|Shelter Valley, California|
|Elevation||2,320 ft (710 m)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||2664910|
Shelter Valley is an Unincorporated community located in San Diego County in the U.S. state of California. The town is located along county road S2, two miles south of its intersection with California State Route 78 and 12 miles east of Julian, CA. (Known as Scissors Crossing.) 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 landlocked by the park. The Sentenac Canyon and Cienega 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 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. 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 no structures were lost. Improvements to the Shelter Valley fire station were completed in 2012 to provide better protection for the surrounding region.
Shelter Valley seen from the north, along the Pacific Crest Trail.
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