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Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association

We officially incorporated as the Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association, Inc., (LMVA) in 1986, as a California 501 (c) (3) accredited non-profit organization. Our volunteers have been providing quality services to visitors to the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, and supporting the Descanso District of the Cleveland National Forest, in the following ways.

Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association


Visitor Services


LMVA volunteers; operate the Mt Laguna Visitor Information Center on weekends. Visitor questions are addressed; Adventure passes are sold, area maps or sold, and issue disbursed camping permits.

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Volunteers provide Campfire programs - Guided trail walks - Children's programs - Other volunteers hike bike ride  (horses) on the trails to monitor trail conditions. Annually we present a living history program with volunteers acting as various persons of the past.

Follow these links to find out more.

Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association


Trail Maintenance

LMVA volunteers; provide maintenance for the over 50 miles of trails in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area.

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The LMVA Trail Maintenance Crew maintains the approximate 35-mile trail system in the Mount Laguna Recreation Area, making it safer and more enjoyable for hikers, mountain bikers, and travelers on horseback. LMVA built the Big Laguna and Indian Creek trails, but we are currently in maintenance mode. Maintenance consists of removing brush encroaching on the trail, tread maintenance, repairing erosion, and removing root balls and rocks.


Safety is the Number One priority for the Trail Crew, and we are proud that our safety record is outstanding. Trail crew members wear safety gear including hard hats, sturdy and protective footwear, gloves, long-sleeve shirts and long pants. All maintenance outings start with a brief safety refresher. The work site may involve long-distance hiking while lugging trail tools. The dust and heat can be intense in the summer months, and it can be bitterly cold and windy in winter. Adequate advance preparation is key.

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But there is nothing like a day out on the trail getting dirty, watching wildlife, working hard and receiving satisfaction from an appreciative comment by a trail user.


The Trail Crew meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month (holidays excepted), starting out from the Roost headquarters.

Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association



Special projects



LMVA volunteers help LMVA volunteers; organize Special Projects are to assist the Forest service maintain their property, such as painting picnic tables.


LMVA volunteers; maintain the landscaping around the Visitor Center and the Volunteer Activity Center.


LMVA volunteers; regularly pick up the recycling from the Laguna Mountain campgrounds.


LMVA volunteers; have a permit with the County of San Diego for the removal of trash from mile marker 20.5 to 22.5 on Sunrise Highway.

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There are typically only two or three winter storms in our mountains each year that are cold and strong enough to drop snow. When the storms move out, people flock to the mountain to frolic in the white stuff.

After the “snow-players” go away, members of the LMVA Mountain Area Removal Squad (MARS) move in.
It always amazes us how much litter is left behind after the snow melts. We have found virtually every article of clothing you can think of, money, electronics (cell phones), the remains of snow play toys, even half of a surfboard!

How did a coconut wind up at 6,000 feet? We don’t know, but we found it. Fast-food and drink containers make up the bulk of the remainder of the trash. But we once found a menu from a Chinese restaurant in Chula Vista, over 60 miles away. The trash left behind from just one snow-play event at just one of the snow-play locations on the mountain can completely fill up the back of a full-size pickup.

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Laguna Mountain Volunteer Association




Interpretive Services




LMVA volunteers; lead Nature Walks from the campgrounds, Conduct Campfire Programs, Provide children’s programs, and host an annual “Living History Program”.


LMVA volunteers; participate in the Trail Ambassador program. Volunteers on foot, bike and horseback take to the trails on weekends to answer visitor questions and monitor trail conditions.

Camfire Programs
Nature Walks

Nature Walks

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Campfire Programs

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Campground Activities 

for  the summer of 2023 have concluded





Red-tailed Roost is located Near mile marker 22.5 on Sunrise Highway. From the campgrounds, travel south (toward I-8). Notice the fire station on your left. Red-tailed Roost is the next driveway on the right.

10385 Sunrise Highway 91949
near Mile Marker 22.5

Across from the Old Volunteer Fire Department headquarters.
Take a guided tour to Visit a Kwaaymii Indian, a Mountain Man, Cowboys from the Campo Cattle Company, an Imperial Valley Farm family, and the Cleveland National Forest’s first Ranger, Carl Brenner.  And be sure to watch out for Smokey Bear!
Sorry, no pets allowed on the tour, but we will gladly pet-sit them for you.


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Trail Ambassador Program

Trail ambassadors will assist recreation area visitors acting as roving interpreters answering visitor’s questions and providing directions. The purpose of the position is to educate and inform the public, trail ambassadors will not enforce regulations or policy while on duty. In cases of emergency, trail ambassadors will contact dispatch and other emergency agencies as appropriate in accordance with emergency communication procedures. Ambassadors will not administer first aid unless they hold a valid First Aid Certification.

Trail Ambassadors
Living History
Children's Programs

Children's Programs

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Olive Grove


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Kumeyaay Dwelling

LMVA participated with descendants of local Native Americans to build a typical Kumeyaay dwelling, called an “ewaa.”

Wood splitting


Special Projects are developed by LMVA or by the Forest Service. Most events are completed in one weekend, although occasionally a large project will take several weekends.
Some examples of Special Project are VIC renovation, Snow Play, Erosion Control (“Gully Busting”), and campground renovation including painting picnic tables, cleaning fire rings and site improvements. Two major events LMVA participated in were the renovation of the Boulder Oaks and Agua Dulce campgrounds. Other projects may include fence building, tree pruning, and planting.
It’s gratifying to see the results of your labor by the end of a weekend! If you are interested in helping, please contact us. We notify LMVA members of scheduled special projects through Volunteer Voice articles, e-mail or phone contact, or by having the Project chair notify the members directly.

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