San Diego Trail Tramps

Laguna Mountain - Saturday Cabin Sleepover with Thanksgiving Dinner Potluck & Sunday Hike:
Garnet Peak (weather permitting) or Laguna Trail Hike



Date: Cabin Sleepover & Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner: Saturday, Nov. 21 & Hike: Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015  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: After hikers depart from the Hillcrest carpool area at 9:00 am on Sunday, Nov. 22th, 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. From there, more detailed directions will be mailed out in one of our group emails to our member's cabin up the road. We'll rendezvous there at his cabin to begin the hike. Parking should be available along his driveway or out along the highway in front of it.

A National Forest Adventure Pass had previously been required for parking in the Cleveland National Forest as well as other National Forests in Southern California (obtained from local merchants, visitor centers, or online). NOTE: A recent court decision in 2012 meant that purchasing daily Adventure Passes ("National Forest Adventure Pass") is not necessary to park along the road or any undeveloped areas outside of campgrounds, for now. Questions?... Contact the Descanso Ranger District for clarification: 3348 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA 91901, (619) 445-6235, Fax - (619) 445-1753


Hike Description:

The cool, dry days of autumn are a perfect time to enjoy a mountain hike. We'll have several choices, and will make our final decision at our member's Mt. Laguna cabin the evening before the hike. (See info below for our sleepover and "Babette's Feast" style, Thanksgiving Dinner Potluck the night before the hike.) Since there has been major wildfire damage in so many areas the past few years, we may attempt Garnet Peak for a sensational view of the entire fire zone, or we may opt for a more green, "pristine" forest area, such as Big Laguna Trail or Sunset Trail around Laguna Meadow, the Pacific Crest Trail from the cabin going south, or north to Monument Peak.

In most of those areas, you'll walk under wind-battered, 200-year-old Jeffrey pines, and spreading black oaks whose golden yellow leaves shimmer in the breeze. It'll probably be about a 3 hr. hike, plus a lunch break. Dogs on leash ARE allowed. WOOF! 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.) Always remember that a mountaintop hike in November can mean cold and windy weather. 

Once again, after rendezvousing at the nearby mountain cabin of one of our members (directions from San Diego to the cabin will be included in one of our group emails), we may stop briefly at the Mt. Laguna Visitor's Center, then carpool to the trailhead of whichever area we plan to hike.

For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 20 Edition, Chapter 23: Laguna Mountains, p. 247-251.

Check out our Maps of the general area for more details and directions to print out and take along. Each hiker is responsible for knowing where the trails are.


The Cabin Sleepover:

A group of us are planning to arrive on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 21st, and stay overnite at a member's mountain cabin (plus a 2nd cabin next door) just up the road from the Mt. Laguna Grocery Store & Lodge. There's room inside both cabins for about a total of 10-16 guys on beds, couches and the floor (please be prepared to bring your own bedding/sleeping bags/towels). There's also room outside to pitch a few tents under the trees and stars, or stay over in an RV if you have one. Time permitting, 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 might be dark enough for star-gazing, so bring binoculars.


After sunset, we'll return to the cabins and enjoy a tasty, pot-luck style Thanksgiving dinner by the cozy fireplace. Next morning, the guys who drive up from San Diego for the day will join us at the cabin and begin the hike. Members looking for more info. or details, and to sign up, send an email ASAP to SanDiegoTrailTramps at gmail dot com, so that we have an idea on how many members to prepare for and assign pot-luck items to. It'll be First-Come/First Served for sleeping space in the two cabins there, so sign up early! Thanks! Be sure not to miss this popular, annual gathering for Autumn fun in the mountains!!