The Laguna Mountains are located in eastern San Diego County, about an hour from campus. It is home to Cleveland National Forest, established in 1908, to preserve native wildlife habitat as well as create a natural refuge for the residents of San Diego. Multiple climate zones are present here as the Anza Borrego Desert transitions to a mountain conifer forest. The Big Laguna Mountain Meadows are one of the most beautiful locations in the county and provide a wonderful backdrop for camping, hiking and biking.
We will camp at an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level. Nearby, the Pacific Crest Trail traverses along the ridge as it makes its way north from Mexico to Canada. We'll have an opportunity to hike a small fraction of the 2,650 mile trail during our trip that will provide a uniquely western scene that we hope will inspire and surprise.
A short drive from our campground is the ropes course in which everyone will have the opportunity to participate. Working in teams and pairs, these high elements will challenge you mentally and physically as you climb, traverse and leap your way through the air.
Check in at the Outdoor Adventures office before you move into your residence hall. Meet up after lunch for introductions before we depart for our Laguna Mountains campsite. Get to know your small group tonight and enjoy some campfire entertainment.
Today you will set off on small group hikes - you choose the difficulty level. Spend the day on the trail and take advantage of the ample opportunities to get to know another group of students.
This morning we will pack up camp and travel to a local ropes course where we will work with partners and in small teams to complete a series of challenges. We will leave the mountains after lunch and return to campus by 5:00pm. Reunite with family or hang out with new friends for your last night before the start of orientation.
Risks, Hazards and Difficulty
Sunburn, dehydration, heatstroke, uneven terrain and lightning are some of the common risks and hazards. This trip allows for a variety of physical challenge. The Laguna Mountains trip is appropriate for anyone interested in living outdoors in a tent, hiking 4 to 8 miles on uneven terrain with minimal elevation gain/loss and willing to participate in ropes course elements that are 20-30 feet off the ground while wearing a harness and being belayed by trained staff.
"Only 60 minutes east of campus, Mount Laguna is a beautiful location to start your USD career. This camping trip is relaxed and social, plus the ropes course adds an element of risk taking that will elevate your heart rate."