Explore the most popular camping trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful hike - went out and back., and about 20 min towards Primitive Camp.
Amazing 360 degree views from top and end of ridge. On Oct 20, 2018 - a lot of fall foliage with bright yellow Aspens, and some firefly oak tree leaves. Definitely trail goes up and down several times - as it ascends. Cooler temps because of elevation, starting out at Green Valley Campground.

this hike is actually 7 miles! .9 miles from the trail head to the beginning of the loop. Beautiful !

5 months ago

Good trail did the complete Harvey Moore trail , the back side was not fun (overgrown and doesn’t look like it has seen much traffic lately) mileage was my GPS clocked the whole thing at 11.3

7 months ago

Not fun

easy to moderate. ..

8 months ago

I did this hike as part of the 100 peak challenge- but I really didn’t enjoy climbing up the bump to east mesa peak.. the trail along the peak it’s nice though- but the peak it’s off trail and once on the top the high bushes won’t let enjoy the view. Sometimes I wonder why they chose peaks like this one... well.. have fun!

8 months ago

Completed ModernHiker's East Mesa Loop. Harvey Moore > Granite Springs > Dyar Springs > Eastside. ~9 miles. Didn't see any turkey or deer, but this is a great trail.

9 months ago

A variety of terrain and a great workout to prepare for longer hikes.

9 months ago

I hiked the Harry Moore trail on Sunday 3/4/18. Starting from the parking lot the upper trail is wonderful, beautiful scenery and rolling hills. Saw several deer and a lot of turkey tracks. I proceeded to take the trail all the way down the back side to the East Side Trail. This is where I had a problem. There is no sign for this trail or indication of this trail anywhere? It is clearly show on the map, but after three hours of searching no trail could be found. I had to back track up the back side of the Harvey Moore trail to the East Mesa Fire road. I didn't get back to the parking lot until 8pm. Please check where the Harvey Moore trail turns into the East Side Trail. Any trail in that area takes you north. I wouldn't wants this to happen to anyone else.

Misleading. This trail came up as "dog-friendly" and is not. We even went to talk to a ranger who said this site's information is wrong. There's even a big sign with a slash through an image of a dog in 3 different places close together as you enter the trail. We had to settle for the Lake Cuyamaca Trail which is awful.

Friday, December 15, 2017

This trail (or a connection of several trails) is in the most beautiful part of San Diego County, starting from Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to Mt. Laguna and back through a forest of pine trees, valleys and creeks (dry in summer months). It is just about one hour of driving from downtown San Diego and easily accessible. The best time to hike is from late fall through spring. It may get really hot in the summer months during heat waves.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Awesome hike! Great scenery and nothing too difficult. Saw several deer and I think a couple of coyotes! Still some water running and this is at the end of the dry season. I would DEFINITELY recommend starting on the south end of the loop coming out from the north as it's a pretty good grade down. Going again in Spring!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Beautiful scenery and not too hot. Wasn't the most challenging but did run across some wild turkeys. Very isolated, left at 8am and saw a total of 3 people by the time I got back at 11:15.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

The views are gorgeous. Parking is $10. The trail begins between campsites 37&38.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This hike map depicts a combination of two trails making a loop (Harvey More to Eastside) If you prefer an out and back at about 2/3 the distance, Take Harvey More to the Granite Springs Trail Camp adjacent to the Cuyamaca Rancho / Cleveland National Forest boundary, 3.7 miles from the trailhead at the big equestrian staging area on hwy 79. Starting with a climb through a shady pine and oak ravine, it transitions to exposed sage and mesquite, and eventually becomes vast meadows leading to pine stands. Watch for a colony of horny toads to the right side of the trail (heading out) inside the boundaries of the Cuyamaca Montains State Wilderness area. All the while, you are continuing a gradual climb until just before the camp. The horse camp has outhouses, corrals and well water for animals. If you choose to continue on Harvey More, you will climb once again after crossing the springbed, other wise this is your turnaround. I've found wildlife encounters to scarce on this route. If you're looking for deer and turkey I suggest the areas south, east and southeast the Stonewall Mine.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's an easy hike. The map from the San Diego Reader website was very helpful. The trail is extremely narrow and overgrown with grasses. I would recommend wearing long pants in order to help protect your legs from being scratched up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Extremely nice trail. Amazing views and lots of wildlife - deer and turkey. Amazing diversity of landscape - forest, meadow and mountain brush. Don't let the distance scare you, pretty easy after a pretty steep first 3/4 mile. Well worth the distance.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Very nice, fairly easy trail with amazing views and lots of wildlife. The rains this year made for green green meadows and a vernal pond with polywogs.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Beautiful! We hiked 4/9/17. Parked at the Green Valley Falls Campground off the 79- $10 parking pass. Hiked Fire Falls to Sweetwater Trail to Saddleback to Californina Riding & Hiking back to Fire Falls. Crossed the river twice (you will get wet. Its deep in some parts. We put some fallen branches & rocks down, but still got wet) we saw a beautiful deer in the meadow. The saddleback trail is hard on the ankles. Wouldn't recommend if you have knee problems. My 5 year old completed this. Its very do-able and the reward was playing in the water at the end

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Very nice trail with good diversity. Granite Spring camp looked interesting.

Monday, March 27, 2017

This trail is a little misleading. The falls are literally .2 miles from the trailhead, but there are several trails that go down into the valley and this one does in fact end up looping back to the same point if you follow this app a bit. There is some decent elevation involved as well as crossing the sweet water river a few times if you decide to do the whole 5-6 mile loop. Bring plenty of water, make sure you have good trail shoes or boots and plenty of food before you make the trip!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Relatively easy trail for an experienced hiker. Pretty and the trailhead was easy to find with plenty of parking.

Nice easy hike.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Great hike but be prepared for horses and mules. Awesome scenery.

Friday, November 21, 2014

This was a nice little hike. Not too hard, not too easy. At the top was an amazing view of the Pacific very far off in the distance. I would do it again. Try to time it so you hit the apex around sunset, and you'll be rewarded.

Monday, August 04, 2014

We started at the Green Valley Falls campground just South of the Sweetwater trailhead because we were staying overnight at the Granite Springs trail camp. You cannot park overnight at the trailhead parking lot unless you have a horse trailer. I thought it was gonna be super hot, but we were lucky to have some may grey-like clouds and rain. I would consider this to be a moderately difficult hike because a 9 and 12 year old were able to complete it with just a moderate level of complaining. We ended up making a loop out of it by going back via the East Mesa fire road. it was a total of about 11 miles, 5.8 in and 5 out. I wouldnt recommend it for a first time trip for kids due to the length, mine got bored and tired and they probably wont want to take and more backpacking trips with me. The Palm Canyon Oasis would be way better, because its shorter and depending on what time of the year it is, there is water flowing through your camp. I gave this hike 4 stars because I can see potential in it if we did it during spring, the trail is well defined, there are plenty of signs on the trail and detailed maps are available at the green valley falls ranger station for about 3 bucks.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This trail is beautiful and offers great views of valleys, hills, and the Sweetwater River. The falls themselves are reason enough to visit, but the trail is well worth it. The loop is formed by taking four different trails. I was nervous I was going to get lost but I found a map of it on the San Diego Reader website. You start on the Falls Fire Road. There is a section where you can go down to the falls, but once you do you'll have to come back the way you came. If you do go down to the falls, you might not want to leave :) The Falls Fire road meets with the Sweetwater trail and the California Riding and Hiking Trail. You can go either way. If you go down the Sweetwater trail, you will turn right at the Saddleback trail, right at the California Riding and Hiking Trail, and then meet up at the Falls Fire road. The Sweetwater trail is very narrow and I wouldn't recommend it for mountain biking. When you turn onto the Saddleback trail, you might cross some water. When I was there, someone had made a makeshift bridge out of fallen branches and I managed to stay dry.
UPDATE: Hours after we got home, my husband discovered he'd been bitten by a tick. This trail is overgrown with grasses, so be careful to check for ticks!

Friday, April 04, 2014

I LOVED this trail!! It is one of the only trails in the San Diego area where you can actually feel like you are away from cities and highways. It is actually about 12 miles round trip but totally worth it. You get to hike thought gorgeous meadows on the top of mountains, through forests and through the typical San Diego desert shrub. This trail has it all... Oh and wild turkeys :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This is a really pretty easy trail that hooks into several peaks in the area. Beautiful high meadow views, peaks of the lake to the north and out to the valleys. A great warmup before Stonewall! Lots of horse activity too.

Monday, September 03, 2012

IT was a nice trail, not too hard of a hike. Had some really nice views south. Wasn't really any moment on the trail that signaled that you were at the top but was still enjoyable. What the trail doesn't tell you is that where the trail ends is still about a mile mile n a half away from where you start so add on an extra half hour to the time and your set. Oh and parking is $8.00

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