Cuyamaca Peak via Azalea Glen Loop

moderate 512 reviews

Cuyamaca Peak via Azalea Glen Loop is a 12.4 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Descanso, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 12.4 km Elevation Gain: 559 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

fee

no dogs

Note: Lookout Fire Road from Paso Picacho to Cuyamaca Peak and Hual-Cu-Cuish will be CLOSED to the public for construction until further notice. 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! Parking at the bottom campground is $10 and the adventure pass is not accepted.

hiking
closed
fee
15 days ago

TRAIL CLOSED! Drove two hours to do Cuyamaca peak only to discover that it is closed to the public until about april, according to the ranger. SDGE is working putting lines underground, which is a good thing. :) didn’t get a peak for my challenge, but got a really nice little hike in across the street (Stonewall Peak Loop).

Made it to the top! Trail was packed with minimal mud. Breezy at the summit yet clear and sunny.

hiking
no shade
22 days ago

hiking
fee
26 days ago

If you want to summit the highest peak in San Diego County, I recommend this trail. When I did this loop, I started counterclockwise. You’ll see the devastation of a fire that wrecked havoc & destroyed the entire area several years ago. You’ll go through a mostly rocky path, a few streams, and enter a beautiful coniferous forest. I accidentally scared a few deer while ascending the trail & managed to see two of them. The last half mile or so is a steep asphalt road to the summit. If traveling this way, the summit is just under 5 miles total. The views are gorgeous. If you decide to complete the loop, the remaining descent is a not-so-exciting 2 3/4 mile fire road (currently under construction). If I do this hike again, I will do an out and back & leave the fire road alone. Currently, the “muddy” areas of the trail are now moist but hardened ground. There is a small area with patches of snow but it’s melting fast and does not cause any problems to pass. Near the summit, the wind picked up causing a chill but diminished after descending. Enjoy!

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

Thank you Dr. King! Monday, January 20, 2020. Began around 8:30 am. 47 degrees and calm overcast conditions. Several stretches of trail were iced-over. Several more sections were muddy and some of the mud sections were quite slippery. Otherwise, a quiet, calming hike to within minutes of the summit. The stream was quite beautiful to listen to along with the various birds singing out from the overhead shrubs. Prior appointments prevented the final ascent to the summit. Only saw six total people the entire hike along Azalea trail and the fire road! Will make another go of it after the rains.

hiking
closed
muddy
1 month ago

made it just below the peak where the trailis off limits. trail EXTREMELY muddy

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Tried the Azalea Glen Loop on a Saturday morning, got started just after 8am. I parked in the Paso Picacho campground, yeah they charge $10, and I swore after Stonewall Peak I wouldn't pay to park again, well, they have nice bathrooms and are close to the trail, so $10. Parking lot was about half empty when I got there. The trail had some snow and ice along the way and a lot of mud. About 2.5 miles in when you turn on to Conejos Trail it was blocked by a 'Temporarily Closed' sign, so I doubled back to Azalea Spring Fire Rd and followed that to Lookout Rd which leads directly to the summit. I liked the first part of the trail through the woods, really pretty. Once forced on to fire roads though it was just that, walking up a road. Then after mile 4 I ran into a lot of construction, they were digging a ditch into the middle of the road, lot of mud, the guys working were cool, they stopped what they were doing to let me pass by. It was just over 5 miles to the summit. The actual summit can be accessed by skirting the fence line to the right of the large noisy cell/microwave tower structure. There are two summit markers, no sign but more equipment. Really neat views, it was super clear, could see San Jacinto and Gorgonio. So not the most exciting trail but really scenic at the top. The way down some of the roads by the summit were icy and slick, I just walked on the side of the road, no issues. When I got back to the parking lot some other hikers mentioned they thought the whole Lookout Rd was closed to hikers but I didn't see any signs for that. At the end I had 8.5 miles, nearly 1900 in elevation gain. Parking lot was nearly full and busy by 11am.

hiking
1 month ago

Did hiking at 12/28/2019, everything was in the snow, very beautiful. The northern trail runs in the lowlands so that during or after the rain it will be impossible to pass. There are also a lot of low bushes, and since there was snow on them, we had to crawl 300 feet. The southern trail runs along a finely stone road, it is convenient to walk. But everything was lined up around. Also the path to Cuyamaka peak through Conejos trail (North trail to the peak) was closed because of fire danger.

hiking
closed
icy
muddy
over grown
snow
1 month ago

Great trail but some parts are currently closed for controlled fires. Also some trees branches are crossing the trail and too low/dense to pass under.

hiking
closed
2 months ago

The fire lookout road is still closed. Azalea Springs trail is accessible though. Beautiful morning for a hike. Nice and crisp. Small patches of left over snow in some places.

The upper part of this trail was closed. it was still a nice, moderate difficulty hike.

hiking
private property
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

cooler to hike in late September. beautiful at the top. dry and dusty on the last 3 miles of trail. lots of gnats on the last two miles.

hiking
bugs
closed
5 months ago

All trails leading to the peak are closed for the next 8-12 months due to work on electrical lines.

hiking
bugs
over grown
5 months ago

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

All paved road and construction at the peak. You will not find a signature box up there just open dirt right now. It may be closed for hikers.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Beautiful views, lots of bugs and rocks.

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