Laguna Mountains Basecamp

Laguna mountains nighttime
Only 90 minutes east of campus, the Laguna Mountains is a beautiful location to start your USD career. While on Pre-O Adventure, you will spend three nights camping in tents at a national forest campground. Believe it or not, the Laguna Mountains are home to the Pacific Crest Trail—a national treasure that traverses the west coast from Mexico to Canada. We will only hike a small fraction of the 2,650 mile trail during our outing, but we will surely find a uniquely western scene that will rejuvenate, inspire and even surprise. Hike through chaparral, scrub oaks and pines to the rim of the Jeffrey pine shaded Laguna Mountains. Enjoy expansive views of Anza-Borrego State Park to the east and San Diego County and even the Pacific Ocean to the west.

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.


Relaxed (depending upon the weather).  There are bathroom facilities available.  We are eating outdoors and sleeping in tents, which could be considered "roughing it."


Relaxed to easy.  Hiking may be moderately challenging for those who have not hiked before and the weather can make this more challenging (it could potentially be very hot, or windy and rainy). 

*no previous experience is necessary for any activity

Day 1 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.
Day 2 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.  We will also have ample time to hang out in camp.
Day 3 This morning we will pack up camp and have an adventure around the meadow.  We will leave the mountains after lunch and return to campus by 5 p.m. Reunite with family or hang out with new friends for your last night before the start of orientation.