||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 just about anywhere on or offroad in the Laguna Mts. (They're sold at the Mt. Laguna Visitor's Center, Mt. Laguna Grocery Store & Lodge, , and most Big 5 Sporting Goods stores in San Diego itself.) Continue up the Sunrise Highway and we'll meet at Pioneer Mail Picnic Area trailhead (mile marker 29.3 on Sunrise Highway) at 11:15 am, then start hiking south on the Pacific Crest Trail towards Garnet Peak. (There's plenty of offroad parking at Pioneer Mail Picnic area.) It's a 3+ hr. roundtrip hike, plus a lunch break at the top of Garnet Peak. The hike is of moderate difficulty with a 700' elevation gain/loss. Dogs on leash are allowed. Be prepared for last minute weather changes and dress accordingly.
Some of us are planning to arrive on Saturday and stay overnite at a member's mountain cabin just up the road from the Mt. Laguna Grocery Store & Lodge . There's room inside for about 8-10 guys on beds, couches and the floor, and room outside to pitch a few tents under the trees and stars, or stay over in an RV. We'll hike the local trails during the day, go to the top of the old Air Force radar site to watch the sunset over the ocean & moonrise over the desert. Sunrise/Sunset times for that day are:
Sun Rise: 6:34am Sun Set: 6:49pm
Moon Rise: 11:58am Moon Set: 10:06pm
After sunset, we'll return to the cabin and do a pot-luck supper by the fireplace before hitting the racks for the nite. Next morning we'll meet up with the guys who drive up from San Diego, and hike up Garnet Peak. For more info. or details, just drop an email to email@example.com .
Garnet Peak's exposed position along the edge of the Lagunas' eastern escarpment makes it a good place to view both the pine-clad plateau to the west and the raw desert far below which stretches towards Arizona in the east. We'll travel the Pacific Crest Trail through Jeffrey Pine forest, then head north in open chaparral on the signed Garnet Peak Trail, through the burnout area from the 2002 Pines fire, on a rocky path that slants up along the shoulder of the peak. The summit is crowned by a jagged cluster of layered, tan rock, and the peak falls away abruptly, revealing the panorama of Storm Canyon and the desert below. Watch your step on the summit! It's one of the windiest places in the county!!
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 2, Garnet Peak, pp.195-196. Also, check out our Maps of the area for more details. To see a photo gallery of our last hike to Garnet Peak in September of 2002, just after the Pines Fire, click here.