Explore the most popular hiking trails near Campo with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike. Went in a clockwise direction, by starting on the PCT to the Butte then down towards the dam. A little bit of navigating needed when headed down, so be on the lookout for cairns to help lead the way. Nice autumn hike.

I DID IT! Woohoo!

2 months ago

Easy hike, completed without complaint by 4 kids ages 5-10.
Pros - pretty lake, unique rock formations, wide pathway, flat and kid friendly.
Cons - forks in the trail without indication where each path leads, no glamorous ending and the lake had a lot of trash in it.

This hike has some great views but it is not easy! Bring plenty of water but travel light, it’s a long one. I went counter clockwise around the trail, almost missed an arrow made of stones pointing me towards the trail at one point in the left so keep your eyes peeled. Once we made it around the base of the mountain, overlooking the dam, it got pretty unclear where the trail was, but look for the big steel cables and follow that up the side and you’ll find the trail again. Once you’re at the top it’s kind of a free for all since it’s basically just rock and nothing obstructing your path. Enjoy the views!

I'm in awe of every hiker who has completed this trail and everybody who attempts it. You inspire me. This trail looks fantastic from what I have seen on YouTube and what I have heard about it. I wish I could attempt it but it is physically impossible for me to thru hike it due to medical reasons. You all are awesome. Happy trails... ☺

Attempted the loop clockwise, starting down the PCT and then up to the summit. Lots of cairns to help navigate, mostly definitive trail up to the top. Totally epic summit, like walking across a massive rock floor. We trekked north and tried to join the trail that goes down the north side of the mountain down to the lake, but got super lost in a very brushy area. We bushwhacked around and referenced the GPS, but just couldn’t manage to piece it together. We ended up backpedaling and went back to the trailhead the same way we came up. I plan to go back and try to do the loop counterclockwise from the lake road. Highly recommend this hike, very long and grueling journey, but the peak is worth it.

7 months ago

Hiking this trail will change you, in a good way.

Great trail going up to the butte. Well maintained since it is part of the PCT. great views from top of the butte. You can spend hours scrambling around rocks and peaks. However, it is pretty easy to get lost up there. Thank to those whole pile rocks on top of each other to mark the trail. The back side of the loop is crazy intense because it is hard to find the trail. At one point the trail will take you down through a steep side of the mountain that it is so crazy sketchy but, satisfying when it is done. After that, is easier to navigate. But, will recommend going up and down through the PCT. much better. Great hike. Do recommend. Best is you have company to help navigate. Thank you for the gps tracking on this app. I sure used it a lot up there.

I had a great time. The trail was in good shape, the people were nice, & the weather was a little cold (17deg & snow). This is what you get at 7000 feet in February.
The only problem I had with water, was when it froze. I never ran short.
I did get "turned around" for 15 minutes in a snow "whiteout" just before Warner Springs.

8 months ago

Great for kids. The lake had recently killed a bunch of Carp in the lake, so there were 100’s of dead fish along the shore. Perfect for kids to explore and great views overall.

hiked nb from lake morena to scissors crossing. mt laguna is very beautiful with views of the dessrt for miles.

hiked SB from the 8 to the border. it's a nice taste of what southern cali land has to offer to the eyes

I did a small portion of this section from Scissors Crossing(MP72?) for about 6 miles and then back on same trail to my vehicule. Very nice trail with views on the mountains and valley. Expecting to do another portion in few days..wow

I love the freedom of the woods

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Great views of the lake! No steep ups or downs. There is a mountain lion warning at the beginning of the trail so be prepared. Took me 1.5 hrs to complete. Very peaceful and serene, nobody else was on the trail. Be sure to stop in at the ranger station and check out the little museum, awesome.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Life changing.

trail running
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tough hike with scenic views and is lightly trafficked. I extended the distance that was shown here by hiking to the Marine Corp Firefighter Memorial(8 firefighters died in the canyon, 1943). Parking is very straightforward, follow the directions from the app and park in the roundabout dirt lot, no parking pass required.

It is about 7 miles to the memorial and requires that you turn right at Hauser Creek RD when the PCT intersects with it around 4.3 miles. Once you turn right keep going for about 1.7 miles(keeping the creek bed on your left) until you hit a water source 6 miles into the hike (year round, flow observed 7/24/17). The water is flowing and can be filtered and drank.

After this you will continue for 1 mile on a trail that is poorly maintained and may require some bushwhacking. Eventually you should pass an old stone dam on your right, which is also a potential water source. Continue until you see a large stone directly to the right of the trail with a bronze plaque indicating you have arrived at the memorial. This is a turn around point for the 7 mile hike(14 round trip).

Return back the way you came, be prepared for a more difficult hike back up out of the canyon. Take a look at some of the pictures I've attached to see of the hike interests you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Got it class of 2017. Lots of water this year and some great times and views. Got that first 26 miles in on day one too.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

This was a great section of the PCT to hike, but not my favorite section in Southern California. I was out today (July 10) and it was HOT. The description says used March to October but the heat was brutal and I was the only person on the trail. Bring at least 4 liters of water, a hat, and sunscreen if you are going to do this one in the summer. The channel in the canyon was not flowing. There were some remnant and stagnant pools of water you can filter for emergency purposes if need be. I went through about 3500mL of water and did the hike in a little less than 4 hours. It is just over 9 miles round trip. I saw a snake but it wasn't a rattlesnake. Lots of hummingbirds and other birds were out. Cool experience but I'll probably wait until the wet season before going back.

So hot did in 2015 little water.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Awesome trail to hike! Bring big spray but there are some great views!!

off road driving
Monday, May 01, 2017

Me and My hubby "Pete" had a great time.. Took our Jeep and our dog, Suki.. Off the city Roads .. Had lots of FUN!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

If you don't have 5-6 months to take off to thru hike the entire PCT then do it on the weekends. There are numerous side hikes and peaks to bag along the way. Anyone can hike this trail. It's very well maintained and marked. There are no really strenuous climbs or descents.. You have no excuses. Find a partner and do this. You'll be so glad you did!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Camping here was amazing. A chorus of frogs all night long. The trail map is wrong and so is the milage down into the canyon from Campo. It's roughly 4.5 miles one way, 9 miles round trip. I highly recommend taking the bonus hike up to the top of Morena Butte for spectacular views.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Did this first "Section A" with a friend who is thru-hiking the whole PCT. What an amazing trip this year. There has been a lot of rain in the region this winter / spring which has led to water where we haven't seen it in years and beautiful blooms throughout the desert.

We did the 114 miles in total after making a couple side trips to get milkshakes (by Lake Morena) and stopping in Laguna for fuel. Across 6 days, this was a fairly challenging hike. On day one we stopped at Lake Morena for water and then moved on and stayed at Boulder Oak Campground the first night which was nice and quiet. Stayed at Laguna Campground the second night which had nice bathrooms and made a good water stop. From there we went to Scissors Crossing which had a nice water cache, but was quite the wind tunnel. It was also in a flash flood area. I would recommend camping elsewhere if you can and simply stop here for the cache. Next we stayed at the 3rd Gate Water Cache which had some good camping spots. We took one secluded one down in the valley after hiking down to the water cache which is .9 miles from the 3rd gate. Finally, we stayed in Barrel Springs before hiking the last 8 miles out. We took another campsite in the far back after the water spigot. This was another good spot that I would recommend staying.

Being familiar with the area, we covered our bodies completely to stay out of the sun. Between that and starting just at sunrise and then camping under a tarp between 11am and 2-3pm and hiking again until 6, meant that we were able to stay cool and fresh enough to get good miles in and make good use of water. Highly recommend this tactic through the desert. We saw a lot of sun-burnt and exhausted people on our way through.

If you're hiking through, make the extra stop in Julian and get some free apple pie which they offer to hikers on the PCT!

Monday, April 10, 2017

I'm 65 and together with my 28 y.o. son hiked from PCT Southern Terminus to Kitchen Creek Rd March 26 thru 29, camping night #1 at Hauser Creek and night #2 at Lake Morena. Day #3 we made it to Kitchen Creek Rd but my light- complected son was suffering from severe sunburn, so In the evening, we walked downhill 3 mi. where my other son collected us at I-8. Intend to resume quickly as possible. Much of the trail had been damaged by winter rains. But creeks & streams flowed abundantly.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Nice trail, we hiked 10 miles in total. Definitely would be very hot during summer time but there was a nice river running and a few shady spots. Also runs over the railroad track which is cool! Make sure you have enough water especially during a hot day.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

We hiked in the snow approximately 4 miles. It was spectacular! There was so much snow. Breathtaking but grueling! Must do!!!!

Hitched a ride into Julian within 5 minutes from the scissor crossing. Awesome town.

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