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 Wooded Hill in the Laguna Mountains for a look at late-blooming wildflowers

From a clearing just below the summit of Wooded Hill (the highest wooded promontory in the Laguna Mountains), a spacious panorama of two nations unfolds. The blue, south horizon lies somewhere in Mexico, and your gaze may encompass a hundred-mile stretch of borderland. On the right, where the mountains spill into the often-foggy marine layer, mesa-like Table Mountain heaves its broad shoulders over the opaque blanket concealing Tijuana and San Diego.

When strong Santa Ana winds arrive next fall, sweeping away the coastal smog and fog for periods of a day or two, the view from Wooded Hill may broaden to include coastal landmarks such as Point Loma, the Coronado Islands, and San Clemente Island (more than 100 miles to the west).

Right now, Wooded Hill's main appeal is its springtime appearance, a month or more behind schedule due to the late rains and abnormally cool weather of the past spring season. Late-blooming wildflowers are putting on an excellent show at this 6000-foot elevation.

From San Diego, to reach the trail to Wooded Hill's rounded summit, drive east on Interstate 8 to the first exit beyond Pine Valley, signed "Sunrise Highway." Follow Sunrise Highway north for about 8 miles, eyeing the green mile-marker signs posted every half mile. Turn left after you reach marker 21.5 on the narrow Old County Road, a surviving segment of the original access road into the Lagunas. Continue 0.3 mile to a small parking lot on the left, for users of the Wooded Hill Nature Trail. An interpretive booklet for the trail (and for other nearby trails) may be obtained at the visitors' information office, 2 miles farther up Sunrise Highway in the small community of Mount Laguna.

The less-than-direct figure-eight path of the nature trail takes you 1.5 miles through the typical Jeffrey pine/black oak forest of the higher Lagunas. As you approach Wooded Hill's summit, notice the four smallish observatory domes poking up like white thumbnails on the ridge to the south. They are part of Mount Laguna Observatory -- San Diego State University's off-campus site for astronomical research and instruction. A planned fifth telescope, a 100-inch reflector (half the diameter of the Palomar giant), is in the planning stages.

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

Previous article

Mikkeller Global taps San Diego as the site for its 15-year anniversary celebration

20 breweries, 70 brews at Mikkeller's 15th anniversary
Next Article

See's chocolates vs. Whitman's, how they make round M&Ms

East Coast vs. West Coast butter, why Rice Krispies makes its sound, jalapeno peppers' heat, the truth of Heinz's 57 varieties

From a clearing just below the summit of Wooded Hill (the highest wooded promontory in the Laguna Mountains), a spacious panorama of two nations unfolds. The blue, south horizon lies somewhere in Mexico, and your gaze may encompass a hundred-mile stretch of borderland. On the right, where the mountains spill into the often-foggy marine layer, mesa-like Table Mountain heaves its broad shoulders over the opaque blanket concealing Tijuana and San Diego.

When strong Santa Ana winds arrive next fall, sweeping away the coastal smog and fog for periods of a day or two, the view from Wooded Hill may broaden to include coastal landmarks such as Point Loma, the Coronado Islands, and San Clemente Island (more than 100 miles to the west).

Right now, Wooded Hill's main appeal is its springtime appearance, a month or more behind schedule due to the late rains and abnormally cool weather of the past spring season. Late-blooming wildflowers are putting on an excellent show at this 6000-foot elevation.

From San Diego, to reach the trail to Wooded Hill's rounded summit, drive east on Interstate 8 to the first exit beyond Pine Valley, signed "Sunrise Highway." Follow Sunrise Highway north for about 8 miles, eyeing the green mile-marker signs posted every half mile. Turn left after you reach marker 21.5 on the narrow Old County Road, a surviving segment of the original access road into the Lagunas. Continue 0.3 mile to a small parking lot on the left, for users of the Wooded Hill Nature Trail. An interpretive booklet for the trail (and for other nearby trails) may be obtained at the visitors' information office, 2 miles farther up Sunrise Highway in the small community of Mount Laguna.

The less-than-direct figure-eight path of the nature trail takes you 1.5 miles through the typical Jeffrey pine/black oak forest of the higher Lagunas. As you approach Wooded Hill's summit, notice the four smallish observatory domes poking up like white thumbnails on the ridge to the south. They are part of Mount Laguna Observatory -- San Diego State University's off-campus site for astronomical research and instruction. A planned fifth telescope, a 100-inch reflector (half the diameter of the Palomar giant), is in the planning stages.

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

Skateboarding toward a musical horizon

Urethane, the Lyrics, Belladon, Plosivs, Stephen Bishop
Next Article

Tony Bennett’s first and last dramatic performance

Why is it called The Oscar?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town 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 Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves 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 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