Great Loop In Laguna Mountains
Today I did a great hike that is about 12 miles and took a little more than five hours. It could probably take anywhere between 4 and 7 hours, depending on how fast you walk.
I parked at the Penny Pines parking area just south of the 27.5 mile marker on the Sunrise Highway. I started out by heading east on the Noble Canyon Trail, but you could certainly do the loop in reverse. Follow the Noble Canyon Trail for a few miles, then go north on the Indian Creek Trail, then Northeast on the Pine Mountain Trail. In these areas there are some spectacular views, right where the Indian Creek Trail meets the Pine Mountain Trail, you can see in every direction. If you look west you can see Cuyamaca Peak, and beyond that down to the ocean.
Keep following the trails and at about the seven mile mark you will cross the Sunrise Highway where you then meet the Pacific Crest Trail, and more spectacular views, this time of the desert and even the Salton Sea to the east.
This is probably one of the most enjoyable hikes I've done, and wasn't too difficult, but enough elevation change to feel like you did some climbing.