The Laguna Mountains are only about an hour away east from the ocean in San Diego.
Most people go there when we have snow — at 6000 feet, it’s the highest point in the county.
It’s possible to surf in the morning, cross-country ski (or hike) in the afternoon, and drop down into the shimmering desert to experience the best of everything SoCal has to offer.
Late May to mid-June is the time of year when color explodes in the mountains and it’s not too hot to enjoy a strenuous hike while the air cools down comfortably at night.
It’s easy to get here: east on Highway 8 to Sunrise Highway.
We went mid-week before schools were out for summer vacation and we had the mountain pretty much entirely to ourselves.
Fragrant pines, Engelmenn oaks, wildflowers; deep blue sky with a few white puffy clouds.
There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the spectacular views.
We hiked Desert View Trail and Big Laguna Trail, about ten miles or so.
It was truly heaven on earth, one of those experiences where whispering was the only way to communicate-we didn’t want to mar the ultimate reverence for nature.
These are only a sampling of the hundred-plus pics I snapped and none of them do justice to this paradise.