Overnight Backpacking San Diego | Backpacking in San Diego

Overnight Backpacking San Diego
Overnight Backpacking San Diego

Overnight Backpacking San Diego

As a beginner backpacker, you will always like to include an overnight camping in your beginner backpacking trails. You won’t like to miss any beginner backpacking fun. And if you are listing places for your beginner backpacking trips California, you must include San Diego. San Diego is a city situated in the Pacific coast of California. This place is like the mecca for backpackers and hikers. There are some amazing parks in this city. If you are searching for some great overnight backpacking San Diego, it won’t take much time. There are plenty of nice trails and overnight camping facilities throughout the city of San Diego.


Backpacking in San Diego

Basically, you can backpack a few parts or the entire Pacific crest trail starting from the border of Mexico to the border of San Diego. There are some facts about San Diego that are little known. One of them is the length of the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail is stretched from the US-Mexico borders to the US-Canada border. The length of this trail is about 2650 miles. The Pacific crest trail is one of the top trails that are founded in the Northern side of America. Backpacking through this trail is a daunting task. There are many portions in this trail which will give you pleasant surprise. One of them lies in the part that starts from Campo and goes through the Laguna Mountains.

It includes meadows, alpine trek, forest and also some small lakes. And The Laguna Mountains are basically a portion of the Cleveland National Forest. This is an area that will allow you to camp there. You have to set up your beginner backpacking camping outside of the set campgrounds. And the authority doesn’t allow fires there. Apart of that, you can experience here a nice here a nice overnight backpacking San Diego


overnight backpacking San Diego



San Gorgonio Mountain

The portion of the pacific crest trail which falls in the Laguna Mountains is about 48 miles long. You can choose which section of the trail you will choose according to your experience level. You can go for two days and one-night backpacking. Or you can go for multiple nights with camping. You will find that the whole Laguna Mountains is an epic stunning place.  There are few certain sections of this trail that will attract you most. Like The Sunset Trail. This trail has got a variety of terrain. There are forested slopes, epic views of the mountain, open meadows and a water source you can rely on in the water of the woods.

If you have advanced from your beginner backpacking trails and have grabbed some experience then you can add some more days and distance on the northern side of the Cleveland National Forest. The Laguna Mountains will give you an elevation of up to 6000 feet. The lowest elevation is 4,500. This epic mountain will also give you stargazing opportunities throughout all the months of the year.


There are some other places that you can add on your list of Overnight Backpacking San Diego. Some of them are listed below.


  • Cedar Creek Falls:

Distance: 4.5 Miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain: 1200 Feet

Difficulty Level: Medium

Camping: Allowed

Permit: Required

Agency: Cleveland National Forest

Cedar Creek Falls is situated in the Palomar District. It’s under the Cleveland National Forest. You can access Cedar Creek from Ramona (San Diego County) or from Julian. It will take about a two-mile hike from both the starting point. You may find the trail from Julian little easy from the trail from Ramona. Cedar Creek Falls just might be the perfect place for overnight backpacking San Diego.


  • Three Sisters Water Fall

Distance: 4 Miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain: 1000 Feet

Difficulty Level: Hard

Camping: Yes

Permit: Required

Agency: Cleveland National Forest

The Cedar Creek the three sisters waterfall is also in the Palomar District and is a part of Cleveland National Forest. The hike is only 1.8 miles. Don’t get disappointed about this. Because in this trail you are also going to have an elevation of 1000 feet. The sections of this trail are much steep. There is a nice camping spot at the top right before you go down.


  • Agua Caliente Creek – Pacific Crest Trail

Distance: 10 Miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain: 900 Feet

Difficulty Level: Medium

Camping: Yes

Permit: Required

Agency: Cleveland National Forest

Agua Caliente Creek should be a nice option for your overnight backpacking San Diego. It is located near the Warner Springs town. This creek is also a part of Pacific Crest Trail. Here the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) goes right along with the creek. You will see water in the creek at the time of the year. It’s a reliable water source. To get there you have to get on highway 79. It’s close to the Agua Caliente Creek Bridge. You can locate the trailhead easily. There is a sign of PCT in the trailhead.


  • Smoke Tree Canyon & Natural Rock Water Tanks:

Distance: 8 Miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain: 1300 Feet

Difficulty Level: Hard

Camping: Yes

Permit: Not Required

Agency: Anza Borrego Desert State Park



This trail and camping spot is located in the northern side of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. There is not that much of a trail. You will find some really cool and nice natural rock water tanks. There are three tanks of the same size. The depth of the water level is dependent on rainfall. It can range from 1 foot to 4 feet deep. These natural tanks are the best things about this trail. Besides, camping here is so easy because you don’t need any permit. That’s why Smoke Tree Canyon should be a nice choice for your overnight backpacking San Diego.


There are some other lesser known places that will fit for your overnight backpacking San Diego like the Sheep Canyon and Goat Canyon. Actually, the whole San Diego is a nice and fruitful place for beginner backpacking camping. There are lots and lots of places throughout the county of San Diego where you can set up your camp. And the best part of your overnight backpacking San Diego is that most of the places here are near a water source like creek or stream. It will be a great use for you. Never forget to filter any water you use for drinking or cooking with from any natural water source.


So what do you think? These can be some epic overnight backpacking, right? Which one would you prefer for overnight camping and why? Let us know. Comment below.



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