hiking

views

no dogs

nature trips

wild flowers

birding

walking

trail running

wildlife

forest

camping

kid friendly

backpacking

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.

One of the most enjoyable hikes in the area.

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.

hiking
4 days ago

great view at the top don't forget to find the the note box!!!

walking
4 days ago

This was more of a walk than a hike, but very enjoyable none the less. Would be great for trail running!

hiking
5 days ago

Nice hike with great views. But it was pretty cold and windy on top. Take jacket

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

It's a great trail, easy for the majority of the part. The hardest part is leading to the fall i guess. But it is really hard to cross all the woods and jungles, and very easy to get off the trail on that part, we had to return.