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Spy distant mountains and look down on the desert floor from Foster Point in the Laguna Mountains.

Hike out to Foster Point in the Laguna Mountains for a great view of the desert floor from a mile-high elevation, and also for a chance to enjoy peace and solitude. Until fairly recently (due to vandalism), a direction finder constructed by the Sierra Club stood here, pointing the way to most of the notable peaks of Southern California. Nevertheless, the view is excellent -- especially an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset, when the low-angle sun casts sensual shadows across the rumpled near and far landscape.

Park opposite the entrance to Horse Heaven Group Camp at mile 25.7 on Sunrise Highway (2.5 miles north of the "village" of Mount Laguna). You'll need to post a National Forest Adventure Pass, available back in the village, on your car for the privilege of roadside parking.

Walk up the vague remnants of an old jeep road going east into a gently sloping forested area known as Flathead Flats. After about 0.2 mile, curve left (north) and you'll soon come upon the narrow but well-defined tread of the Pacific Crest Trail (remember this spot -- you'll be returning the same way). Continue north on the Pacific Crest Trail through oaks and pines another 0.2 mile.

At this point the forest cover abruptly ends, and dense chaparral begins. Walk 50 yards past the last of the small Jeffrey pine trees, and you'll find a little trail to the right, marked by a "Foster Point" sign. The narrow path goes about 100 yards through waist-high manzanita, ceanothus, and chamise to a rounded knob.

Monument Peak and its supporting ridgeline cuts off the distant view to the east and the south, but the panorama from north to northeast is excellent. The most distant and highest peak in view, San Gorgonio Mountain (11,500 feet elevation) in the San Bernardino Mountains, lies 85 miles north. If you know the way to Foster Point well, try coming up here on a moonlit night, when the desert below glows ghostly white. This weekend's waxing, three-quarters-lit moon high in the evening sky is perfect for this.

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Hike out to Foster Point in the Laguna Mountains for a great view of the desert floor from a mile-high elevation, and also for a chance to enjoy peace and solitude. Until fairly recently (due to vandalism), a direction finder constructed by the Sierra Club stood here, pointing the way to most of the notable peaks of Southern California. Nevertheless, the view is excellent -- especially an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset, when the low-angle sun casts sensual shadows across the rumpled near and far landscape.

Park opposite the entrance to Horse Heaven Group Camp at mile 25.7 on Sunrise Highway (2.5 miles north of the "village" of Mount Laguna). You'll need to post a National Forest Adventure Pass, available back in the village, on your car for the privilege of roadside parking.

Walk up the vague remnants of an old jeep road going east into a gently sloping forested area known as Flathead Flats. After about 0.2 mile, curve left (north) and you'll soon come upon the narrow but well-defined tread of the Pacific Crest Trail (remember this spot -- you'll be returning the same way). Continue north on the Pacific Crest Trail through oaks and pines another 0.2 mile.

At this point the forest cover abruptly ends, and dense chaparral begins. Walk 50 yards past the last of the small Jeffrey pine trees, and you'll find a little trail to the right, marked by a "Foster Point" sign. The narrow path goes about 100 yards through waist-high manzanita, ceanothus, and chamise to a rounded knob.

Monument Peak and its supporting ridgeline cuts off the distant view to the east and the south, but the panorama from north to northeast is excellent. The most distant and highest peak in view, San Gorgonio Mountain (11,500 feet elevation) in the San Bernardino Mountains, lies 85 miles north. If you know the way to Foster Point well, try coming up here on a moonlit night, when the desert below glows ghostly white. This weekend's waxing, three-quarters-lit moon high in the evening sky is perfect for this.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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