Those flecks, spotted in these hills above Julian in the winter of 1869, set off San Diego County's only gold rush -- and gave birth to the mining camp that is now this picturesque mountain town 145 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Some of the 800 prospectors who flocked to the area struck it rich -- before the boom went bust seven years later, after producing about $2 million in gold ($150 million in today's dollars). Today, the Old West lives on in Julian, with its wooden sidewalks and 19th century brick and wood buildings.
-- Beverly Beyette
Planning your trip:
Julian Chamber of Commerce, 2129 Main St.; (760) 765-1857, www.julianca.com.