Lawson Peak Trail

HARD 27 reviews
#9 of 85 trails in

Lawson Peak Trail is a 4.4 mile out and back trail located near Jamul, CA 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 1528 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

off road driving

rock climbing

cave

views

rocky

scramble

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.

rock climbing
25 days ago

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

hiking
2 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
3 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
3 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.

3 months ago

amazing ; great views

hiking
3 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!

3 months ago

It was cool

4 months ago

4 months ago

Nice

4 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
6 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
7 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
8 months 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
9 months 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.

cross country skiing
11 months ago

It's an amazing hike!!! Super hard but well worth it once you get to the top!!! Bring lots and lots of water!!!! Go in a cool cloudy day!!! This hike will kick your butt if your not experienced!!!

1 year ago

Fun Trail enjoyed the view at the top but grueling uneven and has a good incline to it so be prepared. Lots of water and a snack of veggies was helpful. The view from the top is great because I live in Lawson Valley and enjoyed looking down at my neighborhood :) the huge rocks at the top are really cool. My German Shepherd and Standard Poodle hiked this no problem I packed lots of water for them. Trail can be very uneven so you have to watch your footing I slipped and cut my knee up pretty good. I think winter or cooler days would be good for hiking this as the shade is very limited. Will do this again for sure.

1 year ago

Weather was perfect. A great hike. Enjoyed the rock climbing and the cave at the peak. The view is amazing!!

hiking
1 year ago

My husband, the dogs and I went up Lawson Peak on the 24th of Mar. 2015. We came from Carveacre so it was 7.24 mi. for us there and back. Everything is in bloom and so bright green even though it hasn't rained in forever. It was a nice cool breezy day and supposed to be a hot santa ana on Friday so that breeze was greatly appreciated!
Unfortunately we were unable to find an easy route to the top square boulders so we didn't try them, but instead walked three quarters of the way around the base of them. Regardless, beautiful views. We could see the ocean to the west. Didn't run into a soul the whole way which was nice. No rattlers, thank god, don't know how those two dogs would deal with that. But with Verizon you get coverage up there.

hiking
1 year ago

Did this hike in early November with a group of about 15 people some in great shape others in not so great shape, but all made it to the top and back.
The majority of the trail is actually an advanced offroad vehicle trail and we did get passed by a couple of jeeps along the way. Eventually the trail gets very steep and narrow and requires some climbing to get to the peak. The climbing is a ton of fun and very doable. The views at the peak are excellent!
We took our time getting to the top and made it up in about 2 hours. Went through about 1.5 liters of water for entire hike. Very fun hike with some great views. I will do this one again.

hiking
2 years ago

Beautiful hike and close to SD. The off road trucks were neat and added to our experience. All the drivers were nice. Didn't end up doing the scramble at the end bc some of my group wasn't up to it but there is a dome rock at the top before the scramble which served as a nice finish. The hike to that can be done pretty easily and could be called moderate probably.