Laguna Mountains

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This article is about the mountain range in San Diego County, California. For the mountain range in southwest Arizona, see Laguna Mountains (Arizona). For the recreation area in San Benito County, California, see Laguna Mountain Recreation Area.
Laguna Mountains
SoCal Coast.jpg
Laguna Mountains, south of Palomar Mountain and
Elsinore Fault
Highest point
Peak Cuyapaipe Mountain
Elevation 1,944 m (6,378 ft)
Coordinates 32°50′21″N 116°24′01″W / 32.83920°N 116.4003°W / 32.83920; -116.4003
Laguna Mountains is located in California
Laguna Mountains
Location of Laguna Mountains in California [1]
Country United States
State California
District San Diego County
Range coordinates 32°48′30″N 116°26′57″W / 32.8084°N 116.4492°W / 32.8084; -116.4492Coordinates: 32°48′30″N 116°26′57″W / 32.8084°N 116.4492°W / 32.8084; -116.4492
Topo map USGS Mount Laguna

The Laguna Mountains are a section of the Peninsular Ranges in eastern San Diego County, California. The mountains run in a northwest/southeast alignment for approximately 20 miles (32 km).

The Laguna Mountains are bordered by the Cuyamaca Mountains area on the west and the Colorado Desert on the east, where the mountains form a steep escarpment along the Laguna Salada Fault. To the north the Laguna Mountains are bounded by the Elsinore Fault Zone and to the south by Cameron Valley and Thing Valley. The highest point is Cuyapaipe Mountain at 6,378 feet (1,944 m). The mountains are largely contained within the Cleveland National Forest. Snow falls on the highest peaks several times a year. Mount Laguna is a village in the Laguna Mountains with a population of about 80.

The headwaters of three perennial streams begin in the Laguna Mountains: Noble Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Kitchen Creek.

The Laguna Mountains extend northwest about 35 mi (56 km) from the Mexican border at the Sierra de Juárez range.[2] The Sawtooth Range and In-Ko-Pah Mountains are adjacent to the east. The Santa Rosa Mountains lie further to the northeast.

The mountains have long been inhabited by the Kumeyaay people. Today, the Lagunas are a popular recreation area comprising the southernmost crest along the Pacific Crest Trail.[3] Their relatively high altitude induces the highest snowfall in San Diego County making it one of the few local places to offer snow activities like sledding and snowshoeing.[4]

View from Inspiration Point in the Laguna Mountains towards Anza Borrego Desert State Park on the right and Vallecito Mountains on the left. Chaparral in the foreground, Santa Rosa Mountains in the background.
An observation deck in the Laguna Mountains.


  1. ^ "Laguna Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  2. ^ "Laguna Mountains". Columbia Gazetteer of North America. Columbia University Press. 2000. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Southern California". Pacific Crest Trail Association. Retrieved 27 February 2015. The PCT begins on a low hill near Campo (elev. 2,915′) [...] and climbs through chaparral, scrub oak and pines to the rim of the Laguna Mountains. 
  4. ^ "Finding Snow in San Diego". San Diego Family. December 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 

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