San Diego Trails: Pine Mountain Trail

San Diego Trails: Pine Mountain Trail

Pine Mountain Trail really is at the top of the world, or that’s what it feels like anyway, with 360 degrees of amazing views, mountain peaks to the west and the south and unlike many other trails which are pretty hard work before you get to see the incredible views, this one is easy peasy. It’s about 2.5 miles (or a 5 miles round trip) and is pretty much on the edge of the rim all the way, although if you are prepared and download a map of the Cleveland National Forest trails (zoom in on the Pioneer Mail area) you’ll see that there are a few alternatives which can make your adventure that little bit longer if you’re up to it. Take the map and follow the markers which are clearly visible, that should give you some idea.

Pine Mountain Trail

So what can you expect to see on this trail, apart from wonderful 360 degree views? Unfortunately there was a horrific fire in 2003, with some of the tell tale signs still visible, so trees aren’t that plentiful although much of the chaparrel vegetation has fully recovered. There are loads of flowering plants which make the landscape a very colorful place indeed, red, purple, yellow, and blue washes of color look really pretty in the spring and summertime.

The Pine Mountain Trail is in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, in Cleveland National Forest, and your best bet for parking is in the Pioneer Mail equestrian center car park. Take your dog but do keep him on a leash, and enjoy your day. It’s open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

The western end of Pine Mountain Trail in Laguna, with a glimpse of pine trees and lots of yellow sunflowers.


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