Archive for the ‘Cuyamaca Rancho State Park’ Category

I have always been curious about Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  I suppose I never got around to it because the trail can get crowded.  Well, since it’s been really hot in southern California, and much of the rest of the United States, and since my non-hiking friends gave me their California State Parks pass, I figured I would a) avoid paying $8 parking fee at the campground, and b) avoid lots of hikers since many of them would not want to hike in the heat.  I left North County around 7:30 a.m. and arrived to the Paso Picacho Campground around 8:30 a.m.  The trailhead is across the highway, but there is no parking on the other side of the street.  One has to park and pay to use the campground.  It was already quite warm when I started the hike, but the skies were clear and I was looking forward as to what I would see from the top.  It’s about two miles to the peak with an elevation gain of 860 feet.  As you climb up the trail you start seeing Cuyamaca Reservoir, Cuyamaca Peak, and the surrounding meadows.  The views were quite impressive and I was glad with my decision.  The last hundred feet to the peak are a series of steps hewn in the rock with a guardrail.  I can see how on rainy days one can easily fall on the slippery granite rock.  I took some photos from the top and then headed back down to the campground.  Overall, a nice short hike for a hot summer day.

Cuyamaca Reservoir


View to the east


View from the top




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(I know, I haven’t posted anything in a month).  Realizing that our summer hiking trips were fast approaching, we decided to do a conditioning hike.  Last weekend we went up Mt. Woodson from the east entrance.  So Saturday I chose a hike my mother hadn’t done yet, the hike up to Cuyamaca Peak.  The trail is accessible from the Paso Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  We arrived to the lot around 11:30am and paid the $8 fee.  Many families were camping and exploring the area.  It was a rather windy day and I’m glad we brought extra layers and gloves.  The trail up to the peak is a paved fire road, like the route up to Mt. Woodson. 

Start of the hike

It’s about 3.5 miles one way with an elevation gain of 1,500ft.  It was a beautiful day with clouds quickly rolling in and out.  And the views of the park were breathtaking. 

View of Cuyamaca Rancho SP

We passed several families and hikers on the way up, but we had the peak to ourselves.  From the summit we couldn’t see much towards the west. 

Looking west from peak

We rested for a bit, had a snack, and then headed back down.  Great short hike for a morning or afternoon!

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