Lawson Peak Trail

HARD 56 reviews
#10 of 84 trails in

Lawson Peak Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jamul, California that features a cave and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and off road driving and is best used from November until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.4 miles 1581 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

off road driving

rock climbing

cave

views

rocky

scramble

washed out

Downtown: From Downtown San Diego take G St. to CA-94 E and stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. North County: From North County get on I-805 S or I-15 S and merge onto CA-94 E. Stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. South County: From South County get on I-805N or I-15 N and merge onto CA-94 E. Stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. East County: The easiest route to Lawson Peak from most places in East County is by taking the I-8 W and then taking CA-125 S. Exit right for Spring St. and keep to the outermost left turning lane. Turn left onto Spring St. and then keep right for CA-94 E. Stay on the CA-94 E until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak.

21 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Did this hike Jan 15th. Made it to pancake rock and then lost ... didn't make it to the peak. Pretty cold past pancake rock, but trail was beautiful. will definitely go back to find trail to peak.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail! I did it for the first time yesterday. The uphill climb was enough to get your heart pumping and the views were gorgeous! We went after it rained and got a bit muddy but it was worth it. The trial is extremely uneven.

Also an edit to a he directions, you need to turn left on Lyons Valley, not right. All that's to the right is a gated neighborhood.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great trail that was definitely challenging but fun near the top with all the bouldering! We weren't able to find the rope or cave but since I had a small dog with me we were happy with where we got pretty much at the top, with amazing views! Besides that the dirt path until that point is an easy steady incline up!

1 month ago

off road driving
1 month ago

No access to do any kind of off road driving.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Kinda difficult to find the rope to climb to the very top but once you do it's great! Great bouldering and rock climbing! My standard poodle loved this hike!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike. Easy to find. Only saw 2 other groups on the trail. The hike up the dirt road is very straightforward and pretty steep. Once you get near the summit the real fun begins! Lots of bouldering until you near the top. The bouldering is very doable except for the last part. Just before the summit there is a cave and you have to use a rope to climb up a very difficult section. Experienced hikers should have no problem with it, but beginners or those afraid of heights may have a tough time. The summit view is a gorgeous 360 degree view, well worth the effort :)

hiking
3 months ago

The majority of the hike was a steady climb up a jeep trail - not too strenuous but it'll get ya sweating. Nice views the whole way up. Once you pass the point where the trail turns downhill and levels out you start to climb. Feels like doing lunges as you attempt to navigate the overgrown trail as it, and you, squeezes between boulders. This is where the trail was getting to be more fun, technical, and sweat-inducing. Sometimes a boost from a hiking pal came in very handy. When you are almost at the top is gets really fun as long as you are comfortable doing some climbing with the aid of a rope and a willingness to muscle up some tough spots. Then you'll get to explore the caves and pop out onto some cliffs and get up to the very peak.

In short, try to make it out in the winter or at least a cooler day, be prepared to climb, and take a buddy. Would not recommend solo-hiking this one because of the climbing at the end!

hiking
4 months ago

idk why everyone says this trail is hard. it was pretty easy. not challenging at all. we only brought 3 bottles of water and that was more than sufficient. ofcourse bring tons of water to hydrate. we didn't tale any breaks either. the climb up to the peak is all up hill and like doing lunges
the way down was a walk in the park.
definitely not a difficult hike. i did it with my 4 year old son.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

rock climbing
5 months ago

Amazing and Challenging to get to the peak. Not for beginners that's for sure !!

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Hi, this trail is by far one of the best, in the sense of challenging, the trail is up hill and washed out making it harder to hike. This is NOT A WALK IN THE PARK, involves also rock climbing and I will recommend lots of water and food, it will take your time to reach to the top. I actually record the journey myself with my gopro hero4, go check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH55k5H0POY
And don't forget to subscribe I will do more hiking vlogs.

hiking
8 months ago

First off on the direction map it states the destination is on the right, it's on the left though. If you start by going up then you're good, opposite of the 130 marker. It's almost 2 miles steady climb, very manageable but really no flat until the top of the jeep trail. After that it's a road that cuts through, and a small trail dead ahead, luckily shortly into the trail someone marked an arrow with rocks helping hikers know they're on the right route. You get into some shrubs and some bouldering, which was more than the three sisters hike, and potentially more dangerous. A few things will help, wear hiking boots so you don't slip on the boulders. Go with an experienced hiker if you are not, there are some areas you can teammate through. Good team building exercise. Don't bring your spray paint and litter the trail with empty bottles at the top. Wouldn't recommend a first time hiker come here in the summer heat, not in shape. Recipe for disaster. It also helps to have another person to help you out if you aren't experienced on the boulders. Didn't see the cave but did see some cool rock formations and had good views at the top. Going down however, much different story so freaking easy going down. The trail it self is pretty good but when getting to the boulder climb it gets challenging, might slow your pace due to position of how your footing is to be able to climb the Boulders. The way you came up recommend you go the same way down. Tried to look for alternate route down, but none seemed Safer than the way I got up. Out of a 2.2 mile hike, you probably won't find one that you feel as satisfied making the top, good workout, I'll be back like terminator.

hiking
8 months ago

Bagged both Lawson and Gaskill peaks in this hike. Almost 8 miles and 2300 ft round trip. Both summit cut offs are quite overgrown and difficult. Low level rock climbing required. Very tricky but very fun. Be careful and come prepared.

8 months ago

amazing ; great views

hiking
8 months ago

It's was great. Slight incline the entire time. Gravel, small, medium and large rocks pretty much the entire which I consider a real hike. The trail up to the peak is slightly over grown. You get to utilize rock climbing skills over and up some boulders. If you take you dog, go early and take lots of water. My dog is black and soaks up the sun. We went through 8 water bottles. I poured 2 on him. There is no shade!