Garnet Mountain is a small bump along the Laguna Mountain ridgline that drops down to the Anza Borrego Desert. The peak is extremely easy so it is best to combine it with ascents of other local peaks like, Garnet Peak
, Monument Peak
, Sheephead Mountain
, and Cuyapaipe Mountain
. Garnet Mountain is on the Hundred Peaks list of the Sierra Club. For a longer route the Pacific Crest Trail runs right through the entire ridgeline and would make for some scenic hiking.
Take I-5 south to SR 78 in San Diego County. Go east on SR 78 through Escondido to the junction with SR 79 just past the town of Julian. Turn right (south) on SR 79. Go 6 miles to the junction with Sunrise Highway (S1) on the left. Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
At 7.4 miles (after mile marker 30.4), a paved road on the left with a sign "Kwaaymii Point". Turn left. Drive 0.3 mile on this road to its end. Park here (Taken from the Hundred Peaks directions).
From the Los Angeles area it is around 150 miles one way. SR 76 is the main road you would take from the I-15. Take SR 76 east to the 79 junction, go right onto SR 79. After about 7 miles you reach SR 78, take this to Julian and contniue as above.
From the parking area walk about back up the paved road to the gated dirt road on the north side. Cross the gate and hike up the road. Keep left at a fork and continue up to the high point of the road. From the highpoint on the road hike up to the left through light brush to the open summit
Round trip is about 3/4th of a mile with pver 200 feet of gain.
Red Tape & External Links
Visit the Hundred Peaks
website for more information on this Sierra Club hiking group.
For road conditions and camping information go to Cleveland National Forest
For current weather go to NOAA