Cleveland National Forest - Laguna Mountain
Big Laguna Lake Trail
Pine trees, vernal ponds, and breathtaking views.





Wilderness Tours in:

Anza Borrego Desert
Palm Canyon

Cleveland National Forest
Big Laguna Lakes

Rancho Cuyamaca State Park
Lake Cuyamaca
Milk Ranch Road

Santa Ysabel Wilderness Preserve
Eastern Preserve
Western Preserve

Warner Springs
Eagle Rock


A walk through meadows surrounded by beautiful mature pine trees led us along meadering paths, opening eventually at a larger open meadow containing "Big Laguna Lake".
A local hiker told me that a land berm was built along the lower edge of this lake several decades ago to retain more of the water - to attract ducks for hunters. Hunting is no longer allowed here, but the enhanced pool appears to be well-loved by the local avian life. Several hundred ducks floated along the top of the water, occasionally flapping their wings, or diving down.  Among them were grebes, coots, and mallard ducks.

Vernal Pools are shallow bodies of water that occur in depressions in grassland and woodland areas. These pools are filled by water from winter storms then dry up during the spring or early summer. Most plant and animal species that occur in vernal pools are endemic (occur only there) and highly specialized or adapted to vernal pool habitats, and some are listed as endangered species. (San Diego Wildfires Education Project)


Sometimes nature takes a whimsical turn.  Mt. Laguna retains healthy mature pine forest, including an occassional fallen log.  The intricately branched pattern of roots from this old log create a natural rohrshach.  What do you see?
Text and photos are copyrighted by
Kathleen Kenner & the Kenner Ranch
Re-use by permission only.

Meandering through the trees along a winding dirt path was a great way to spend our day.  This particular part of the path was located on a gentle rise of a hill over the lake.