Location: Foster Point, Mt Laguna, CA
Hike Statistics: 1.4-1.5 miles round trip; about 200ft elevation change
Conditions: Night, high 50s to low 60s; Clear sky, bright moon
Requirements: National Forest Adventure Pass (Cleveland National Forest) ; Required on car to park in the area
Trailhead: 32.889452, -116.441021
GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; Only includes attempted drawing of route via satellite images and was not actually taken from a GPS device in any way)
During my PCT Section hike a couple of weeks ago, I came across Foster Point and spent some time meditating and taking in the views during the day. The point developed a special place in my heart during this time, with all of its simplicity yet grand views to the desert floor below, framed by the canyon marking down the mountains upon which I stood.
Since returning, I began to hear more about Foster Point. In addition to learning some of the history on why this particular point was given its own name, I heard from others that the view was magnificent lit by a bright moon at night. This night, I contacted a few friends, who agreed that this sounded like a great adventure for the night, and we set out on our way, driving from the North County San Diego area to Mt Laguna, where Foster Point resides.
On our way, I was aware that we were looking for the Horse Heaven Group Camp, where I had heard there was ample parking with an easy hike to the point. We accidentally passed it upon our first attempt, but ended up at another familiar lookout, directly above the PCT, where I had stopped to eat lunch just shortly after visiting Foster Point for the first time. It was nice to revisit even this little spot.
After some quick looking around, we hopped back into the car and drove, finding the turnout to Horse Heaven Group Camp. The gate was closed, but we were able to park off to the side, making sure not to block the gate at all. Grabbing our flashlights, water, and snacks, we set out.
Crossing the street, a couple of us (me!) were a little confused by a barbed wire fence, but we quickly found a hiker entrance through the fence just off to the side. Walking through this, we hiked along what seemed like a dirt road that had been disregarded for some time. It was only a short time along this before we hit the Pacific Crest Trail, opening to familiar landscape under new light for me. Heading North along the PCT, it was another short walk to reach the Foster Point sign, where Foster Point lied just beyond.
We trekked up to the point. I was familiar with the point before, but this was all new for my companions. They spent some time crawling around on rocks and attempting to take pictures of the area, while I went to the edge of some of the rocks and sat to take in the view.
The bright moon bounced off the desert floor in the most beautiful ways.The canyon walls illuminated dramatically by the blue ambiance. The bats and insects chirping and singing endlessly. The stars, not to be outdone by the splendor of the moon, danced across the sky with the greatest elegance. We sat. We stared. Awe filled my bones. My heart dreamed in silence. I wish I could capture that wonder to share with the world. Alas, the special qualities of this particular point can only be matched by such an impossible sight as the one I saw this night. The saddest part was having to leave, knowing the night was growing weary and the morning demands my presence.
After longer than any of us actually planned, we trekked back to the car and headed home.
Below are some pictures taken during the day of the areas described. These were all taken during my PCT section hike, in which I visited much of the same area. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture solid pictures of the area at night, despite it’s absolute beauty under the bright moon. These should give a small idea, though, perhaps.