Explore the most popular forest 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.

Lovely trail. Wear long pants, lots of poison oak out there. Bring lots of water especially if it’s hot, most parts no shade.

Breath taking trail. The trail has a very sad slow rate of forest regeneration, which prompted a reforestation project to replant using donations. It breaks my heart when I saw such magnificent pines burnt to the core. Quick history: The fire took place in 2003, when a lost hunter lit a signal fire hoping to be found. That signal burned out of control and became the biggest wildfire in California's history, burning more than 300,000 acres, killed 15 people and burned 2400 homes.

Great trail I love it

The last part of the trail really difficult. I recommend it just for Strong Guys;)

hiking
20 days ago

Pretty cool and easy hike if you want to take your kiddos. The down side about this hike is that you can’t take your dog. Also, watch your step because I came across with two rattle snakes on my way up.

great hike, even with my 4 and 6yo. switchbacks make the ascent easy and the views are spectacular. watch out for rattlers!

Excellent trail, love the view

Parking fee is $10

The directions from here mapped me to the adjacent road into a small residential area. Multiple attempts to map takes me all different places. Look for the school on Viejas rd. On the map its labeled on Merigan Fire Rd. That's where the parking lot and trail head is.

The fire road has some nice inclines and practically no shade, might be bad to come here in the dead heat of summer. Sweetwater trail is narrow and not extremely well maintained, it is itchy to hike in shorts for this portion. Took a right on falls fire road towards green valley falls for the awesome swim spot. Road only adds 2 miles to the loop
Totally worth it!

Nice memorial day hike!

Great Easy-Medium hike for most. Completed the 5.4 mile trek this morning starting at 0600-ish. Did not see a soul on full hike. About Hike: $10.00 parking, self pay & park if you go early. Initial incline at start is a good breather, short lived, then easy-peasy switchbacks to peak. Love the view, trail is great, but narrow, will not go during peak hiking crowds, I amagine the stop and go, give way, and Good mornings..will become tiresome possibly. Intend to hike next time pre sunrise with head lamp to scare myself with the epic creepy dead trees and (I bet) shadows...Boo! Back side mountain return is a must for joggers to not worry about front-end congestion. Although drive not fun to get there, well worth the hike..Will go again and again

Great forest hike. Nice weather with a cool breeze! Park at the campground and pay the $10 parking fee. The azalea glen trail is south of the parking lot. Flat and gradual incline at the beginning. Steep as you reach the peak.

I really loved this hike and had no idea it was across the street from Paso Picacho! It’s definitely a new favorite in the area. Lots of blooms and taller vegetation even though this hasn’t been the wettest spring. My only WARNING is that I do not think this hike is entirely kid friendly. The hike itself is doable and well kept, but the top even with the rails would have made me very nervous if I had brought my wild 6 year old with me. There are huge gaps between the rocks and rails and if you have a clumsy or defiant or careless child (which describes many children), they could easily fall from a great height. I don’t consider myself a helicopter parent and have no problem with taking some risks with children, but take a good look at the pictures of the top before you take your kids. I would, however, take my cautious 9 year old who I’m sure would absolutely love it. The top is quite breathtaking and I plan to go back often! But consider carefully what your children are capable of before you bring them!

Love it!! Perfect for a birthday hike with friends!!

One of the most amazing hike.

Great little hike with spectacular 360 views! Watch out for the rattlesnakes though.

Gorgeous hike! One of the most scenic and pretty sight I’ve been in San Diego...awesome 360 view of mountains and Cuyamaca Lake at the top! Make sure to start early (we started around 7:15am on a Saturday) cause Peak doesn’t have room and can get crowded as soon as people start coming in! Park across campground and pay $10 for parking fee. I would come back again!!

Really fun little hike, you’ll need $10 for parking but you can schedule a guided hike with the Park Docents. Michelle and Carmen were very nice and welcoming and had so many fun things to show us. Local plants and a WWII era water reservoir system. Super fun swimming hole at the end!

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy hike, consistently inclined. parking located across the road. Easy to follow paths. Great views in all directions at summit.

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good work out..beautiful views

hiking
2 months ago

The only reason I am giving it a four stars is the traffic. Just so many people. And just rude. No trail manners at all. If you don’t wish to hike with loud rude people the best hike elsewhere.

On the other hand, this is a great little out and back trail. Don’t do it in the summer as I’m sure it will be much to hot. Towards the end you do have to make your way up the granite rocks so bring a buddy to help each other. I’m 6 ft 7 inches tall and recorded 92 flights doing this hike.

Beautiful 360 degree views at the top, so bring your camera.

I was most surprised by a family that pushed a baby in. Baby stroller to the top of the this beautiful Peak. The 360 degree view was marred by mist or possibly smog to the west, so you couldn’t quite see the Pacific Ocean. Otherwise it was a sunny blue sky day with 15-20 mph winds. We met a couple dozen other hikers, including a group of Japanese teenagers coming up from the Paseo Pacheco Campground, where we parked for $10.

Stunning view! Fairly easy hike. Nice views on the way up too.

Great hike. Conejos trail is definitely a challenge and it’s a good workout going up. The views are spectacular.

One of my favorite hikes in San Diego. Love the view and some fun rockclimbing

hiking
2 months ago

good little hike with great views from the peak.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this Trail especially for the views at the top. The switchbacks made for a pretty smooth hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great little drive-by type "get out and stretch your legs" type hike. We were on route to Joshua Tree and needed a break. Awesome views on the way up, superfantastic views at the summit, and another set of terrific views on the way down. This trek just keeps on giving! Just do it!

Beautiful views all around and the frosty weather at the top was like the cherry on top. Enjoyed the cold and the icy winds on an other wise warm day in San Diego. We hiked with our dog so we stuck to the paved road (~5.4 mile out and back). Would definitely come back here soon!

Lovely, easy hike. Not too steep, really nice views. A little muddy due to snowmelt, and a little windy at the peak, no real worries though. The campground at the start provides nice bathrooms n parking.

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