January’s Mount Laguna Hike

Our year of dates idea was such a hit with us that we decided to continue with the tradition into this year as well. I successfully deceived Michael into thinking that I was too lazy to plan a whole year’s worth of dates again, so when he opened that special box for Christmas and saw the twelve little packages, he was thoroughly surprised and touched. Honestly, I have so much fun thinking of ideas that we may just have to keep this going every year. It’s such a great way to try new activities, explore new places, spend quality time together, and keep that spark alive and healthy–all at once!


Sunset Trail information & map
One-Day Adventure Pass


$5 for the Adventure Pass

The Plan:

Wake up well before sunrise to drive an hour to Mount Laguna and admire the rising of the sun on a crisp, morning hike.

When I planned this date, I hadn’t anticipated the crazy rain that we ended up experiencing this January. My thought was simply that it would be cooler in the winter for a hike. And so it was, so it was..

As this was our first visit to Mount Laguna, I felt astonished that I had never heard of this place before. How could there be such an idyllic forest a mere hour’s drive away? With breathtaking views and a stillness so unbelievably beautiful, I know this will not be the last time we come up here. I’m already planning a return during the spring, when the meadow blooms with wildflowers.

The sunset trail took about three hours to hike. We came just slightly unprepared for the snow, and had to tread slowly and carefully. From this trail, you can either walk there and back [a little over three miles], or combine this hike with the Big Laguna Trail [almost nine miles]. Our original plan was to take the longer route, but when we arrived at the end of the sunset trail to take our snack/brunch break, we discovered that the bread for the sandwiches had started growing mold……Needless to say, this dampened our motivation considerably, so we headed back the way we came, in search of real food. Still, not at all a bad start to our 2017 year of dates.








Water of the Woods: a small reservoir at the end of the sunset trail


  • Check the weather before heading out, and plan accordingly–we sort of expected the snow, but didn’t anticipate how much more difficult the hike would be as a result.
  • Pick up the Adventure Pass beforehand [$5 for a daily pass, or $30 for an annual pass]. You will need this for parking anywhere in the forest, and you don’t want to be worrying about where to get it once you arrive. The Forest Service site has a list of places that carry it.
  • Spring and fall are apparently the best times to visit, although it’s gorgeous year-round.
  • If possible, try to get there before sunrise. This time of day will unequivocally give you the best views.


2016 Year of Dates

Next Month:

February’s Cooking Date with Hellofresh