Monument Peak Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#26 of 149 trails in

Monument Peak Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Laguna, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.4 miles Elevation Gain: 616 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers

1 day ago

I’m short and out of shape and this was difficult for me. Fairly constant incline. Great views at the top. A little overgrown in spots so I’d recommend long pants. At the big split, about half way up, before it gets really steep stay to the right heading towards the radio towers on the next peak over. If you go left there is hardly any trail to follow and it’s a straight vertical climb.

6 days ago

top half a little rough. not much shade. bottom half was good. overall a good hike.

1 month ago

2 months ago

Started from the Desert View picnic area (Bring your national forest pass hang tag) which added about 2 miles total along the PCT. PCT was partially shaded and had lots of flowers in mid June. Unmarked narrow trail to the peak had dense Manzanita bushes to about 6 feet. Long pants and sleeves helped reduce scratches. View from the top was amazing, slightly diminished by the many radio towers. Returned along the same route for a grand total of 5 miles or so. Generally easy hike.

very overgrown in spots. not well marked.

4 months ago

Lots of wasps - got stung.

5 months ago

I would say this was easy. The trail is easy to follow and most of the grade wasn't bad at all. I followed what I thought was the trail after the first fenced area but it leads straight to an area with a big Do Not Enter sign on the other side. After the first fenced area just take the road all the way to the very top. The views are great but I kind of preferred the view from Hayes Peak, just to the west, better. It's an easy hike to both peaks though and should only take a couple of hours at most.

6 months ago

9 months ago

Awesome trail with a spectacular out of this world view! I liked the start of the trail which was different compared to other trails in San Diego. The incline was a nice little work out too! Definitely would do again!

10 months ago

Not at all a strenuous hike (a 65+ year-old fellow hiker reiterated this as she kindly gave me directions), but absolutely gorgeous views at almost all points on the trail. There are towers all over the top of Monument Peak, but I think they contrast natural and man-made beauty well. Not much hiking traffic, despite being a holiday weekend.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

This is a trail less traveled compared to others around the area. It’s cool because it’s like Forrest hiking. Once you get off the PCT it does get narrow and lots of manzanita bushes. Looking at the antenas on top is a turn off but the views are pretty damn good. Comfortable hike.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fun little hike. Once you get past the PCT trail and on to the main trail up to Monument Peak it can get very narrow with overgrown hedges. I would suggest wearing pants and something long sleeved that you would mind getting hung or brushed up against some branches. Otherwise, a very good time. View from the top is great. Rated moderate, but I would call this an easy one.

Friday, October 27, 2017

we started on a trail head half a mile upnon the road. great view on top. you need adventure pass to park your car within Laguna recreation area.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beautiful trail located in the Cleveland National Forest that takes you on PCT for a short period. Only negative is the radio towers and structures located on the peak. Otherwise excellent hike that can be completed by beginners. Don't get lost though, the trail does not have the clearest markings.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The summit view is superb in every direction. Picked this trip based on its description in "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" which mentions the key route-finding tip (for those without GPS), to begin counting your steps when you turn north onto the PCT from the Big Laguna Trail, and at about 800 steps, after you see the antennas on the peak, continue straight (east) when the PCT zigs hard left.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Good hike for a quick afternoon. Great payoff at the ridge with amazing views of the desert. Not much shade half way to to the turn around point. Easy to miss the turn off the Pacific Crest Trail, so pay attention or do your research. Dogs loved the hike. Some wildlife- a few turkey, a fox and. A lot of birds.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Beautiful view

Monday, March 13, 2017

Beautiful view!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fun place to walk around and hike. Not far from Laguna and Desert view.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Did Monument & Hayes peak from the PCT, about 5.5 miles. Gorgeous weather, great views. Trail was confusing in some intersecting trail spots, be sure to do your research before you go! This is the guide I followed and it was spot on:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fun hike with my wife, most of the trail is a service road. Great views and wonderful pines along the way.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

This is a Sierra Club HPS trail, and is on the San Diego Hundred Peaks list. It is the third highest accessible peak in all of San Diego County (6,271 feet), after Hot Springs Mountain (6,535 feet) and Cuyamaca Peak (6,512 feet). Using Google Maps, you can find the trailhead by entering the GPS coordinates 32°53'08.2"N 116°25'57.7"W. This trailhead is called the "Big Laguna Trail". You'll follow this trail until 32°53'17.0"N 116°25'33.5"W at which point you'll turn left. At 32°53'30.5"N 116°25'32.6"W the PCT will turn left but you'll want to go strait through some bushes, and then the trail will turn a little bit rocky as you climb toward the fenced-in trailers. At the trailers you'll turn left and walk around the fence until you get to the road. Turn left and follow the road to the top of the mountain. At the peak you will see nice views of the Desert. Not a long hike, or a particularly difficult one, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in finding new peaks to climb, but I would rank it 4-stars because other peaks in this area are superior.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fun hike to the summit. The view is amazing. Do this short hike and see the view.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sweet views.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Excellent view of the dessert to the east and mountain ranges to the west. I watched from above as the clouds rolled in from below in the west at sunset. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The views at the top are spectacular. Tall Pines to the west, dry desert to the east. This peak lies on what is known as a ecotone. A boundary between two distinctly different habitats. I used the directions provided here and they got me to a parking area off the shoulder on Sunrise Highway, about mile marker 25. The trailhead has between a barbed wire fence and the trail unmarked. You walk in a northerly direction for about half mile or so through a trail that looks vague in places do to lack of use, apparently. I got this info from a great hiking book called Afoot and Afield San Diego County by Jerry Schad. I downloaded it to my phone for quick reference and it has come in handy when the info here on Alltrails is incomplete or incorrect. You'll walk until you get to another trail that intersects, and it's not marked. Follow it right on you'll be on the Big Laguna trail. Walk about 100 yards until you get to another trail intersection. It's the Pacific Crest trail and you'll follow it left. At the summit is a few radio and microwave antennas. Of interest was a laser target, standing about 6ft tall. I snapped a photo and uploaded it. When at the summit you'll appreciate the beautiful contrast of habitat as you pan around 360 degrees. It was especially windy this day, but very clear providing great views. Scratch another San Diego County peak from the list for me. Next up: Blue Angels peak near Jacumba.

14 days ago

1 month ago

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