San Diego Mountain Parks - Kevin Key Photography - San Diego, California
Milky Way Over Big Laguna Lake In Mount Laguna

Milky Way Over Big Laguna Lake In Mount Laguna

Last night I decided to photograph something "different" in Mount Laguna. The lake is quite shallow and full of weeds and algae, so I didn't get the glassy reflections of the Milky Way I was hoping for, but I'm still pleased to have found a less-photographed portion of the park.

In recent years, many photographers have headed up to Mount Laguna (in San Diego County, California), but few seem to photograph the shallow lakes from which the area got its name. "Laguna" is Spanish for "lagoon". There are three lakes up here in Mount Laguna, but one has to hike to them: Big Laguna Lake, Little Laguna Lake (say that ten times really fast), and Water of the Woods lake. Little Laguna lake is often dry, but as of this posting, it has some water in it. These lakes are in Laguna Meadow - where the Kumeyaay once had a summer camp, and through pine and oak forests that provide some welcome summer shade.

Mount Laguna is in The Cleveland National Forest - named after former president Grover Cleveland - and is one of the nation’s earliest forest reserves established under the Forest Reserve Act of 1891. The act originated to slow wasteful and illegal timber cutting, but in Southern California, where the state had established the California Forestry Commission even earlier in 1886, the act was used to protect watersheds. The thinking generally was “lack of protection from fire was causing serious damage to irrigation works of the late 1880s,” according to a history of Cleveland National Forest.

Shot with a Canon 6D and Mitakon 35mm f/2 lens at 15 sec f/2.8 ISO 4000.