The Kwaaymii Trail is a very short interpretive loop right next to the Mount Laguna Visitor’s Center. While I don’t recommend driving all the way out there just for this one short hike, it’s a really nice little trail to check out next time you’re in the area. After many trips to Mount Laguna where we had seen this trailhead when we stopped to use the restroom, we decided it was finally time to hike it. We made a day of exploring some of the shorter trails in the area like the Wooded Hill Trail, the Desert View Nature Trail (write-up coming soon), and the Kwaaymii Trail. This trail would also be a good choice if you happen to be camping in the area with small kids or non-hikers who want to get out and explore a little, but aren’t prepared for a longer trail.
The trailhead is located at the northwest edge of the Visitor’s Center parking lot. A wooden box holding trail guides was attached to the sign post. To the right of the sign was the other end of the loop where we’d be returning.
We set down the trail on the left. A few steps down the trail we found an old stone trail marker and surmised that the trail name must have been changed somewhere along the line to the more descriptive “Kwaaymii Trail.” The Kwaaymii were a subset of the Kumeyaay that once inhabited the area, and many of the interpretive exhibits on this trail reveal native plants that were used for food, medicine, and other needs by the Kwaaymii.
As we began to climb the hill, I was a little surprised by the steepness of the trail. It wasn’t actually bad as far as ascents go, but it was more than I expected from a modest half mile nature trail.
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From I-8 east take the Sunrise Highway exit and turn left onto Sunrise Highway (S1). Follow Sunrise Highway for approximately 9.9 miles to the Visitor’s Center on your left at Los Huecos Road. Park in the parking lot next to the Visitor’s Center. map
|Total Distance:||.45 miles|
|Total Ascent:||120 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes not allowed|
|Facilities:||Restrooms and water at trailhead|
|Fees/Permits:||Adventure Pass Required|