hiking

views

nature trips

wild flowers

birding

trail running

walking

wildlife

no dogs

kid friendly

forest

camping

East of San Diego, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park offers respite from the dry Southern California landscape. The park’s 24,700 acres of oak and conifer forests and expansive meadows are broken by running streams. Located in the Peninsular Range of mountains, Cuyamaca Peak, at 6,512 feet, is the second highest point in San Diego County. From the peak, visitors can see Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the east or the Pacific coastline to the west. Over half of the park's acreage is designated as state wilderness. The two family camps, Paso Picacho and Green Valley, are open and on the reservation system spring through fall. Green Valley sits at an elevation of 4,000 feet and has a creek which runs through the middle of the campground. The day-use area offers sets of cascades and shallow pools, great for water play on hot days. Green Valley has 74 campsites. Paso Picacho, 5 miles north, sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The most popular hikes start from this camp, including the 2 mile hike up Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,700 feet), and the 3.5 mile hike up Cuyamaca Peak (elevation 6,512 feet), both which offer breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca at the bottom. Lake Cuyamaca, operated by the Helix Water District, is two miles north of Paso Picacho and offers boating and fishing. Paso Picacho campground has 85 campsites. Day-use visitors may use the picnic areas provided at the campgrounds for $8 per vehicle. The receipt is good for the entire park for the day. The picnic areas offer tables, restrooms, and barbeques. Visitors may also park in legal turnouts along the highway and hike for free. Fire is not allowed anywhere except in the developed picnic areas and campgrounds. The beautiful park offers camping and hiking in an oak woodland forest, with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks. There are over 100 miles of trails which accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park. The park is open from dawn until dusk. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the Cuyamaca Peak Fire Road. Dogs are allowed in picnic areas and in the campgrounds (except the primitive trail camps), but they are not allowed on trails or in park buildings.

hiking
2 days ago

We actually took the east Mesa Rd up to the turn for the peak, gorgeous meadow at the top. 6.4 miles round trip 950 gain. Great to do if you are with others, wider than a trail, watch 4 mtn bikes, horses, 1 state park truck...

hiking
4 days ago

when it's hot, morning is great, even slightly shady, slightly.
great views, trees are coming back after 2003 fire. gradual switchbacks.

This trail is easy, the scenery is beautiful and the weather is just right. Definitely ‘OKAY’ for new hikers.

hiking
6 days ago

Easy to moderate trail with some shade. Great view at the top where it is cool and windy; also a nice spot to sit on the rocks to eat a snack while enjoying the view.

hiking
7 days ago

Easy hike but the top is rad!

hiking
13 days ago

on Azalea Glen Trail

hiking
14 days ago