Hike the Sunset Trail at Mt. Laguna

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.

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.

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.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/jan/16/roam-sunset-trail/

Optional Luncheon

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.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/janets-montana-cafe-alpine


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  • Che Y.

    I'll have to pass on this one. I can't find a place to get a pass.

    June 6, 2014

    • Che Y.

      Looks like a lot of fun!

      June 8, 2014

    • Che Y.

      I would love to join the next hike. Next time I'll be ready.

      June 8, 2014

  • Alfonsina

    I'm sorry Wilfredo that I'm not going to be able to make it! Have fun! See you next time!

    June 7, 2014

    • Wilfredo P.

      You missed a great hike, Alfie. Check out the pictures we just posted. I hope you can make it to our next hike. I plan on leading several hikes and walks for the group this summer.

      June 7, 2014

  • Wilfredo P.

    It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect for hiking! I hope everyone enjoyed the hike as much as I did. I'm sure you'll agree that the scenery was stunningly beautiful. I'll post some pics from this Meet-up soon. The lunch at Jane's Montana Cafe was enjoyable, too, despite the "censorship" of our group from one of the older customers there. :-)

    June 7, 2014

  • Komail

    I'm here

    June 7, 2014

  • Komail

    Any word on carpooling yet? Should I get the National Forest Adventure pass?

    June 6, 2014

    • Kamlesh

      Komail, dude, worst case, I may have one passenger seat for you. I've a friend coming with me and Wilfredo will join at Grossmont Center. You just gotta drive there!

      June 6, 2014

    • Komail

      Cool, we do this

      June 7, 2014

  • Alfonsina

    I tried to ride with Kamlesh but I never got his address! Dont know what to do!

    June 6, 2014

    • Alfonsina

      Will try to find you Wilfredo! Can I ride with somebody else from Starbucks?

      June 6, 2014

    • Alfonsina

      If not until the next time!

      June 6, 2014

  • Alfonsina

    I couldnt get a ride from Kamlesh. Can I ride with somebody else?

    June 6, 2014

  • Megan

    I won't be able to make it after all....called in to work again :( It looks like weekends will be rough for me this summer, but I'll be available most Sunday afternoons. I would still love to do a hike with this group, so count me in for the next one! Sunday afternoon hike, anyone?

    June 6, 2014

    • Kamlesh

      Megan, sorry to hear you've to work over the weekend. Don't work so hard! Life is too short ;) Both you gotta join us some time for a hike. Sunday afternoon could be good for BBQ at a beach. Food time! Hopefully, we will see you guys at some future event.

      June 6, 2014

    • Wilfredo P.

      Sorry you can't make it, Megan, but thanks for letting us know. I hope you can make it to another event soon. I will schedule some hikes and walks on Sundays in the near future.

      June 6, 2014

  • Alfonsina

    Hello Wilfredo and all! Thank you for organizing this hike. I would love to go but I'm not from SD (don't know the whole city that well) so I would like to know if I can ride with somebody! I can chip in for gas!
    Please let me know who has an extra spot in their car so I can RSVP
    Thanks!

    June 3, 2014

    • Wilfredo P.

      Hi Alfi. I emailed you the contact information for Kalesh yesterday via Meet-up. If you didn't receive it, please send me an email at [masked] and I will reply to your message with the information. Thanks.

      June 4, 2014

    • Alfonsina

      Ok. Will check it now!

      June 4, 2014

  • Cristy

    Hi Wilfredo...and all! I will be coming from Imperial Valley, so I will meet you at the trailhead.

    June 2, 2014

    • Wilfredo P.

      OK, Cristy. I estimate that we'll get there between 10:00 and 10:15, so pleas wait for us at the trailhead if you get there early. If you don't have to return to Imperial Valley right after the hike, I hope you can join us for lunch at Janet's Montana Cafe.

      June 2, 2014

  • Wilfredo P.

    I took another group to Mt. Laguna last month and did this same hike. There were people in that group who had lived in San Diego for decades but who had never been to Mt. Laguna prior to that hike. They were in awe of the place. If you've been to Mt. Laguna, you know what I'm talking about! If you haven't been there, this would be a good opportunity to see one of the most beautiful places in San Diego County. Yes, that's saying something considering all the beautiful places here, but it's absolutely true!

    May 8, 2014

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