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Cuyamaca Peak via Azalea Glen Loop

MODERATE 474 reviews

Cuyamaca Peak via Azalea Glen Loop is a 7.7 mile 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: 7.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,833 feet 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
28 days 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful views, lots of bugs and rocks.

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

Great trail with lots of wild flowers, it's pretty overgrown but easily marked. Beautifully perfect weather for a fun and challenging hike. The trek up is steep, especially the final bit on the road. The walk down is on a steep fire road that takes no time to walk down and much easier than the hike up. One of my personal favorites in San Diego.

hiking
3 months ago

I'd like to run this trail but i'm alone. Is this relatively safe? I'm scared of mountain lions and rattlers

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great way to see Cuyamaca Peak! Loved being able to enjoy the peaceful scenery on the Azalea Glen and Conejos trails, check out the peak at the top and finish the loop down the paved fire road as kind of a cool down. Don't think it would be as fun going straight up and down the fire road, as many people do. We ended up clocking in 9 miles and enjoyed all of it. There are beautiful wildflowers this time if year. The lupine are exceptionally pretty! Parking is at Paso Picacho Campground and is $10 for the day (part of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park). There are restrooms and picnic tables near the parking lot. Across the road is Stonewall Peak trail, if you feel like checking that out too.

hiking
bugs
over grown
4 months ago

We love this hike. We went left and up the mountain first instead of going through Azalea Glen first. That way is paved but steep. We came down at sunset the other way and it was gorgeous, but when it got dark it was difficult to maneuver. We used flashlights. From the campground day use parking, if you go through the glen it is a much more traditional hike. Dirt trails, rocks, bushes, trees. We are going to do it again and go through the glen first, then come down the mountain on the paved road.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

4 months ago

Beautiful scenery but the Conejos Trail section of this hike is not arthritis friendly

hiking
snow
4 months ago

I really want to go back and check out the views here! To be frank, the trip was colder than we expected, and we couldn’t see anything at the top because of the fog. But on the bright side, the trail was challenging enough and fun. Hiking down the streams was pretty fun as well as seeing all the ice and snow on the way up the mountain.Soooo I suggest checking the peak temp on google before setting out for this hike as well as setting out late enough in the day to avoid the morning fog. Day pass is $10. Suggest maybe purchasing a state park pass prior to your visit online for +$100 if you plan to see a lot of California state parks. :)

hiking
5 months ago

Been to the peak on a better day. Started off from the Paso Picacho campground via the Azalea Glen Trail, left into the Azalea Spring Fire Road then right at the fork into the Lookout Fire Road that goes all the way to the Cuyamaca Peak. I was not the only crazy person hiking in midst of a late-season storm. I was so happy to see another drenched hiker who warned me that there is zero visibility at what is normally a breathtaking view at the peak on a normal day. The Lookout Fire Road that brings you all the way the Paso Picacho campground making this 2nd highest peak in San Diego an easy moderate hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike. The 360 degree views from the summit are spectacular. Challenging but not super hard. Much repair work has been done on the trail to repair damage from winter/spring snow/rain. I can’t wait to go back!

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Stunning once you get to the peak with good views along the way. Sections are steep but overall the incline isn’t too bad. Trail conditions are a bit rough; lots of sections washed away by water and others that are primarily loose rocks. Worth the effort for the views. This time of year a lot of bugs were out in the more shaded sections.

hiking
5 months ago

I loved this hike! Stunning views from the top and a cute little vista point part of the way with a bench that offers a nice place to sit and catch a breath! One of my favorite hikes in San Diego county.

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