This past week Tyler and I decided to check out yet another mountain biking trail. This time we decided to check out Laguna Mountain.
Driving from San Diego it’s about an hour drive, but definitely a drive with a view. The 8 miles leading up to the trail are breathtaking. Driving along the side of the mountain you can see the vast landscape of Southern California. The mountains have a more alpine feel that other parts of California. This made me feel like I was back in Michigan. Here are some of the views along the way!
Am I right, breathtaking! It was a little cloudy so some of the pictures turned out better than others. Along the road there are some turnoff points all with view like this if not more stunning.
Once you reach the top of the mountain it almost plateaus out. Besides hiking and mountain biking trails there are also some very beautiful camping areas. You can rent both cabins and campsites. I definitely will come back to do a weekend camping getaway! There were surprisingly a lot of people out there camping and hiking around the trails. Besides civilians camping there were several military men we spotted doing some sort of outdoor training.
One of the great features of this area is the numerous trails it offers. They all connect and have ever skill levels. Sunset Highway is the main road that you would take to get to your trailhead (or campsite). Along the way there is Laguna Mt. Lodge and Post Office. This is one of the coolest buildings, it has a cabin feel and has a very friendly owner. This is where we purchased our water, a map, and a few snacks.
The man working the Lodge recommended that we take a different trail then the one we originally had planned for (this I was truly grateful for)! The trail we had initially planned on biking, was actually a one way path (not a loop). If we took this trail we would have gone about 20 miles down the mountain and then have to bike the 20 miles back up (aka sleep out there since we would have run out of sunlight).
After getting our goodies we headed about 3 miles north to the Horse Heaven Group Camps. There wasn’t much parking in this area so we backtracked just a little to a open parking area by the Big Laguna Trailhead (my favorite). We started on the Big Laguna Trail which took us into the Laguna Meadows! This area is an open space and is so beautiful and I could have just biked around this area the whole time!
We biked around the meadow and somehow we made our way to Noble Canyon Trail (this is the single trail that is not a loop…yes, we still managed to find it). We went down the trail for about 3 miles then decided to take a look at the map. We realized we would have to turn back soon since the sun would set in about an hour and a half. This is when I started to get a little nervous we might not make it back in time. We didn’t think to bring lights, which we definitely will next time just in case!
After biking 12 miles (total) we made it back to Big Laguna Trail. Hard part was over now we just had to make it back to the car. So biking as fast as we could (my legs already felt like jello) we made it back to the car! Hallelujah! Getting off my bike I felt like I had just ran a marathon or did the Iceman Challenge (a 29 Mountain bike race in Traverse City MI in November). Feeling fatigued I took my shoes and socks off to get some relief. We got a little dirty to say the least.
No those are not tan lines, that’s dust and dirt built up on my legs! I am very glad I do not have those tan lines, that would be very sad. Looking at Tyler’s Garmin we had biked a total of 20 miles, climbed about 2,400 feet, descended 2,500 feet, and biked for a total of 3 hours and 30 mins. I did not wear my heart rate monitor, but tyler burned almost 2000 calories. So I probably would be somewhere around there if not a little more (since he is in better shape than myself).
All in all I highly recommend this trail to anyone who wants to get out in nature, breath some fresh air, and see some beautiful landscapes. The drive home isn’t too bad either…