Scheduled Hikes for 2010

  Mount Laguna Campout and Garnet Peak Hike
~ Burnt Rancheria Campground ~

October 16th-17th Campout ~ October 17th Garnet Peak Hike
Hike Group:  
San Diego Trail Tramps

Info. URLs: 
Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association (trails and camping info.)
Burnt Rancheria Campground, Cleveland National

Burnt Rancheria Campground & Garnet Peak, Mt. Laguna.
The Laguna Mountains are located about 65 miles East of San Diego and up the Sunrise Highway.
Time to check out the autumn colors at Mt. Laguna! If hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool about 9:00 am on 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 10:15-10:30.

You will need a "National Forest Adventure Pass" ($5/day or $30/year) to park along the side of the road or in the day use areas of the local campgrounds. (They're sold at the Mt. Laguna Lodge & Grocery Store, Visitor's Center (next door), and most Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.)

After purchasing your "Adventure Pass", drive about 1/2 mile back down the Sunrise Highway and turn left into the Burnt Rancheria Campground, where we'll rendezvous at the day use parking area near the Amphitheater by 10:45 am and re-arrange carpools to drive up the highway to the hike's parking area. Dogs on leash are allowed in the campground and on this hike.


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 5,900' 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. Be prepared for last minute weather changes and dress accordingly.

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.

For current weather conditions at Mt. Laguna, click HERE.
Also check out the Weather Report for the San Diego Mountains.

For those interested in coming up 1-2 days before the hike, overnite camping is available at the Burnt Rancheria Campground. Since it's "first come-first served", we'll try to get a campsite on Pinyon Loop. (Mahogany, Redberry and Cherry Loops will probably be closed for the season.) Check the Bulletin Board near the campground entrance for a note on which campsite we'll be at. Look for a multi-colored flag or windsock to identify our group. Click here for campground map.

If interested in joining the campout, please contact Tom H. ASAP at: Tom95401 @ aol dot com
for campout details. Space is limited to 8 people per site. Come join other rugged, good lookin', outdoor-lovin' men under the Milky Way stars, around a toasty, cracklin' campfire! (Don't forget your binoculars for star-gazing.) ;^ )