Pictograph Trail: Mount Laguna, CA

Trail Stats

2.9 miles
Elevation Gain
489 feet
Total Time
1 hours 17 minutes
Moving Time
1 hours 8 minutes

Pictograph Trail is 2.9 mile hike with 489 feet of elevation gain located in Mount Laguna, California at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Getting to this location is a trek. While AWD/4WD is not required, it is nice to have.

Parking & Getting There

As you get about 5-10 miles away from the trail you will arrive to an off road trail. You will need to take this trail in order to get to the hike. The drive is a well maintained dirt and sand road. There are some parts that I noticed damaged by water and this is where it is handy to have AWD. There were a couple spots going through ruts and this is where it was nice to have the extra power to the tires to kick out/over the ruts. In most scenarios the road might be wide enough to drive around the obstacle. Make sure to do your own research before attempting this drive in a non AWD vehicle.

Pictograph Trail Parking

Direction to the Trail Head: Google Maps.

The roads are very clear on where you can and can’t drive but the signage is not perfect to get to the trail. I recommend using a GPS that does not rely on internet connection. For example, you can use Google Maps and pre-download the map area so that you do not need cell service. This took us directly to the trail head and also helped when leaving.

The Trail

Once you park at the trail head you will see a clear starting point. From here you can follow the trail. About halfway in you will arrive at the rock that has the pictographs. It is recommended you do not touch the pictographs as the oils on our skin can effect the drawings and cause them to accelerate their deterioration.

Walking toward the mountain, all I could think about was, “I really want to see the other side”. Starting to think about climbing over the mountain, we got closer and closer. It may not look like it until you get right up to it, but there is an opening in the mountain. It made me think of the Spartans protecting the hot gates.

Once through the opening, not more than 100 yards, we arrived at a beautiful viewpoint. We took a break here and enjoyed the views before heading back to the trail head.

Since you already made the trek to this trail head, there are several other hikes in the area that you should check out. The Mortreros Trail and Ghost Mountain Trail to Yaquitepec. We went on a nice cool day. This is a desert, so plan ahead, don’t get stuck in dangerous weather.


Pictograph Trail was a nice surprise for an adventure. I love viewpoint at the end and the driving adventure to get there. I look forward to coming back here and exploring more of the area!

Photo Gallery

Wrap Up

Is there a specific hike that you would like to see next? Leave a comment down below or reach out via the Contact Form and hopefully I will be able to get a recap and virtual hike posted soon! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your adventure.

Leave a Comment