Garnet Peak Trail is a hiking and horse trail in San Diego County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 5,387 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 528 feet. The Garnet Peak Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. The trail ends near Garnet Peak (elevation 5,899 feet).
Garnet Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Although Garnet Peak isn’t the highest peaklet along the edge of the Lagunas’ eastern escarpment, its exposed position makes it a good place to view both the pine-clad plateau and the raw desert below. If you’re particularly adventurous, you might try a predawn pilgrimage to observe the sunrise from its summit. Around the time of the winter solstice, the sun’s flattened disk peeps up over the desert wastes of northwestern Sonora, Mexico, some 150 miles away. On the clearest mornings at that time of year, you might witness the famed “green flash,” an event occasionally seen on the horizon at sunset from San Diego’s coast but seldom seen at sunrise."
--Jerry Schad, Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press).
"This is one of the most picturesque and beautiful regions in Southern California. The austere scenery is stark and desolate to be certain, but there is an underlying elegance to its openness and the vast immeasurable distances that spread out below the peak. Nothing but the wind touches this thick chaparral-filled plateau. The silence coupled with the song of the currents creates a natural lucidity that engages the spirit and forges a connection with the barren landscape. From the apex, the view is staggering: an entire swath of Southern California can be seen, from the Salton Sea to the Herculean summits of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. The dome of the Palomar Observatory is conspicuous to the north; to the west and south, the entire Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area appear. This may be the best view in all of San Diego County."
--Allen Riedel, 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
"The summit of Garnet Peak will send shivers of joy down your spine, and, if the weather is clear, might offer the most spectacular views in San Diego County. Reach the trailhead before dawn for a sublime experience on the summit. Don’t forget a jacket on this hike—the summit can be cold."
--Sean O'Brien, Best Easy Day Hikes: San Diego (Falcon Guides).
"Although Garnet Peak isn’t the highest peaklet along the Laguna Mountain rim, its exposed position makes it a good place to view both the pine-clad Laguna plateau and the raw desert below. Especially rewarding is a predawn pilgrimage to observe the sunrise from its summit. Around the winter solstice, the sun’s flattened disk peeps up over the desert wastes of northwestern Sonora, Mexico, some 150 miles away."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"Garnet Peak is an easy introduction to the pleasures of Laguna Mountain National Recreation Area."
--David Money Harris, Day and Section Hikes: Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California (Wilderness Press).
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