Airstreams near Mount Laguna with fishing

Head to the hills for a hike, a bike ride, or even a sledding adventure.

99% (36 reviews)
99% (36 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Mount Laguna

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Airstreams near Mount Laguna with fishing guide


In the mountains east of San Diego, the community of Mount Laguna and its surrounding area is a popular hiking and mountain-biking destination among San Diegans in the know. While plenty of people come up just for the day, either to cool off from the summer heat or play in the white powdery snow that often makes an appearance in the wintertime, it's worth spending a few days camping in the area to use it as a base for exploring the surrounding Cleveland National Forest and desert beyond.

Where to go

The Southern California Desert

Mount Laguna puts you in easy reach of the Southern California Desert, and Anza Borrego Desert State Park is less than an hour away by car. Drive just a little further and you'll hit the Salton Sea, a popular birdwatching spot.

The Southern California Coast

If you want to trade in hiking trails for sandy shores, you need only head down to the Southern California coast, a short drive from Mount Laguna. Here you'll find a mix of big cities and small coastal communities plus miles and miles of sandy beaches, some of which have their own campgrounds.

The Southern California Mountains

There's plenty more to explore in Southern California's Peninsular Range, from the Cleveland National Forest to the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. A little further away, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument offers miles of hiking trails and great views over the Coachella Valley.

When to go

While Mount Laguna is at its most popular with campers in the hot summer months, it’s not a bad spot for shoulder-season camping, and many of the campgrounds in the surrounding Cleveland National Forest are open year-round. Come in April or October for cool, but sunny, weather sans crowds. Winter snow days in the region draw throngs of San Diegans, who come to the surrounding forest for sledding.

Nearby attractions

  • Experience the wonders of camping at William Heise County Park, a hidden gem nestled in nature's embrace. Set up camp amidst towering trees and enjoy the peacefulness of the surroundings. 

  • Escape to Agua Caliente County Park for a rejuvenating camping experience. Camp amidst tranquil surroundings, soak in natural hot springs, and enjoy stargazing under clear night skies. 

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