Alpine is a picturesque community at the foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains and tucked below the rugged Viejas Mountains.
If you visit Alpine, amid rolling hills covered with chaparral and occasional sage, you will find many attractive homes and small ranches nestled among the oaks, sycamores, eucalyptus, olive and pepper trees. Alpine is a neat unincorporated town that has a quaint historic town center and a thriving district of small businesses surrounded by neighborhoods of custom homes. At approximately 1,200 feet above sea level, the area has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Located in San Diego’s East County just off Interstate 8, Alpine borders the Cleveland National Forest and is only a 20-minute drive to the mountain recreation areas of the Cuyamaca State Park, Lake Cuyamaca and the Laguna Mountains. It is only a half-hour drive west to San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.
The first people to enjoy the Alpine area’s fine climate were the Kumeyaay Indians, who lived there around a thousand years ago. The descendants of these people are a vital part of the present community. The town’s name was suggested by a resident of the area in the 1880s who believed that the environment was similar to her native home in Switzerland. Alpine began as a stage stop for the gold mines in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Drivers hauling supplies to the mines and delivering gold to San Diego stopped to rest and change horses before continuing up the rough trail to the Cuyamacas or down the trails to the coast. Although the stage stop was only a barn and small store, there was an abundant supply of fresh water from the springs in front of the store. Alpine’s population gradually increased as the miners spread stories about the area’s scenic beauty and fresh water.
Benjamin R. Arnold, seeking a place to cure his asthma, arrived in Alpine in 1887. His health improved in Alpine and he built the family home in what is today the town center. He built the first hotel for people coming to the mountains to improve their health. Arnold spearheaded the stage line and road improvements for regular stagecoach services to run down the mountain to meet the train in Lakeside and haul people and supplies back and forth.
Arnold helped build the Town Hall, now the Alpine Women’s Club which is still used for community events and activities.
Alpine is a community that is strongly committed to quality education. Parents play an active role in schools through the PTA’s and volunteering in the classroom. Special programs for the arts are offered through the Art Docent program and Alpine Optimist Foundation for Learning.
Three elementary schools, a middle school and an early education school comprise the Alpine Union School District. The district takes pride in the quality of its well-rounded academic program. The elementary and middle schools have been recognized by the state for their academic excellence. High school students may attend Steele Canyon High School or Granite Hills High School, both in the Grossmont High School District. A citizen committee for a high school located in Alpine continues to work toward that goal. Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District provides many opportunities for students wishing to attend a junior college in El Cajon. Education is a critical consideration when searching for land or Alpine Homes for sale.