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

Great easy hike, well maintained and marked trail, nice view of Anza Borrego. Picnic area/parking closed to public this day. Parked on street.

this is a great trail, went last weekend and made it into a weekend backpacking with my pup. wasnt bad until it started sleeting and the wind picked up so there was pretty heavy cloud cover.

The most beautiful hike I have taken so far. This loop is real long at around 10.3 miles but you dont have to do the full 10. I finished it all the way and was really glad I did. I took this hike on Jan 5, 2019 it was a rainy and chilly 35 degree day but It felt very nice for me. This is not for beginners there are some steep inclines and danger areas. Also be careful not to get mixed up with other trails in the area it can be confusing at times but if you use the AllTrails Pro version you can easily download the map and use it to navigate even offline. I will deffinetly do this hike again some day.

scenic driving
21 days ago

Very beautiful drive, especially in the snow. It was a very easy drive that any vehicle could do.

Good, short hike. Some parts of the trail are pretty rocky and it’s a bit of an uphill. Still very manageable. Close to sunrise highway and cabins. There are better hikes out there but this is a good one to stretch your legs.

Multiple ways to go on this one.
I ended up doing about 5 miles only but definitely worth it. the forest on one side and the Anzo Borrego Desert on the other - a must see.
The only caution is that some of the trails marked on the map aren't well kept. At one point it felt like i was climbing up a mountain between plans and wherever i could place my foot.

Overall this was a very short hike. I would consider it great for beginners. There is some incline, some mild views (you have to look over the brush and trees when you get to the top), and parking at the start.

When snowing, this could be a great snow hike for those trying to see if snow hiking is for them.

Great hike, rated as moderate but easy, wear durable shoes rocky in some areas. Great views at the top.

1 month ago

Last month when cold

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!

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.

3 months ago

I have done the hike several times. It is a great hike. Full spectrum of high and low desert ecosystems (evergreens, foliage, lakes, plains, desert, etc.). Feels like a little slice of Colorado in San Diego.

Did this hike in late September, 2018. The weather was very cooperative with mostly cloudy skies. I’ve been hiking with a full pack for training and decided to camp in a boulder field at about 6000 feet elevation on the PCT section. There are several small tent sites just below the peak as well as a couple on top. I left my rain fly off and dozed off to the stary skies. Even though it was a Saturday I saw only one group of about 4 or five walk through that evening. What a great experience! After a short 3 mile down grade hike back to my car I enjoyed a great breakfast at the Blue Jay cafe before heading home.

Beautiful hike but don’t go on a hot day, not many trees to hid under. Can’t wait to hike it again in the winter. It was a wonderful backpacking experience to camp on a peak

I did segments of this loop before, but this time I completed the entire hike. I did it counter-clockwise where the elevation rise is more easier. Once, you cross Sunrise Hwy on the east side the view is great, on a clear day you can see the Salton Sea at about the 7 mile point counter-clockwise.

nice little hike

Good hike stayed the night and enjoyed the sunrise

6 months ago

Did this from the Penny Pines trailhead. About 8 miles in total, 4 hours. It was about 89° out, definitely hotter than expected, especially at an altitude where snow falls in the winter. Went through 2L of water easily, should’ve brought 3. Definitely one of the most scenic routes in all of Mount Laguna. I like Garnet Peak a little more because there’s no antennas or buildings, but Monument Peak is definitely a more epic vantage point as it’s a bit higher and more prominent. The sweeping views of the Anza Borrego desert down below are amazing. I look forward to doing this one again in the winter, when the sky is clearer and there’s snow on the ground.

Did the counterclockwise loop, first half is alpine meadows and forest then once you get to the PCT it transitions to desert hills with amazing views of the desert.

What a great hike , talk about a mix up of different terrain around every corner!

You work up a good sweat just enough to keep you awake and feeling good!

5/5 recommended

We height the back Loop of this Trail 12 miles today. Started on the PCT looped all the way around to both Laguna Lakes and back out to Trailhead. Great day with great folks!

Good, steady moderate trail. First half terrain, pure mountains and second half pure high desert. Great views of Anza Borrego and the walk through Laguna meadows is beautiful. Damage from the prior fire very evident in some sections. If your on foot keep an eye out for the mountain bikers... Laguna meadows seems to be a popular trail for them.

8 months ago

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.

We hiked this from Burnt Rancheria campground, which adds on a little - made it right around 7 miles.

9 months ago

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.

I did the BLT > PCT loop, which I highly recommend starting with the BLT. I went towards the Noble Canyon trail, but took a left at the junction instead of continuing to Noble Canyon/Pine Valley. There were several mountain bikers as well. You'll know you're on the right trail when it says "To PCT".

About an hour in, you get to see the Laguna Meadows which was beautiful. I stopped at the Lake to eat my lunch. Getting back onto the trail, I got to a point where there was a fence with an opening in front of me and a mini wooden 5 foot long bridge on my right. I took the right, which lead to the PCT. I believe if you go straight, it leads to the campground.

Note: always follow the signs that says BLT TO PCT. If there isn't a PCT on the sign, don't go that way if you want to do the loop.

There were a couple other times where there was a junction and no sign, so I took out my map (which I uploaded to this page) and my iPhone compass, and easily found the right path.

The BLT is mostly meadows while the PCT is more mountains. The PCT was amazing, and when you reach the first junction on the PCT, you'll see a mountain to your right which you can quickly climb and see the amazing view. I would highly suggest this, it takes about 45 minutes there and back including pictures.

Getting pack onto the PCT, I stopped by Forester Point, which is an awesome spot to take a break and have a snack. Then I got back onto the PCT and finished. I got back around 5 (started at 11:30), and the sun was setting so I didn't get a chance to go up Garnet Peak. If you have another 2 miles in you, I heard it's pretty nice up there.

This took my 5 hours because I took a rather long lunch break at the Laguna Lake and hung out at Forester Point for a bit. The trails are very well kept and not much climbing whatsoever (unless if you are climbing up the mountain on the PCT to take pictures)

Overall, I highly recommend this for an easy 10 mile day hike. Easy as in your quads, butt, hamstrings, won't be on fire since it's a gradual incline. If you want, there are a good amount of camping spots on the PCT portion of the loop.

i dont like too much,

Saturday, January 06, 2018

One of my favorite trails.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

It’s a really pretty area and I love that it passed through a portion of the pct. hike was easy lots of trees and the lookout point had a cool view of where Cleveland national forest turns into desert. I’d go again but maybe vary it by staying on the PCT

Sunday, November 26, 2017

This was one of our favorite hikes we’ve done since moving to San Diego a little over a year ago. Great views, great scenery, and well marked trails. We went in late November so everything was pretty dry but still very beautiful. Took us about 4 hours to complete including a lunch break and frequent water breaks. Overall the hike was not very strenuous at all. The only mildly difficult part was summiting Monument Peak at the beginning of the hike. 10/10 would recommend this hike to anyone looking for a change of scenery from the surrounding desert landscape.

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