A day in Mount Laguna

Y’all know that whenever we move to a new location we try to really immerse ourselves in the town/community/state…you get the drift. Currently we have a big list of things we want to see or do that are within just a couple hours drive of San Diego — a perfect day trip situation.

Just 50 minutes outside of San Diego (or closer, depending where you live) there is a magical forest called Mount Laguna. And I call it magical because it’s the total opposite of San Diego. There’s cooler temperatures, big towering trees, grassy pastures filled with cattle, and a (very small) lake or two. Wow. I love it.

So a couple weeks ago Michael, Shadow, and myself all hopped into the Jeep and headed out to Mount Laguna. Of course, on the way there we stopped at Vons for some very necessary picnic essentials.

As the drive stretched on I couldn’t help but breathe a HUGE sigh of relief as soon as I saw the first set of pine trees. I could literally feel myself relaxing as the view outside the Jeep window turned from crowded and chaotic suburban bliss to the winding, steep mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE San Diego. I’m grateful to live here — for the 3 or so years that we’ll be here. But the traffic, over-crowded parking lots and neighborhoods, and frantic energy of living in such a congested area starts to wear on you a bit. Especially coming from the overly-friendly Midwest, a land where not only do people let you merge — but they do so with a smile on their face.

Anyways. Mount Laguna takes you away from all that. As soon as I saw the first “beware of cattle on the road” sign I knew we were in for a real treat.

We stopped at the visitor’s center to get a map and ask about dog-friendly trails. The volunteer working there was SO NICE. Very midwesterny.

With the friendly volunteer’s help, we picked a cute trail nearby that would be perfect for Shadow. I swear to God we do everything for our dog. Move to San Diego and live in the city in a nice condo? NOPE. We bought a house in the suburbs so my angel could have a backyard. LOL.

We drove on a dirt road to get to the trailhead which Michael just loved. My poor husband used to have a bona-fide rock crawler Jeep but sold it a couple years ago. Now my stock AF Wrangler is all he has to work with!!! Soon Michael, I promise we will build the dream Jeep.

Oh my gosh guys SORRY this post is so all over the place. Long story short, the hike was awesome. It was a cool meadow hike — if you go to the Mount Laguna geotag on Instagram you’ll probably see it. It’s the big meadow and a lot of people do photoshoots there.

Three miles flew by. It was very serene and quiet. We hardly saw anyone so we went to a small pine clearing and let Shadow off leash. She loved it.

We then drove around the park a bit. It’s very fun to explore. We found an insanely idyllic picnic spot that overlooks the anza-borrego desert (it’s right next door, really) and had the most ideal afternoon. German Shepherd at our feet, fancy cheese spread, and literal trail mix. Wow.

All good things have to come to an end though. We lazily made our way out of the park and even found a fun little “off-roading” trail that we ventured on for a bit.

IN CONCLUSION: mount laguna is awesome. a reallyyyy nice breath of fresh air (pun definitely intended) and I can’t wait to go back!

If you’ve been to Mount Laguna, LMK! Talk to y’all later. Xx.




  1. Susan Steele
    July 9, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    Sounds like such a breath of fresh air!

    • Kathryn
      July 19, 2018 / 5:51 am

      it was amazing 🙂

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