Pine Creek Road

Cleveland National Forest

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Pine Creek Road Mount Laguna, CA 91948 619-445-6235 858-673-6180 Official Website

GPS: 32.9051, -116.4745

  • Overview
  • Q&A
  • Cell Service
  • Reviews (2)
  • Amenities

Overview of Pine Creek Road

Accessibility is not guaranteed, always scout ahead before driving down dirt roads.
Learn more: Boondocking 101

Pad Type dirt

Elevation 5,347 ft / 1,629 m

Tent Camping Yes

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Reviews of Pine Creek Road 2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Site Quality

Cell Phone Coverage

Verizon 4G/LTE
Confirmed by 1 User
Last reported 8/23/2017
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Jeep Wrangler yj Ford Explorer
3 reviews
“Nice get away for some free camping”

Reviewed 8/23/2017

Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 3
Overall Rating

I was itching to get away for the weekend and knew this road existed and you could camp but I was quick to find out that you needed a permit to camp. Do not let this set you back from coming here! The permit process is incredibly easy the number is (619) 445-6235 for the ranger station and as long as you have the info they are looking for they will email you the permit! Some sites are littered with trash, please don't add to it. No potable water or hookups but a nice quiet get away!

Site Quality
Verizon 4G/LTE

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

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Subaru Outback
46 reviews
“Nice, San Diego Mountain Boondocking”

Reviewed 2/25/2016

Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 3
Overall Rating

Coming from Mount Laguna Recreation Area, Pine Creek Road actually starts out within the Recreation Area, where there is no boondocking allowed. There is a pretty clear sign where that ends, just before the GPS coordinates supplied, and then boondocking is allowed, with some pretty clearly setup and used spots available all along the road. USFS website does note the requirement of a permit, so you'll want to make sure you have what is needed there for this spot.

The road is paved all of the way through, but it is skinny and not particularly well maintained at all. I did see someone with a small trailer, though, so it's possible to some degree or another. Running into someone else on the road can be a challenge in some stretches due to the skinny-ness of the road, primarily.

The GPS coordinates point to the first site. There are 2 others near by, just shortly down the road, and many more if you keep going all of the way down. This review is just about these 3, which I tried out all of, only driving by any others as I explored the full length of the road.

The first two are easy to get to, but nothing particularly special about them. They're just dirt driveways, basically. The third is more of a dirt road that might require 4WD and decent clearance, but is in a lovely patch of pine trees. The first two work great for solar, though, and the third really doesn't work well for solar at all, due to the amount of shade.

All of the road that I scoped out was very clean, and it is a really beautiful area. Most of it lies in Cleveland National Forest, but you will be driving right next to an indian reservation, clearly marked with no trespassing signs and such--you can't miss where those boundaries are.

The sites varied from wonderful quality to remarkably poor, while I was here. I imagine that there's probably some pretty good variation based on weather and traffic coming through, and how much maintenance the USFS decides to put into it. There's not a ton of noise at any, but there was a good amount of traffic going down the road that made it a ways from the quietest of spots as well.

There are 2 very notable trails running all through the area of the GPS coordinates: The Noble Canyon Trail and the Big Laguna Trail. I wasn't able to spend the time I wanted to on either, but what I did see, they are lovely, well maintained, and very beautiful hiking/biking trails. They are clearly marked, and the road even has signs when a trail crossing is just ahead. Both trails connect to each other and the nearby Pacific Crest Trail as well. Basically, there's a ton of awesome hiking and other recreation to do all around the area!

It does snow in the winter up there. It doesn't tend to stick around for the whole winter, but on a good year, it will snow multiple times and hang around for a week or two. It certainly gets cold! And this is the snowy, cold playground for all of San Diego county. This last year, the police had to turn numbers of people away from the area, because it was so crowded with San Diego locals trying to get up to the snow. Of course, there's often chain requirements and such, and this road may be closed under those conditions (I would probably count on it!).

As for cell signal: I have Verizon and TMobile. TMobile had absolutely nothing, even with a booster. Verizon was trouble-prone. Sometimes, I could get LTE. Sometimes, I could get voice. Sometimes, I could even get both. Other times, I could get LTE but no voice. Yet more times, I couldn't get anything at all. This is actually the reason I had to leave, because I needed something more reliable for work. That said, it is (maybe) there, if you want to struggle with it.

I would definitely camp here again, with all of the above said. It's a beautiful area, with tons of great things to do and see. I'll probably be more likely to head further down the road next time, myself. Anyone with a larger rig might want to try and scope it out before heading down, though I imagine there's at least a couple of spots you should be able to get into (depending on just how big, maybe).

Site Quality

SubaruVagabond would stay here again

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

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  • dry camping
  • Dispersed Camping
  • recreation trail
  • pets


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