Quantcast
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

Hike the gently rising Pine Mountain Trail in the Laguna Mountains.

The Pine Mountain Trail, the newest designated trail in the Laguna Mountains, invites your attention this verdant and merry month of May. Spring rainfall in our local mountains, abnormally extending to as recently as last weekend, has kept the area greener than usual. This week or next marks the peak in the blossoming cycle of several chaparral species, especially ceanothus, alias "wild lilac," which grows abundantly along this trail. By June, the days are likely to turn too warm and dry, so try to go now.

The five-mile looping route outlined here traces the nearly three miles of the Pine Mountain Trail -- crooked in direction but never steep -- and returns in a more direct fashion by way of a segment of the older Indian Creek Trail. The entire route is suitable for hikers, horses, and mountain bikers, with perhaps bikes being more popular than the rest.

Begin hiking or riding at the entrance to Pioneer Mail Trailhead/Picnic Area, mile 29.3 on Sunrise Highway, approximately 16 miles north of Interstate 8. On foot, cross Sunrise Highway and pick up an unsigned path on the right. The highway is immediately to your right in the beginning, then the trail veers left up a slope and begins climbing via zigs and zags along the rounded flank of Pine Mountain -- so named for the fringe of Jeffrey pines along its flattish summit.

You'll approach those pines but never quite reach them as you begin a steady descent south to a junction with Indian Creek Trail, a popular connecting trail for those traveling between the Lagunas and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. A 0.2-mile-long spur trail goes south from the junction to a patch of higher ground offering a view of rolling chaparral and pine-covered slopes as far as the eye can see.

Next, go east on Indian Creek Trail, negotiating a steady downhill grade (challenging for bikes at any rate) to a glade of tall green grass along upper Indian Creek. Perhaps a trickle of water remains in the creek itself, but probably not for long this season. To return to the starting point most expeditiously, back up a couple hundred feet on the Indian Creek Trail and follow old wheel tracks north across a slope, staying well to the left of the course of the creek. The wheel tracks soon become an eroded former jeep road climbing steeply. The grade eases after a few minutes and you enter a delightful meadow, fringed with stately pines. Simply maintain the same direction, right up the axis of the meadow, during the remaining mile of travel.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Ocean Beach trash altruist

Cameron Reid covers Niagara and Narragansett, Sunset Cliffs to Abbott.

The Pine Mountain Trail, the newest designated trail in the Laguna Mountains, invites your attention this verdant and merry month of May. Spring rainfall in our local mountains, abnormally extending to as recently as last weekend, has kept the area greener than usual. This week or next marks the peak in the blossoming cycle of several chaparral species, especially ceanothus, alias "wild lilac," which grows abundantly along this trail. By June, the days are likely to turn too warm and dry, so try to go now.

The five-mile looping route outlined here traces the nearly three miles of the Pine Mountain Trail -- crooked in direction but never steep -- and returns in a more direct fashion by way of a segment of the older Indian Creek Trail. The entire route is suitable for hikers, horses, and mountain bikers, with perhaps bikes being more popular than the rest.

Begin hiking or riding at the entrance to Pioneer Mail Trailhead/Picnic Area, mile 29.3 on Sunrise Highway, approximately 16 miles north of Interstate 8. On foot, cross Sunrise Highway and pick up an unsigned path on the right. The highway is immediately to your right in the beginning, then the trail veers left up a slope and begins climbing via zigs and zags along the rounded flank of Pine Mountain -- so named for the fringe of Jeffrey pines along its flattish summit.

You'll approach those pines but never quite reach them as you begin a steady descent south to a junction with Indian Creek Trail, a popular connecting trail for those traveling between the Lagunas and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. A 0.2-mile-long spur trail goes south from the junction to a patch of higher ground offering a view of rolling chaparral and pine-covered slopes as far as the eye can see.

Next, go east on Indian Creek Trail, negotiating a steady downhill grade (challenging for bikes at any rate) to a glade of tall green grass along upper Indian Creek. Perhaps a trickle of water remains in the creek itself, but probably not for long this season. To return to the starting point most expeditiously, back up a couple hundred feet on the Indian Creek Trail and follow old wheel tracks north across a slope, staying well to the left of the course of the creek. The wheel tracks soon become an eroded former jeep road climbing steeply. The grade eases after a few minutes and you enter a delightful meadow, fringed with stately pines. Simply maintain the same direction, right up the axis of the meadow, during the remaining mile of travel.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tacos Lily: good enough for Anthony Bourdain!

I raise my Tecate to the Master.
Next Article

North Park – the prime quartier

30th Street parking, Georgia Street bridge, PSA crash, water tower, North Park Main Street
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close