Cuyamaca Peak Loop

HARD 173 reviews

Cuyamaca Peak Loop is a 6.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Descanso, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1489 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

Lightly traveled and rugged ridgeback with splendid pine forest views to the west. This excursion to the top of the Cuyamaca Peek has many trails from which to choose. Ours trail begins on the south Azalea Glen Loop. This 1.5 mile ascent is one of the most beautiful dense forest hikes in the park. Take the Loop Trail to the Azalea Glen Road to the Azalea Fire Road finally meeting up with the Conejos Trail. The Conejos, a lightly hiked 2.5 mile trail, follows the ridgeback of the Cuyamaca it is a bit of smorgasbord. It begins by meandering around fallen oak trees then quickly morphs to a granite rock trail. Finally it becomes a wall trail hugging a steep drop! The views this hike affords are fantastic, both to the East Mountains and west low lying valleys. Finally, the trail merges with the paved fire road 0.5 from the top of Cuyamaca Peak. Be sure to bring some binoculars, on a clear day the views from the second highest peak in San Diego County are spectacular!

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Excellent hike. Nice breeze in the afternoon even with temps in the mid-80's. Lots of butterflies today. Nice to see cedars, firs, and pines that weren't touched by the fires. Easy to miss the Conejos Trail if you're not paying attention.

hiking
12 days ago

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12 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Me and my 6 year old son loved the view from peak! We took azalea road to go up and took fire road on the way down because we saw some black clouds with lighting coming towards us I thought we should hurry.

17 days ago

Loved this trail. We hiked it late July, which was hot, so bring lots of water. Parts of the trail have shade, which we took advantage of by resting and fueling up. We saw wildlife, lots of trees, and great vistas. Coming down the fire access roads wasn't as scenic or enjoyable as the actual trails, but still a great hike.

hiking
23 days ago

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1 month ago

12551 Highway 79 in Descanso, CA 91916 is the address of the Paso Picacho Camground where you can park. It is $10 to park there but they have decent restrooms and running water. I have hiked to Cuyamaca Peak 3 other times taking the Lookout Fire Trail, which is very steep, hot and so hard on my knees. The Lookout Fire Trail is also pretty open so it doesn't quite feel like a nature trail. I did not know there was other trails that lead to the peak until recently. So this beautiful warm June Saturday morning, A friend and I decided to take the Azalea Glen Loop to the Azalea Springs Trail to the Conejos Trail up to Cuyamaca Peak and back down the Lookout Fire Road for a total of 7 1/2 miles and 1,700 ft elevation gain. It was 4 1/2 miles to the peak taking the trails up and 3 miles down the Lookout Fire Road. We were some of only ones on the these trails going up. I think we passed two other people. It was a little warm but there was a nice breeze so it was very bearable. The trails were nice and shaded part of the way up. There was a lot of wildflowers and a lot of butterflies. It was so peaceful. The views at the top were worth the work! I don't think I'll ever take the Lookout Fire Road up again when you have so many beautiful trails to choose from. If you want to get to Cuyamaca Peak, definitely check out the trails!

hiking
1 month ago

Marching up all that miserable, hard ass pavement is totally worth the view! First time I ever saw the Salton Sea. I did this one in skate shoes, no boots needed. I'd recommend them though in the winter. I'm from the Midwest, and I hate walking on snowy/icy sidewalks. I couldn't imagine walking a snowy sidewalk all the way up a mountain. I didn't realize at the time there were alternate trails to the top, I might have to go back!

1 month ago

Worthwhile hike but hiking on a paved fire road is painful. Take the trails

1 month ago

Trails up were great, fire road down on the paved road was really hard on the legs. View from top was ok but a bit hazy.

2 months ago

Don't you dare take the paved road up...

2 months ago

2 months ago