Laguna Summit

Laguna Summit is a highway pass through the Cuyamaca Mountains of southeastern San Diego County, California, traversed by Interstate 8 at an altitude of 4,055 feet (1,236 m).

Laguna Summit
Laguna Summit is located in southern California
Laguna Summit
Location in California
Laguna Summit is located in California
Laguna Summit
Laguna Summit (California)
Elevation4,055 feet (1,236 m)
LocationSan Diego County, California
RangeCuyamaca Mountains
Coordinates32°48′39″N 116°30′36″W / 32.81083°N 116.51000°W / 32.81083; -116.51000 (Laguna Summit)Coordinates: 32°48′39″N 116°30′36″W / 32.81083°N 116.51000°W / 32.81083; -116.51000 (Laguna Summit)

Of the four 4,000 feet (1,200 m) highway summits eastward of San Diego, the Laguna Summit is the second. The first highway summit has been unnamed until "Carpenter Summit" was proposed in late 2019, now pending the United States Geological Survey approval. The third is Crestwood Summit followed by the Tecate Divide.[1]

Laguna Summit is located east of Pine Valley, just to the east of the intersection with the Sunrise Highway, which heads north towards the Laguna Mountains.[2] The pass is also traversed by Old Highway 80 at the junction of County Route S1, also known as the "Sunrise Highway" then continuing as a frontage road of Interstate 8 on the south side of the freeway.[3]


The Interstate 8 route was realigned from Arnold Way onto Alpine Boulevard as it passed through Alpine and the Viejas Indian Reservation, before entering the Laguna Mountains and the Cleveland National Forest mostly paralleling the alignment used by old US 80.[4]

By August 1970, the remainder of the freeway had been funded, with the part from Japatul Valley Road to Laguna Junction costing $22 million (about $115 million in 2020 dollars),[5] [6] (about $79 million in 2020 dollars).[5]

A portion of old US 80 that followed the grade eastward from Pine Valley up to the Sunrise Highway junction had to be closed for construction. A cut off road (now named old US 80) direct from Pine Valley eastward to the Sunrise Highway, also known as County Route S1 (a route to Mt. Laguna) was made prior to freeway construction. Near the "Laguna Junction", was a road house cafe of the same name for travelers that existed from 1916 until it was removed to provide land for the interchange with I-8. The United States Geological Survey now cites "Laguna Junction" as a historical place name replaced by "Laguna Summit."[7]

A section of old US 80 — with the first few miles signed as SR 79 — continues to serve as access to the communities of Descanso, Guatay and Pine Valley;[4] SR 79 intersected US 80 east of Descanso.[8][9]

I-8 crests a 4,000 foot highway summit, at the old Laguna Junction, now called Laguna Summit before descending towards Buckman Springs Road.[4]

Google Street view.


  1. ^ Summit information by district, county, route, and postmile, California Department of Transportation, archived from the original on 2017-03-01, retrieved 2017-06-02
  2. ^ "Interstate 8 East - California 79 to Imperial County Line", AA Roads, retrieved 2017-06-02
  3. ^ "Bicycling on Old U.S. 80 in San Diego County", San Diego County, California: A Bicyclist's Paradise, retrieved 2017-06-02
  4. ^ a b c Brandais, Jac (November 25, 2006). "80 at 80 - Old highway a reminder of bygone days in East County". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. L1.
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2022). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved February 12, 2022. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  6. ^ Clance, Homer (August 9, 1970). "Area Freeway Work Costs $107.5 Million". The San Diego Union. p. B1. OCLC 13155544.
  7. ^ McVicar, Jim (January 23, 1986). "Forgotten haven was welcome resting spot on Highway 80". The San Diego Union. p. II8.
  8. ^ San Diego County (Map). Automobile Club of Southern California. 1948.
  9. ^ California (Map). Shell Oil Company. 1966.

See alsoEdit