Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

I underestimated how cold it was going to be. I would bring crampons if you have them.

My favorite section was the high meadows. It was a clean trail and mostly well marked. A few signs were old and missing all the paint, but with the All Trails app, it was super easy navigation. I’m going to do this trail more often.

Beautiful trail! Great workout on a brisk morning! My second Cuyamaca hike since starting this “hiking addiction “ This one was fun due to recent element of snow and much colder weather! Very few signs of snow left but the illusion of “mud” or “running water” along the trail kept me amazed! I would step on it and was expecting to slip or slide but the ground was solid! Thankful we went during the chilly temps because before long it would no longer be an illusion!! FYI. 4 mile round trip! And I would classify as “moderate” compared to other peaks I have recently done!

December 31, New Year’s Eve Hike to end the year! 7.7 miles of uphill and downhill with snow, mud, and rocky road. We didn’t get a chance to see the view on Cuyamaca Peak due to fog and windy weather, but it was definitely the toughest hiking trail when it is snowy and muddy!

31Dec2018, this is an awesome trail, it's actually a hard trail if your dealing with snow and sometimes a strong wind....challenging but doable... we didnt get any good views at the top due to foggy weather... i did get a picture of a frozen plants

Did this hike on December 30th and from the beginning there was lots of frost and patches of light snow. As we hike for about 1 hr we started seeing the trail covered in snow then it stayed all the way to the top. With the snow it made the hike harder, but also was really enjoyable. Be careful once you get to the fire road, my brother and I both fell on the way down. We were wearing hiking boots and using treking poles.

Azalea Glen Loop is what makes this hike enjoyable. As we went down the fire road on the way down we both thought we would be disappointed if that was the route to the top we took.

Parking at the bottom campground is $10 and the adventure pass is not accepted.

Beautiful hike this morning! I loved this route via Azalea Glen and then through Conejos Trail. Very peaceful, and great views throughout the hike. A good amount of mud early along the trail today, and then snow as I got further along (dec 28). Not too icy though—didn’t need microspikes or anything in today’s conditions.

Perfect hike to select on Christmas Eve!

Great hike . The view of the whole region from the top would be worth it. We went on Christmas Eve 2018 . So clear we could see Big Bear, Palomar, Salton Sea, Mt San Miguel, ... It’s painful to see how much was burned on the mountain a few years ago , but also good to see how the area is recovering. different areas had grasses, bushes and thousands of young pine trees.

The trail is well maintained and fallen trees I had read about in reviews from a couple of weeks earlier were already cleared.

Awesome, Lots of great views!

Great hike, nice views, not strenuous, trail well maintained and easy to navigate through.

hiking
25 days ago

This is one of my favorites. About 40 minutes up and 40 back. An excellent 360 degree view and a nice breeze at the peak. If you bring children be careful with them as the peak has significant drops. It's a fenced area but little ones can slip through. Awesome place for a sunrise or sunset. This one never gets old.

This is second highest peak in San Diego county. The fire access road is steep but paved most of the way to the peak. There is a significant breeze on the west side of the peak all year. In the summer it's refreshing. In the winter it's down right cold. The breeze varies from 15 mph to 60 mph. The pines not wiped out in the 2003 Cedar fire are beautiful and impressive. There is no 360 view because of building fire towers and trees. Walk around these and you will see the ocean, surrounding mountains, and the desert. About 6 miles round-trip.

We ended up doing a longer variation of the hike mapped out here. The weather was nearly perfect and the hike was beautiful and serene. We only passed 3 other hikers and that was in the last 2 miles of our 8.5 miles day. Would definitely like to do this one again.

Forget about this as a waterfall hike. A beautiful easy hike through Milk Ranch and Middle Peak Trails with a lot of wildlife and nice views. You can hear the waterfall less than half a mile away at the ‘turn off’ point off the fire road, but there no reasonable or enjoyable way to access the falls through brush and fallen massive trees. Until some folks get in there with chainsaws and heavy equipment to clear the path down, don’t bother. There is good reason the falls were taken off the most recent 5th edition of Afoot and Afield San Diego County hiking guide.

Excellent hike!! Great clear trail! A large tree has fallen across the trail at the beginning! No way around had to go under! Views from peak are amazing! Even a view of Downtown San Diego, Point Loma, Ocean and more!

hiking
1 month ago

All Trails map directions leads to no road. There are 2 houses there & it is their driveway.. Further down the highway is an entrance to a camp ground but it is also closed. This is on Dec 15, 2018
Therefore there is no way to hike this trial.

nice easy climb, gorgeous views at the top. unpopulated.

Fun trail and hike with good views. It's a pretty easy hike if you do any real hiking.

So much better than just taking the fire road. I'd actually suggest doing an out and back on the recommended start to the route so you only do the paved part at the end. Be prepared for some very narrow trails that get pretty rocky (loose in some areas).

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view! People of all ages can do this one. It's the perfect hike as part of a day trip. Swing by Julian after for apple pie and cider.

9/10/18
I enjoyed this hike very much! Easy, fun switchbacks, well maintained trail, however lots of hikers on the weekend. Astonishing views at the top of the summit! The space at the top is very small and can get crowded quickly. My guy and I did a quick walk thru than found a quiet spot on a rock away from the crowd to enjoy our view and snack. Please be mindful to share the space at the top of the summit for others to also enjoy the beautiful view. No need for you to hang out there 20min to talk about BS as others are coming thru. And please keep your dog on a leash. Parking $10 Paso Picacho Picnic abs Campground.

I did the loop, and I really liked it! The first part was a rocky trail with lots of great foliage and views. There were a couple of downed trees but I was able to climb over them pretty easily. The top isn’t really that great because there is a bunch of construction equipment and I went pretty early so it was windy. I took the paved path back and it was really easy. I’d definitely recommend doing the loop because the first part had the best views, IMO. Enjoyable, and in the easy to moderate range.

Note that there is a $10 state park day fee to park.

i love the trail, it is a little bit hard but the view is amazing

Started early, 8 am and it was chilly/breezy (November). Great hike for beginners since the trail isn't too steep. I only saw 5 other people when I was coming down from the peak. The peak is amazing when on top of the boulder with fantastic views in all directions (very windy, so glad I had my sweatshirt to put on at the top). I started on the Upper Descanso Creek trail to get to Oakzanita trail... will do this again but take the fireroad down for a longer hike (working my way up to longer hikes).

This was a fun and diverse trail! We started up the fire road and about two thirds of the way up we were in the clouds. It was magical! A good handful of hikers complained about not having the right clothing as the weather from the base to the summit was drastically different. We took the Azalea Glen Loop trail down. I was looking forward to some trail running down but the trail was too rocky and unstable; I would go up Azalea Glen Loop and down the fire road if I were to do it again.

Great hike! Then head into Julian for lunch

Dogs are only allowed on the fire road and it is an all uphill paved path this way. Awesome views at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on a Sunday in November, started at 9am. We had the peak to ourselves, in fact only saw 4 other small groups the entire morning. We had shade for 80% of it, starting early helped with that.
beautiful view that went on for miles!

it was a pleasant view! totally recommend it!

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