Lawson Peak Trail

HARD 33 reviews
#11 of 85 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 accessible 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.

hiking
3 days 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!

off road driving
7 days ago

No access to do any kind of off road driving.

hiking
29 days 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
2 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
2 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
3 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.

rock climbing
4 months ago

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

hiking
6 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
7 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
7 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.

7 months ago

amazing ; great views

hiking
7 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!

7 months ago

It was cool

7 months ago

8 months ago

Nice

8 months ago

Didn't see a soul the entire time. Awesome climbing and exploring at the top. Not difficult, but be prepared to climb!

hiking
10 months ago

The funnest trail I have done in San Diego county. There was less then a dozen people encountered on the entire trail and no one on the actual peak. Plenty of cool rocks and boulders to explore there as well. The whole using the rope to get into the cave made it fun at the top. The jeep trail up is a little rough but worth the climb !

hiking
10 months ago

Great... I'm still smiling. As mentioned by other hikers, the road is washed out but it is a great training ground for downhill running. You have to be alert and agile.

geocaching
1 year ago

The majority of the trail is a less-than-fascinating washed out old jeep trail that seems to be closed to off roading now. Once you get near the top, however, it's really fun. I would suggest having at least a little bit of climbing experience before trying to get to the peak; there are some tricky spots. It took me 3 hours to do, but I didn't stop a whole lot. On a cloudy day it was pleasant, I even hiked into the clouds which made it more interesting. Fun hike!

hiking
1 year ago

This is an out and back trail that is not for beginners. The trail is a really washed out fire road that is very rocky and uneven. It's a steady climb for 2 miles then be prepared to do some bouldering if you want to make it to the summit. The trail was unmarked the entire way. I was able to reference the Alltrails app on my phone for reference which was a big help staying on the trail to the top. No problem ,siting cell signal the entire time , I have vow. You'll need to climb over and around several boulders on your way up.
I was able to record a track titled thanksgvng2015.