Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

East County News Service

File photo by Billy Ortiz

January 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- With heavy snow forecast in our local mountains over the next several days, the California Highway Patrol asks the public to practice good “snow etiquette” when visiting the Mount Laguna/Julian area.

The advisory aims to protect public safety, assure that travelers have chains or snow tires, respect private property, and help keep our mountain areas clean for residents. Law enforcement will be present enforcing these guidelines and laws.

Check points: The California Highway Patrol will have a check point at Sunrise Highway either at Old Highway 80 or two miles north of Old Highway 80 on Sunrise Highway near Graffiti Rock.

Officers will be checking all vehicles for the presence of snow chains, 4x4 vehicles with mud and snow or snow tires, and All Wheel Drive vehicles with mud and snow or snow tires.  Depending on road and weather conditions, State Route 79 from Descanso to Julian may also have a check point and chain control.  As a reminder, the law requires 4x4 and All Wheel Drive vehicles to have chains in their possession.

Chain control: 4x4 and All Wheel Drive vehicles must have mud and snow or snow tires and carry chains for access.  All other vehicles will be required to install chains on the drive axle at or before the checkpoint for access.

Parking and trespassing violations: There are minimal public locations to enjoy the snow. Once the parking spaces are at maximum capacity no other vehicles will be allowed access to the mountain, the CHP warns. Many locations on the mountain are private property and violators trespassing onto private property may be cited or arrested.  In addition, there is limited or no access to restroom facilities.   

Trash: the public is reminded to take out what they bring in, including trash.  Please if you pack it in, pack it out!

Weather hazards:  Snow and rain increase hazardous driving conditions, so please exercise additional care when driving on slippery or iced over roadways.

COVID-19: Please also remember to maintain social distancing and wear masks if within six feet of others not in your household, to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

You may also wish to take-out food to support local restaurants in the Julian area and/or bring home a Julian apple pie, ECM's editor suggests.


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


Mt. Laguna

Decades ago I went up Sunrise Highway with chains, warm drinks and blankets.  People always threw snowballs at cars and some packed them so they were more like ice rocks. There was a man riding a Honda three wheeler ion the hill. There were families who drove from Baja to enjoy the snow.

A CHP officer was hit by a snowball, he was OK, after that the road was shut down and everyone was ordered to leave. There was a pickup with people drinking heading down, they all got arrested.


some people

I once had someone tell me that trespassing was Ok when it snowed. I sometimes wonder if people believe 2 plus 2 always equals 4!