||If hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool about 9:15 am, they'll arrive at the Mt. Laguna Lodge/Grocery Store and next door Visitor's Center (about 10 miles uphill from Interstate 8 at Pine Valley) about 10:30-10:45. You will need a "National Forest Adventure Pass" ($5) to park along the side of the road near the trailhead. (They're sold at the Mt. Laguna Lodge, Visitor's Center, and most Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.) We'll meet at the Meadows Information Station, mile 19.1, about 5 miles uphill from Interstate 8 at Pine Valley, (or about 5 miles back down the road from the Mt. Laguna Lodge/Grocery store) at 11:15 am, then start hiking. It's about a 5 mile loop hike (we'll do it counter-clockwise), about 3-4 hrs. plus a lunch break along the meadows. The hike is of moderate difficulty with a 400' elevation gain/loss. Dogs on leash are allowed.
We last did this hike three years ago in November, and there was some water in most of the lakes. (Click here to view those 11/21/99 hike photos.) This month/year, the drought and warm weather are quite different, but be prepared for last minute weather changes.
For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 1998 Edition, Area M-8: Laguna Mountains, Trip 9, Sunset Trail, pp.202-203. Also, check out our Maps of the area for more details.