Where to Go to Play in the Snow

Mother Nature expected to bring up to a foot of snow to county mountains.

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    Santa at the Lakes at Padre Dam's Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

    Yes, there is snow on Mount Laguna.  About 4" could be found in patches Tuesday at the very top of the mountain near the Lodge.  There would have been more but rain washed away the snow that fell during the day on Monday.  If you're patient and wait a couple of days it should be worth your while.

    An intense snow storm is expected on Wednesday and before it's done, there could be more than a foot of snow on the ground.  The National Weather Service, which issued a Winter Storm Warning for tomorrow, predicts that 14 inches of snow could fall at the highest elevations, maybe more.  The NWS is also saying the snow level could drop to below 3,000 feet which could mean travel problems on Interstate 8.

    Let It Snow, Let It Snow

    [DGO] Let It Snow, Let It Snow
    To many, it may have felt like it was cold enough to snow. In Santee, it did! (Published Monday, Dec. 15, 2008)

    If you're planning a visit to the snow you need to be aware of a few things.  Chains will be required if you want to get up on the Sunrise Highway or anywhere near the top of Mount Laguna, Mount Cuyamaca or Palomar Mountain.  You'll also need an "Adventure Permit" if you plan on parking for any length of time to go sledding.  Without it, you may end up with a citation and up to a $100 fine.  The permits cost $5 and can be purchased at the Lodge.  The Laguna Mountain Lodge is a good destination.  The owners know the mountain, the best places to go "legally" go sledding and they have oodles of snow clothing and equipment for sale. Map to the lodge.

    If you plan on just "winging it" and figure you'll stop and sled at the first snow-covered hill you see, again, it could end up being a pretty expensive trip.  You can get fined without the proper permit.  You can also get fined if you don't park your vehicle completely off the road and are a hindrance to either traffic or snowplows.  You can also get fined if you park on private property without permission.  It doesn't matter if other people are doing it.  It's not uncommon to see a whole line of vehicles being cited for breaking the law.

    Also,  be sure you're ready for winter weather and winter-weather-driving.  The chains are a must and make sure your vehicle is up to the trip.  Chances are it's not used to freezing weather and you're probably not used to driving in ice and snow.  Extra caution is necessary on all counts.  You'll need extra, dry clothing as well, especially socks, shoes or boots; a fully charged cell phone for emergencies and plenty of trash bags.  You can always tell how much snow the mountains get by all the trash you find when it melts. The rangers ask that you please take out of the park everything you brought it. Check webcam on Mount Cuyamaca.