Descanso (Diegueno: Wataay) is a small census-designated place in the Mountain Empire area of southeastern San Diego County, California and part of California’s 50th congressional district. Descanso is located east of Alpine and west of Pine Valley. The population was 1,423 at the 2010 census.
The community’s name is a Spanish word meaning “rest from labor”. 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.