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 along the side of the road near the trailhead. (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 about 2 more miles, and we'll meet at the trailhead at mile 25.2 at 11:00 am, then start hiking uphill on the signed Big Laguna Trail. Be sure to park on the shoulder of the highway, and off the pavement. It's a 1.5 hr. roundtrip hike, plus a lunch break at the top of Monument Peak. The 2.6 mile roundtrip hike is of moderate difficulty with a 550' elevation gain/loss. Dogs on leash are allowed. Be prepared for last minute weather changes and dress accordingly.
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 11, p.205, and maps on pp. 192-193.
Below are several shots taken on our hike to Monument Peak in April, 1999: