Garnet Peak Trail

EASY 116 reviews
#11 of 105 trails in

Garnet Peak Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pine Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
456 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

14 days ago

One of the best views in San Diego. Wow

1 month ago

The sunrise is unbelievable

1 month ago

It’s an easy but rocky trail, hiking boots might be your best choice. The views from the top are espectacular! Just be careful, there’s not much space up there. I visited today 11/11/17 and definitely be back soon.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice, short hike up to the 9th highest peak (5880ft) in San Diego County (and probably the easiest to access). There are several ways to access the Garnet Peak trail itself. You can get to it from either direction of the Pacific Crest Trail, or you can park at the small pullout about 600ft south of the intersection of S1 (Sunrise Highway) and Pine Creek Road. The trail starts out as fairly level with quite a bit of erosion. In the Fall (October) look for young-of-the-year lizards, including some cool-looking reddish horned lizards. At the intersection with the PCT, the Garnet Peak trails heads upwards to the east, and the trail becomes cobbled and a little more challenging. It's a fairly consistent stair climb up this cobble all the way to the peak itself. The top has very few level spots, but you can nestle in among the rocks - and you'll usually want to because this may be the windiest point in San Diego County. The views out across the Anza Borrego valley floor, all the way to the Salton Sea and beyond, are simply wonderful. I was unable to find a cache, and I'm not sure whether there has ever been one here. The entire hike is brief with an elevation gain of approximately 440ft.

hiking
2 months ago

loose rocks! fun short hike with amazing views!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail. Some of the best views I've seen of the desert from the Mt Laguna. Pretty easy with amazing views and dropoffs. Lots of photo ops.

3 months ago

Short but scenic trail. Steeper than the easy classification would imply, but pretty mild for a "peak" trail.

3 months ago

I would not call this trail easy...very rocky and at times steep. It's a great hike and the view is breathtaking.

hiking
4 months ago

Gorgeous, windy, amazing views.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy but some steep bits. Peak lies right smack on the border dividing Anza Borrego Desert from chaparral of Cleveland Forest.

hiking
5 months ago

The contrast between high alpine environments to the desert way down below is incredible. Easy to find. The hike itself is a nice, easy trail with lots to look at. The silence mixed with the noise of the wind sweeping across the mountain was awesome. If in the summer bring water.

trail running
5 months ago

Quick and fun hike with rewarding views. Adventure pass required for parking (purchased at convenience stores nearby or other outdoor stores like REI).

Watch your step when walking up to the peak, I almost stepped on a Speckled Rattlesnake nestled up alongside the trail. If you do encounter a rattler do not attempt to kill or move it, doing so greatly increases your chances of being bit. They have no interest in biting you unless provoked and are better left alone.

Enjoy the hike!

hiking
5 months ago

This was a great hike! It was really hot and there were a lot of bugs on the way up to to the actual trail head but the incline to the peak wasn't too bad! Lots of interesting reptiles on the way up and the scenery on the peak is unreal! I would recommend this hike on a cooler day or even during sunrise!

6 months ago

It was hot as balls today, do yourself a favor and don't do this when it's hot out. There are only 2 places with shade and it's towards the beginning when you think your going to be ok. I feel like it would have been a lot easier if it were cooler out. The views are amazing, my 4 year old made it up no problem. I didn't see any rattlesnakes but boy did we hear their warnings eeeek!

hiking
6 months ago

Maybe not so kid and dog friendly, but a great hike overall. The views at the top are spectacular, and the wildflowers are plentiful. Would go again sans 7yo child and 13yo dog. Proud of them for finishing, but they are DONE for the day:)

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. We've done it twice - once from Penny Pines (longer, more meandering) and once from the Garnet peak trailhead (further up Sunrise Highway
and a straight shot up and back). Beautiful flowers, birds and vistas but VERY WINDY, especially at the top! We literally couldn't linger up there - we thought we'd be blown away

hiking
7 months ago

We started our hike from the Penney Pines trailhead adding another 2 miles to the hike for a total of 4.4 miles. The Penney Pines trail crosses the PCT and it is so beautiful! Breathtaking views along the trail before you even get to the Garnet Peak Trail. Lots of bright flowers were in full bloom in late April. Chilly and very windy at the top of the peak. My ball cap blew off twice so I put my beanie on instead. We were the only ones at the top and we passed 5 people on the trail. We started the hike around 8:30am. It only took us about an hour to get there from Mission Valley. Some of the best views in San Diego County and it's so peaceful! Starting the hike at Penny Pines was worth it.

7 months ago

Easy and amazing view.

hiking
8 months ago

Sooooo beautiful! Took my dog up here (on-leash only) and although it was short, the views were breathtaking along the entire way.

hiking
8 months ago

The highlight of the Laguna Mountains. A short well maintained hike. One of the best views in all of San Diego.

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