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U.S. Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Region Viewing Area


Laguna Meadow. Laguna Meadow. Photo by Joan Wynn, Cleveland National Forest.

View of lupine. Lupine. Photo by Joan Wynn, Cleveland National Forest.

tidytips. Tidy tips. Photo by Joan Wynn, Cleveland National Forest.

wild lilac. Wild lilac. Photo by Joan Wynn, Cleveland National Forest.

Laguna Meadow - Sunrise Scenic Byway

Forest: Cleveland National Forest

District: Descanso Ranger District

Description: Take a beautiful walk through open stands of Jeffrey pines and black oaks and enjoy viewing at a 900-acre wet meadow with two seasonal lakes. Enjoy spectacular spring wildflower displays of lupine (Lupinus excubitus var. austromontanus), tidy tips (Layia platyglossa var. campestris), and cream-cups (Platystemon californicus). In the summer, scarlet penstemon (Penstemon centranthifolius) blooms give way to vivid fall colors among the oaks. Wildlife watchers will enjoy seeing ash-throated flycatchers, pygmy nuthatches, acorn woodpeckers, and Steller's jays. The lakes attract migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.

Viewing information: Wildflower viewing is best in May and June along the byway and in Laguna Meadow next to the Big Laguna Trail and Laguna Campground. A Forest Service Adventure Pass is required for all parked vehicles. Adventure Passes can be purchased at the Forest Service office in Alpine 7 days a week.

Directions: From San Diego, take Highway 8 east approximately 40 miles to Sunrise Highway exit. Turn north and continue 12 miles to the Penny Pines sign – a rock-walled turnout on the east side of the highway, 1 mile north of Laguna campground immediately after cattle guard. Park here, cross to the west side of the highway, and hike the Noble Canyon Trail approximately 0.25 miles. At the trail junction, take the Big Laguna Trail southwest for 4 miles.

Visit the Sunrise Byway website for a map with directions and other areas of interest along the byway.

Ownership and Management: USDA Forest Service, Cleveland National Forest, Alpine Ranger District, 619-445-6235.

Closest Town: Pine Valley, California.