Cuyamaca Peak Loop

HARD 222 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
1456 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!

17 hours ago

hiking
6 days ago

i love it, not too easy but great

hiking
12 days ago

My girlfriend and I did this "part" of this hike on New Year's Day. The weather was a little overcast and made for perfect hiking weather.

We added a couple extra miles to this hike. Instead of taking the main fire road, which is paved, we hiked up Azalea Glen Road to Azalea Spring Fire Road to the main Fire Road (paved) and finally extending the trail to Cuyamaca Peak. Hiked down Conejos Trail to Azalea Spring Fire Road to Azalea Glen Trail .

The view from Cuyamaca Peak was fantastic! We both decided to stay off the main fire road because it was paved and felt that the other dirt trails were better on our knees.

17 days ago

Fantastic views along the way and the view at the summit is worth the trip. We hiked the Azalea Glen trail to Conejos trail then up to the peak. We took the lookout road back down to the parking and it was not a great trail for views and hard on the knees. Overall the hike was over 7 miles. It was challenging, but doable for most hikers. If I had more time I would have retraced my steps going back down the Azalea Glen trail. I would give the overall hike a 4.7 and rank it among the best in San Diego county.

hiking
17 days ago

Really enjoyed the hike. Sad to see all the damage from old wildfires but it’s still beautiful. Went on Dec 30 and the weather was perfect. Hiked the loop counter clockwise. The view at the summit is amazing. The only knock on it is if you take the paved road on the way back down it’s tough on the knees/back. My wife and I hiked at a leisurely pace and spent some time at the summit and it took 5 hours. Ran into other hikers but it wasn’t crowded.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Can’t beat it when it’s only an hour away from SD!

25 days ago

Should've read the other reviews before going up, we took the fire road all the way to the top and conejo trail on the way down. nevertheless, it was an amazing hike...went on 12/19/17 with some friends, it got pretty chilly on top...went back with the wifey on 12/21/17, and it rained the night before...there's puddle of ice on side of the fire road and the pine leaves have frozen dew drops, this time it was freezing cold hahaha..

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Great trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike last Sunday 11/05. There are parts of the trail that have heavy machinery cutting down timber. We were able to continue on trail as machinery was not near path. The fire peak lookout is awesome. It was windy up there but very refreshing as the wind will dry up sweat.

2 months ago

My knees wish it wasn’t paved the whole way (down)

3 months ago

park at the camp grounds as others have mentioned. costs $10.

when you start, take the right most trail path to do the loop counter clockwise, otherwise you'll end up pretty bored on the fire road all the way up. the counter clockwise loop allows you to hike through a very natural setting. eventually you have to get back onto the paved fire road to get up to the summit and when you descend, it will all be paved back to your parking spot.

hiking
3 months ago

Great loop. We did it counter clockwise. When you get to the fire road towards the end make a right and head to the summit. It's only another half mile up. My gps was at a little over 8 miles on this hike. Significantly more than the 6.3 that shows on this loop.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike. Great views, great challenge and not too crowded.

hiking
4 months ago

I followed the trail description exactly, but in reverse. I started with the fire road, and descended on the Conejos Trail/ Azalea Glen trails. Easy to navigate in my opinion.
Nice hike, clear day. (I saw a Bald Eagle!)

hiking
4 months ago

brings lots of water, due to high elevation hike, to get to the peak the fire route is the main trail to hike on, but accessing it from other trail heads are will add mileage to your destination. We started from the West Mesa Trail head and took the West Side Trail to the connect to the fire route which added 2.3 miles. From the connecting loop we got up to a 4.55 mile to the peak. heading back we took the West Mesa Trail connecting loops. carefully as you can easily get lost. Look for the Fern Flat Fire trail which will lead you to the West Mesa Trail to the 79 and cross to where we originally park cause we did not want to pay for parking, plus we wanted distance and adventure. our total was 12.63 miles.

4 months ago

This trail is closer to 7.5 miles. Not a very scenic trail.

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months 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
6 months 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!

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