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Went today and we were the only people there. relatively short for what we normally do. there's some pretty steep parts but they are short. every part of the trail is angled so make sure you're stepping properly. this was the first open trail that we have ever done and without the visual of boulders, the hills seem pretty intimidating. lots of animal poop everywhere. no shade. saw 1 cow and a fox. that was cool. lots of beautiful birds whole hike had "little house on the prairie" vibe. best part, no snakes!

Very enjoyable hike. Wildflowers, butterflies, interesting bugs. Absolutely no one else on the trail on a weekday afternoon, so nice and isolated feeling. I wanted to stay and enjoy the incredible 360° view from the very top, but it was so incredibly windy, I thought I would be blown off the side of the mountain. Gorgeous.

Such a unique place. Challenging but fun hike, we went late morning. It was about 101 when we set out and before we hit the half way point we turned around because of the temps. Back at the car it was 107 and even though we had plenty of water, there were parts of the trail without any shade and we were starting to overheat. Aside from that we really enjoyed this spot and will make a return trip very soon and head out early for sunrise. The mountains and rock formations are amazing here and you’ll have plenty of photo ops in the canyons. Pack out what you pack in... dirt road is a bear coming down Painted Canyon Rd. Be ready for some major vibrations for about 5 miles of unpaved road. Best done in a truck, your pretty luxury car will cry coming here.

hiking
27 days ago

This is by far probably one of my favorite hikes! The view from the peak is just spectacular! We hiked it later in the day in the heat so we had the trail and peak to ourselves. There is little to no shade on this trail so if you plan on hiking during the warmer months be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat, and clothing to help shield you from the sun. It is a fairly short trail and the elevation gain is minimal making this an easy trail. The trail intersects with the PCT about 0.6 miles in so you can add more mileage to your hike if you choose. There are no bathrooms near the trailhead, but the visitor center isn't too far down the road. Saw lots of lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds - did not see any snakes but I'm sure there were some around given the terrain.

Was a great hike yesterday here. Definitely a hidden treasure to admire close to the Imperial Valley. Take plenty of water, gloves, hiking light shoes with good traction, sun block, snacks and a beer or two to enjoy up on the canyon. I guess i learned yesterday that the north trail is called The Ropes, and the east trail is ladder Canyon trail. I recommend to go east trail and follow rock arrow into hidden canyon. You can go the other way also, half way there is a hill that will be safer to go down than up for some. I'm going back for sure; Enjoy and stay safe!!

This is a great hike, but as others have said, it isn't marked at all. We relied on information from other hikers and Alltrails to figure out where to go. The ladder and ropes are fun and the hike is mostly pretty. The upper loop to the top of the big canyon is completely exposed. We got an incredibly late start, so this part baked me, but the canyon was worth it. As a bonus, we saw a little gray fox. The road in was rough, but ok for a regular car.

Great hike with an awesome waterfall to play around or near. Fun little "pool" area at the base of the falls to cool down in. Our dog loved it too. If u do bring your dog go early because of the heat....and plenty of water for you and your pooch. Hike back wasn't too bad, the last .5 mile back was probably the hardest. Only saw one snake..

Definitely coming back to this hike, lots of trails to explore.

I would recommend coming early to avoid high temperatures (it reached 112 when we went last week) and bring plenty of water.

I highly recommend this hike but read the cautions below.
My fiancé and I went in April and had an amazing time. We are a young and fairly active couple and this trail was not extremely difficult but I can see how it’s difficult for others. I recommend to head out first thing in the morning as the afternoon sun is VERY hot and with the dry heat, it becomes unbearable. There’s barely no shade on the trail so when that sun is blazing, you’re completely exposed to the sun and heat. Come prepared with plenty of water and high energy food. We brought eight bottles of water each and went through 6 easily. The trail is a 1 person wide dirt trail with no barriers and minimal markers. I’m scared of heights and the trail made me uncomfortable at times when it was steep and if I fell I felt like it would be to my death of tumbling down the rocky side with minimal to no shrubs to stop my fall. Other areas of the trail were fine. As we got closer to the waterfalls, there was more shade and trees but larger rocks we had to climb over. We got to a point that we weren’t sure if we were on the right track as there wasn’t a distinct trail to follow nor markers, but then we would randomly find a ribbon on a branch.
At the end of the trail are the waterfalls, they are awesome. I would recommend to bring a swimsuit and a towel, freezing water but a great way to cool off. To get to the top waterfall you have to climb the rocks which are smooth and steep and only have a rope to help you up. Bring good gripping shoes and gloves (if you’re hands are on the sensitive side).
CAUTION!!!
So this trail is completely do able, but be SAFE. On our way we ran into a group in which one of the guys broke his leg and since there’s no signal, they had to carry him back to the car (in which there is still no signal in the parking lot and only signal after an hour drive back towards the highway). If you have a radio, I would recommend to bring a radio with you so you can call for help incase. The man broke his leg going down the old trail in which the rope was removed to prevent people from going down, sever accidents will entail if you try this. Do not rush down the ropes at the waterfall, I saw someone loose balance and almost flew into the tree and stones and would’ve broken his back or head if it wasn’t for his friend saving him from falling to his death. Like I said, be safe, go prepared, don’t be stupid, and you’ll survive without any issues.

Definitely not a summer afternoon hike. VERY hot with very little shade. I took 4L and it was barely enough. Great hike otherwise. The best part was the rock formations towards the end, so push through to the peak and you’ll be rewarded.

Hiking boots, 3 liters of water, hat, and snacks are a good idea. You should be prepared doing this hike. It's very hot, lack of shade, loose trail, unstable ground. This is not a place for kids or dogs. The ground is 110 degrees so this could kill your pup. We had to carry a dog off the mountain before. Lots of dogs die hiking in the heat.
This is one of my favorite hikes. The new trail is as a lot easier, but I prefer the original route with the ropes. There is a total of 5 ropes to help you up and down the steep ledges. I bring gloves because it is rough on my hands.

Beautiful views. Make sure to purchase a permit. One permit for 5 people. Bring plenty of water and food. Don't forget your hat and sunscreen lotion because there are no shades. It was easy on the way down to the water fall. Yet, on the way back was a challenging. There was a little snake in the water. Be careful. I was there last week, July 1st.

I am just starting to hike and agree it is a moderate hike. Only downside was the heat, can get really hot so make sure you take lots of water and are hydrated before. On our way down to waterfall sun was out so I was pretty drained getting there, but on our way back up sun wasn't as strong and I was able to make it up easily. Took us a little under 2 hours both ways. Good hike overall.

on Big Laguna Trail

1 month ago

If you want to smell pines, this is it!

Started out at the entrance by Campsite and headed to the other end of sunrise highway.

You can pick up more trails to add elevation and mileage to make this “moderate”. You are above 5000ft above sea level - very temperate weather.

Make sure to download maps - cell signal is non-existent.

hiking
1 month ago

i love the laguna area. especially this pct stretch up there. no where else in the county you can get the full appreciation of forested green mountain tops, with sweeping panoramic views tailing into the desert. go during a high pressure system because you can see clear across the salton sea to the chocolate mountains east of he city of pope. bring water and food, shelter too because you may not want to come down from there.

March 26th 2018 the waterfalls were flowing and gorgeous everything green and birds are chirping

Didn’t get to the falls (couldn’t get a $10 permit) but nice hike nonetheless

This is definitely one of my favorite hikes. The scenery was amazing and the views were beautiful. You are basically surrounded by wildlife (cows, wild turkeys, even saw some coyotes..) the hike itself was very relaxing although there was a section where the incline was quite challlenging..

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Took my kite with me to fly at the peak. Beautiful location. No shade so hat is recommended.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this hike! Good amount of parking, scenic mountains on the way down and decent work out on the way back. Wear a bathing suit and pack a lunch and hang near the water for a bit. I swam before hiking back to help beat the heat. There is zero shade besides down by the water so be smart. I went last week and there really was just a trickle vs a waterfall but definitely still worth the hike. Oh and get your permit - they checked mine at the tent before entering and then again after I had already done ~2 miles.

Beautiful views!

I'm a newbie when it comes to hiking but this is my favorite trail so far. We took the old way to the waterfalls because we thought there would be ropes going down the hill but I guess they took most of the ropes off. We were still able to navigate it though. I really navigating through the rocks and streams but you could tell that few people had gone through the old trail. on the way back we took the newer trail which seemed safer but not as fun. Bring lots of water just in case. it can get hot really fast.

Great hike, do not do this hike on a hot day.

Great hike! Make sure to bring lots of water. Definitely use the ropes to climb up to the next waterfall. You will be glad you did!

hiking
2 months ago

We took about an hour hiking up and what a view!! Well worth the walk. It was a bit rocky once the grade began, but nothing onerous. Take plenty of water!

Warning: several hikers have died of heatstroke here. There's almost no shade. it gets hot.

Not many bugs. That's about as far as it goes for good points. This unremitting slog down to an unremarkable falls, followed by an even less remarkable slog back up the exact same trail you just walked down, is free of agreeable views, shade, or, really, any reason to set foot on it. I don't know who built it, and I really don't know why, but I'd like my afternoon back please. Negative 1.21 Gigastars.

Skip It.

This hike was beautiful. Slightly better than Santa Ysabel West and with more variation in terrain. A good trail to hike if you don’t want to see many people. Great for enjoying the beauty of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, wildflowers etc. One of my favorite San Diego county hikes.

Long drive, very nice hike. The forest service has cut a new trail that delivers you to middle sister. Please use this and not the old "trail". I.e. don't cross the pink line across the edge of trail. Those random routes straight down the slope have caused a scar that will take a decade or more to recover IF it remains unused and people don't cause more erosion. When on the new trail, as you get near the falls/stream bed the trail becomes difficult to follow. Look for pink ribbons tied on shrubs that indicate trail. I climbed to middle fall (rope is there but not necessary). Good swimming in that one. Stream is still moving but just barely above a dribble really.

Please at least pack out everything you bring in. If you can pick up something and leave it cleaner than you found it! I found a pile of trash hidden behind a tree. Packed them out too:)

Beautiful hike!! But be aware that you need a permit. They have a tent pitched at the trailhead and wont let you go past without one. The way down was easy, but the way back up was tougher. Its not steep, but if its hot the granite makes it extremely hot and there is no shade. Bring a gallon per person, youll definitely need it. The water was trickling today, but there was a decent amount in the pool. It looked too stagnant to swim in, but people were in there anyway. Id definitely do it again, or try the two trails that branch from the north and south.

Loved this hike. Seems easier than Cedar Creek. The water level was low and we didn’t climb to the top falls, but it was beautiful!

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