Garnet Peak Trail

EASY 178 reviews
#8 of 121 trails in

Garnet Peak Trail is a 2.2 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
2.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
492 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
17 days ago

A great hike for the early morning. The views are spectacular. You'll meet only a few people along the trail. I went on Labor day and only saw about 6 people. I started the hike at 7am and had the summit all to myself for a good 45 minutes. There is loose rock along the trail so good hiking shoes are a must. There is no parking pass needed, just park right in front of the trail head on the side of the road which has a metal bar across it. Dogs are allowed so pack up your pup and have an adventure. The morning sunrise makes it so that you're in the shade on the way up, but definitely take a hat and plenty of water in warm months because there is NO shade whatsoever when the sun's out.

It was a very nice, relatively quick hike, and the views at the top were very impressive. I would point out that the trail has potentially-ankle-twisting loose rocks in the final half-mile towards the top. Given that, my family rates the first half easy and the second half moderate. Great time nonetheless.

1 month ago

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.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

Beautiful views!

hiking
3 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!

hiking
4 months ago

I stumbled upon this trail by accident and am glad I did. The view at the top is incredible and the trail itself is very quiet. It’s windy at the top so bring a lightweight jacket.

hiking
5 months ago

absolutely stunning hike!! didn’t pass a single person on the trail. very very rocky. don’t take dog unless they can climb up some smaller rocks and have tough pads. view at the top is incredible make sure u go up as far as u can go!

6 months ago

Good trail. Nice and quiet.

6 months ago

Did it at sunrise and completely worth it, even with sub 20F temperatures. A great hike and beautiful view!

hiking
8 months ago

hiked it while it was snowing.

the clouds cleared away to reveal the desert floor below, the sun peaked slightly out of the clouds, and snow was still falling.

can the timing get any better than that? 6/5 stars.

8 months ago

The trail is rocky, but worth the effort.

hiking
8 months ago

Headed up Garnet Peak from Penny Pines. Beautiful addition and the view from the top was unbeatable. Great view of the Salton Sea. Warning: it’s pretty breezy up top.

hiking
8 months ago

I live in South San Diego, close to San Ysidro area so this was a drive for me. Awesome first hike of 2018! It was chilly, check the weather before driving here. The view is amaaaazing! Easy trail with a bit of incline at the last half mile or so.

8 months ago

Great views on a full moon!! If you're looking for a easy stroll with stunning views at the end this hike is for you!

8 months ago

Very nice views but not much of hike tbh. I’d say go out there though.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views the whole way!

hiking
8 months ago

Easy trail with great views as the payoff!

8 months ago

So so. Lots of wind and cobble on trail.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing for sunrise. Would do it again but would go via the PCT to make the hike longer. Super windy on top today [12/25/17] but climbed down behind some rocks to get out of the wind to sit and enjoy the sunrise.

9 months ago

One of the best views in San Diego. Wow

10 months ago

The sunrise is unbelievable

10 months 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
11 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
Monday, September 25, 2017

loose rocks! fun short hike with amazing views!

hiking
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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.

Monday, August 21, 2017

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

Load More