Please join me for a fun hike at scenic Mt. Laguna, San Diego’s equivalent to “Big Sky” country. This hike features a coniferous forest, lakes, meadows, wildlife and spectacular views. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful hikes in all of San Diego County. Most of the hike will be on the Sunset Trail, which we will take to the Water of the Woods Lake. Then we will take a short walk on the Big Laguna Trail to see Big Laguna Lake. We’ll turn back from there. The total distance of the hike is about 4.5 miles. This is a fairly easy hike. We will not rush and we will wait for everyone.
I've been in this area during springtime in previous years when it was as green as Ireland with colorful wildflowers everywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not as green at Mt. Laguna as in previous years due to the California drought, but it’s still quite beautiful there.
Here are the details for the hike.
o Anyone planning to drive must display a National Forest Adventure pass on his or her car. The cost is $5.00 for a daily pass and $30.00 for an annual pass. If you plan to drive, please purchase a National Forest Adventure pass beforehand. They are available at REI, Big 5, Sport Chalet and some Sports Authority stores.
o We want to take the fewest number of cars there to minimize the number of participants who will need to buy a Forest Adventure Pass and because parking may be difficult, so let’s carpool. I encourage participants to work out who they’re going with beforehand.
o We will meet at 9:00 a.m. on the east side of Grossmont Center on the sidewalk in front of Barnes and Noble and Starbucks (adjacent to Rubio’s and Jamba Juice). You coffee addicts may want to get there early if you want to get your morning dose of Starbucks coffee prior to the hike.
o We will leave Grossmont Center at 9:15 a.m. and will caravan to the trailhead. The drive will take about 45 to 50 minutes.
o To get to the trailhead, take I-8 East to the Sunrise Highway. Go north (left). The trailhead is near mile marker 19.1. Park here along the Sunrise Highway near the Meadows Information Station. The trailhead is on the north (left) side of the Sunrise Highway. This is what the trailhead looks like:
o You may want to use the portable toilets at the Meadows Information Station prior to starting the hike because there are no facilities on the trail.
o Please remember to bring plenty of water (at least one liter is recommended). I also recommend that you wear loose and comfortable clothing, sturdy hiking shoes or boots, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and that you bring a small backpack to store your gear, water and snacks.
o Also, please remember that the temperature in the mountains is cooler than in the city and that it can be windy there, so you may want to bring a sweatshirt or fleece jacket.
o Bring snacks. We will stop to enjoy the views before heading back. This will be a good time to refuel. We will also stop several other times for photo opportunities.
o Do not disturb the wildlife; it’s illegal to do so. Birdwatchers will enjoy this hike. You’re likely to see raptors, blue jays, blue birds, waterfowl, acorn woodpeckers and other species of birds on this hike.
o Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about the hike. I will provide my cell phone number prior to the hike to those who RSVP.
Here is a good article from the San Diego Reader on the Sunset Trail hike.
I never host an event without food, so for those interested, we will have lunch at Janet’s Montana Café in Alpine after the hike. They have good food at reasonable prices and a nice outdoor patio. The portions here are generous. Trust me, you won't be hungry after leaving Janet's! The address is 2506 Alpine Blvd. From I8 West, take the Willows Road exit to Alpine Blvd.