Monument Peak 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
, Garnet Mountain
, Sheephead Mountain
, and Cuyapaipe Mountain
. Monument Peak 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", this is the turnoff for Garnet Mountain continue pass this. At 10 miles you reach the turnout trailhead for Garnet Peak, continue pass this. At 12.5 miles you pass mile marker 25, at the next turnout on the left park. There is a trailhead sign that reads Big Laguna trail to PCT.
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 trailhead hike east/up the Big Laguna trail to it's junction with the PCT. Turn left onto the PCT and follow to a fork. Take the right fork towards the towers. Follw this use trail to a firebreak that leads up to a fenced building. Follow the fence top its left and join the asphalt road that continues to the summit of Monument. Take in the incredible views.
Roundtrip is 3.0 miles with 500 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