If you're coming all the way out from San Diego, I recommend starting this hike from the Penny Pines trailhead, and follow the Pacific Crest Trail to where it intersects with the Garnet Peak trail. This route is a bit more enjoyable, as I've found that doing it straight from the Garnet Peak trailhead off the road was way too short considering the lengthy mission of driving out there. Trail is well marked and definitive, the view out over the desert is totally captivating, and we didn't see a single person out here on a weekday afternoon, making it a great getaway from the city. I've been up Garnet Peak twice, and I'd love to do it again.
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