley gets an improved fire station" San Diego Union Tribune (original North County Times, website merged with UT after acquisition), November 16, 2012 10:59, J. Harry Jones,