San Diego Trail Tramps Scheduled Hikes for 2008

  Garnet Peak - Laguna Mountains

Date:   April 20th, 2008  09:00 AM -  05:00 PM
Hike Group:   San Diego Trail Tramps
Info. URL:   Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association
Location:    Garnet Peak is located in the Laguna Mountains, about 75 miles East of San Diego and up the Sunrise Highway.
Description :

Friday/Saturday, April 18-19th, we have a campout planned at the Burnt Rancheria Campground up on Mt. Laguna. The campsite has a picnic table, a campfire ring, room to pitch tents, and nearby restrooms. The Pacific Crest Trail runs right by the campground, with excellent views of the desert below, and the coastline to the west. We'll join up with other Trail Tramps hikers Sunday morning when they arrive from San Diego for the day hike. Come join the fun and camaraderie around the campfire, under the Milky Way! For more details, and to sign up for the campout, contact the "Cyberhiker" ASAP!!

If hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool about 9:15 am Sunday morning, 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. For current weather conditions at Mt. Laguna, click HERE.

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 2004, on a brisk and windy day, click here.