Views From Fallbrook

View of Agua Tibia Burn Area
Topographical Features Viewed From Fallbrook
Vandenberg Air Force Base Missile Contrails seen from Fallbrook
Camp Pendleton "Battlefield Illumination Flares" seen from Fallbrook

Topographical Features Viewed From Fallbrook

The following table lists the peaks and plateaus outside of the immediate Fallbrook area that are seen from Fallbrook. When available, pictures are linked to the feature name in the table.

The precise parameters in the table are those from my house at 1802 Acacia Lane. When a range is given, the feature spans that range. Thus, for example, Mesa de Colorado ranges from 11.8 to 12.2 miles away from my house, with the west edge beginning at an azimuth of -24o and the east edge ending at an azimuth of -12o. As is seen in the next plot, the elevation ranges from 1.34o at the west end to 1.15o at the east end. The table begins with the view directly west, proceeds to the north and then to the east.

FeatureDistance (miles)Elevation Angle (o)Azimuth (o E. of N.)
San Onofre Mtn14.1 to 18.30.5 to 0.3-87 to -82
Santa Margarita Peak12.5 2.2 -53.8
Elsinore Peak19.1 1.7 -22.3
Mesa de Colorado11.8 to 12.21.15 to 1.34-24 to -12
Mesa de la Punta11.4 to 11.71.20 to 1.22-11 to -8
Mesa de Burro12 to 131.16 -8 to 0
Gavilan Mountain7.0 to 7.21.74 0 to 8
Anderson Peak57.8 1.9 19.2
San Gorgonio Peak57.4 2.1 23.4
San Jacinto45.4 2.5 43.9
Agua Tibia15.5 3.1 80.0
Palomar High Point22.2 2.7 86.3
Boucher Hill17.1 3.1 91.5

The three mesas (Colorado, la Punta and Burro) north of Fallbrook together make up a wonderful area called the Santa Rosa Plateau, which is basically flat since it is capped by a 8-million-year-old lava flow. Here is a plot showing the view of those mesas directly north from my house. Unfortunately, the plot is a little hard to interpret since I haven't put in the full topography. I've put in only the ridgelines that make up the highest profiles as seen from my house. The curve for Elsinore Peak is not even the ridgeline - the "curve" is for the highest elevations only, and I haven't yet put in the neighboring elevations for Elsinore Peak.

Mesa de la Punta has a sharp hill immediately to the east of the main mesa that is very recognizable. The three gentle undulations in Mesa de Burro require a sharp eye to recognize but I can easily do so now. The lower ridges are the Winterwarm and Sunnycrest areas.

The next plot shows a wider angle view extending to San Gorgonio Peak. I haven't plotted Red Mountain yet, nor the peaks on either side of I-15 just before Temecula, which obscure part of the San Gorgonio Ridge, because the placement of those peaks varies greatly depending on where you are in Fallbrook. Anderson Peak is the northwestern part of the San Gorgonio Ridge.

In order to really make clear the relationship of the various plateaus of the Santa Rosa Plateau, you can view a gif animation (83 KB). The animation is made out of a series of plots similar to the above plot, starting from a location 4000' above the altitude of my house at 690', and descending to the altitude and location of my house. The scale jumps twice during the animation so that you can see the details better.

In the animation, note that the western part of Mesa de la Punta starts off lower in elevation than the rest of the Mesa when observed from 4000', but gradually becomes the highest part as one goes lower in altitude since that part of the Mesa is closest to us. Also note how Mesa de Burro starts off higher than Mesa de la Punta, but ends up nearly disappearing behind Mesa de la Punta and the shoulder of Gavilan Mountain. These mesas are labeled in the first plot above.

Vandenberg Air Force Base Missile Contrails seen from Fallbrook

Click on link above for full story.

Camp Pendleton "Battlefield Illumination Flares" seen from Fallbrook

At least several times per year, Camp Pendleton seems to conduct battlefield exercises where strings of what must be very bright flares are set off, presumably to illuminate their battlefield. From my house, it looks like a string of Roman Candles that has been set off, and it is entertaining to watch them drift through the sky and extinguish. If anyone can illuminate me on these flares, please email me.

Go to Fallbrook Information Overview

Copyright © 1997-2002 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 19 December 2002.