Descanso (Diegueno: Wataay) is a small unincorporated community in San Diego County, east of Alpine and west of Pine Valley of about 2,162 residents. The community's name is a Spanish word meaning a place of rest. At a 3,450 feet (1,050 m) elevation it is located at the south entrance to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and also borders Cleveland National Forest to the west and east.
The area was heavily threatened by the 2003 Cedar Fire. The community consists of many small ranches and newer homes of San Diego commuters. Horseback riding and hiking are a frequent pastimes due to the close proximity to San Diego's back country recreation areas. Its is approximately a 50 minute commute from downtown San Diego.
The Descanso Fire Station of the United States Forest Service is home to the Laguna Hotshots. Descanso is home to many firefighters, and many local teenagers join either the Forest Service or the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (which also provides direct fire and EMS protection to the community).
Local Attractions include the Laguna Mountains