Oasis Spring

Oasis Spring was once a source of water for several camps and cabins in Mount Laguna, but is now an all but forgotten side trip off the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The Spring lies at the end of an old, overgrown road, which is slowly fades into an overgrown and unmaintained trail. The trail leads to a lush pocket of vegetation on the edge of the desert, and an old metal pump house is situated among the dense growth.

We parked at the Storm Canyon Overlook and took took a few minutes to check out the viewing platform and enjoy the view of Storm Canyon below.

When we were ready to begin our hike, we climbed down the stairs from the parking area and descended the short hill to the where the PCT ran below. Here we found a bench which provided another great spot to take in the views.

We turned left, and began heading north along the PCT.

Our attention was drawn by the breathtaking view of Storm Canyon below us on the right.

The trail was mostly straight for approximately .25 miles, when it turned left and made a couple switchbacks uphill towards the road.

We continued along the trail, crossing a small ridge where a handful of burnt pine trees stood.

Around .33 miles as we reached the north side of the small ridge, we could make out the flat grade of an old roadbed leading in from the highway. The PCT turned to the left, roughly paralleling the route of the Sunrise Highway just beyond. Here we left the PCT, following the faint, overgrown road to the right as it led downhill.

Despite being overgrown and having a few downed trees and branches to navigate, the old road was well defined and easy to follow.

We passed a well-constructed stone retaining wall that appeared designed to channel stormwater under the road bed.

We had more beautiful views of the canyon below us and the desert beyond.

Looking ahead, we spotted a small, red, ramshackle old building in the distance – the old pump house.

We continued descending along the old road until we came to a dense thicket of ceanothus encroaching the trail. We got a few scrapes squeezing through it but it was overall pretty passable.

As we progressed we found more and more vegetation encroaching the trail. Moist dirt around our feet belied the presence of water, although we didn’t find any flowing. We surmised that we had reached the spring.

We found some rather steep and sketchy paths that looked like they might lead down to the building we had seen earlier, but decided to leave such exploration to those with lower insurance deductibles than ours. We made our way back through the overgrown brush and returned the way we had come.

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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 12.9 miles to the Storm Canyon Overlook on the right. map

Total Distance: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Total Ascent: 425 feet
Dog Friendly?: Leashed dogs allowed
Bike Friendly?: Bikes not allowed
Facilities: None
Fees/Permits: None

For more information, visit:
View route or download GPX from CalTopo

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