San Diego Trail Tramps ~ Scheduled Hikes for 2011

  Laguna Mountain - Cabin Sleepover & Loop Hike:
Los Huecos Road/Big Laguna Trail/Pacific Crest Trail

Date:  November 19-20, 2011  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: Mt. Laguna is located about 75 miles East of San Diego and 10 miles up the Sunrise Highway.

Directions: If hikers leave from the Hillcrest carpool about 9:00 am on Sunday, Nov. 20th, they'll arrive about 10:15-10:30 at the Mt. Laguna Visitor's Center (next door to the Mt. Laguna Lodge & Grocery Store), about 10 miles up Sunrise Highway from Interstate 8 at Pine Valley. 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.

Hike Description:

The cool, dry days of autumn are a perfect time to enjoy this loop hike. You'll walk under wind-battered, 200-year-old Jeffrey pines, and spreading black oaks whose golden yellow leaves shimmer in the breeze. It's a 2.5-3 hr., 5.24 mile roundtrip hike, plus a lunch break along the Pacific Crest Trail, with a gorgeous panoramic view of the desert below. Dogs on leash are allowed. Be prepared for last minute weather changes and dress accordingly, especially if cold weather or snow is in the forecast. (Check the NOAA weather site listed above.)

From the Mt. Laguna Visitor's Center, we'll travel NW on the Los Huecos Road, then NE on the Big Laguna Trail through Jeffrey Pine forest as it crosses the Sunrise Highway. Then we'll connect with the Pacific Crest Trail and head SE along the rim of the mtns. where they fall away abruptly to the Anza Borrego Desert below.

For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 2007 Edition, Chapter 23: Laguna Mountains, p. 247.

Check out our Maps of the area for more details and directions to print out and take along. Each hiker is responsible for knowing where the trails are. Also, see Google Earth below for links to a 3-D virtual tour of this hike.

The Campout:

Some of us are planning to arrive on Saturday, Nov. 19th, 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 if you have one. We'll hike the local trails during the day on Saturday, head for the top of nearby Stephenson Peak, next to the old Air Force radar site to watch the sunset over the ocean & moonrise over the desert. It should be dark enough for star-gazing, so bring binoculars.

After sunset, we'll return to the cabin and enjoy a tasty, pre-Thanksgiving, pot-luck supper by the cozy fireplace. Next morning we'll join the guys who drive up from San Diego for the day, and begin the hike. For more info. or details, send an email ASAP to cyberhiker @ sbcglobal dot net .

Google Earth:

Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country.

Below is the Google Earth .kmz file for the hike itself. To preview a 3D model of this actual hike in Google Earth, right click on the link and save the file to your desktop. Then double click that desktop file and it should launch Google Earth if you already have Google Earth installed on your computer. (If you do not have the free Google Earth application already installed, first go to

Los Huecos RdBig Laguna TrailPacific Crest Trail Loop Hike.kmz

After Google Earth launches, scroll down to the bottom of the "Places" column on the left and locate the hike file "Los Huecos RdBig Laguna TrailPacific Crest Trail Loop Hike.kmz" in the "Temporary Places" folder. Click the side arrow to the left of "Los Huecos RdBig Laguna TrailPacific Crest Trail Loop Hike.kmz" to expose the "Los Huecos RdBig Laguna TrailPacific Crest Trail Loop Hike" tour file. Then select that file, and click on the triangular "Play Tour" button just below and to the right of it. Enjoy!

If you'd like to check out the elevation profile of the hike, just right-click the "Los Huecos RdBig Laguna TrailPacific Crest Trail Loop Hike" file and select "Show Elevation Profile". Move your cursor over the profile and watch the arrow move along the loop hike to determine the altitude at any point.