“The trail ranges from alpine meadows to big vistas looking down toward the desert.”
— Russell Hobart
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views
Need to Know
Bring sun protection and plenty of water.
This is a good even trail that can be a little loose and sandy.
From the roadside parking lot, head west and jump on the trail. Quickly turn left into the mixed trees and chaparral. Wind around the hill and you'll soon encounter the Filaree Flat Spur
and the Sunset Trail
. Stay left in both cases.
From here, the trail edges an alpine field and eventually Big Laguna Lake. Before you reach the end of the lake, you'll pass the El Prado Spur
to your left. Continue on to the end of the lake to find the Big Laguna Trail Alternate
to your right.
The trail begins to head east here. Continue through a lovely section of open field and tree-covered hills. At this point, you begin to rise steadily. Stay left as you pass the Kemp Spur
and Escondido Spur
From here the trail begins to drop and head more north. The trees grow larger and in sections the forest thicker. Cross the Sunset Highway and, a half mile later, turn left as the trail joins the PCT: Campo to Warner Springs
Now it begins to feel like you have crossed over to the other side of the coastal range. The trees begin to spread out and shrink, and you get good views looking east into the stark desert in the distance.
The trail continues to carve along the edge of a large drop off with big vistas. Eventually the trail mirrors the road and finally returns to the parking lot where you started.