Lawson Peak Trail

HARD 64 reviews
#10 of 84 trails in

Lawson Peak Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jamul, California that features a cave and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and off road driving and is best used from November until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.4 miles 1581 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

off road driving

rock climbing

cave

views

rocky

scramble

washed out

Downtown: From Downtown San Diego take G St. to CA-94 E and stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. North County: From North County get on I-805 S or I-15 S and merge onto CA-94 E. Stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. South County: From South County get on I-805N or I-15 N and merge onto CA-94 E. Stay on the highway until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak. East County: The easiest route to Lawson Peak from most places in East County is by taking the I-8 W and then taking CA-125 S. Exit right for Spring St. and keep to the outermost left turning lane. Turn left onto Spring St. and then keep right for CA-94 E. Stay on the CA-94 E until it ends and turns into CA-54/Jamacha Rd. Turn right to stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd and keep on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. Stay on CA-94 E/Campo Rd. for 4.5 mi and then turn right onto Lyons Valley Rd. Keep right to stay onto Lyons Valley Rd. and drive for 1.6 mi and continue onto Skyline Truck Trail and drive for 7.1 mi. Turn left at the stop sign and drive for 2.6 mi. At the mile 13 marker you will see a yellow gate which is the trail head to Lawson Peak.

12 days ago

awesome hike...the rock climbing is challenging if you have never done it before but worth it!

off road driving
19 days ago

why is this marked as off road driving?

if you love adventure, youve found it. if you love climbing/bouldering youve found that too. also the view is great. in order to get into the cave and also the summit at the end you have to climb up a rock crevice by use of a rope that is already there. enjoy!

hiking
26 days ago

Great uphill trail best if u have nice hiking shoes

hiking
30 days ago

Great day for a hike.

Parking is very easy for this trail. You can park on either side of the road. If you have a low clearance vehicle (like I do) then the side opposite the gate will save your undercarriage as you leave the pavement for the dirt.

The first two miles are steady uphill at a slope that is almost completely constant. Getting to the top is really a choose your own adventure. Once you reach the area just below the peak (~20' vertically below), you can choose the sketchy front side to shimmy up (easily class 4) or go around the backside to a somewhat easier shimmy to the top). Dogs are NOT recommended as there is almost no way to get them up and down this part. If you have a friend, both the up and the down are significantly easier.

I continued on to Gaskill Peak (easily seen from both the trail up and the peak of Lawson). It too has some scramble/shimmy to get to the top. Turns this 4.5 miler into ~7.5-8 miler but most of that is very easy on the fire road and the view from Gaskill is so worth it. I recommend both if you have the time and the legs for it.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty rad hike. Pretty rad views. We got a little lost, then sorta found the path to the top.... We didn't make it all the way as 1) we're not sure if it was the right path 2) My dogs were not into bouldering.

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike Jan 15th. Made it to pancake rock and then lost ... didn't make it to the peak. Pretty cold past pancake rock, but trail was beautiful. will definitely go back to find trail to peak.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail! I did it for the first time yesterday. The uphill climb was enough to get your heart pumping and the views were gorgeous! We went after it rained and got a bit muddy but it was worth it. The trial is extremely uneven.

Also an edit to a he directions, you need to turn left on Lyons Valley, not right. All that's to the right is a gated neighborhood.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great trail that was definitely challenging but fun near the top with all the bouldering! We weren't able to find the rope or cave but since I had a small dog with me we were happy with where we got pretty much at the top, with amazing views! Besides that the dirt path until that point is an easy steady incline up!

2 months ago

off road driving
2 months ago

No access to do any kind of off road driving.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Kinda difficult to find the rope to climb to the very top but once you do it's great! Great bouldering and rock climbing! My standard poodle loved this hike!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Incredible hike. Easy to find. Only saw 2 other groups on the trail. The hike up the dirt road is very straightforward and pretty steep. Once you get near the summit the real fun begins! Lots of bouldering until you near the top. The bouldering is very doable except for the last part. Just before the summit there is a cave and you have to use a rope to climb up a very difficult section. Experienced hikers should have no problem with it, but beginners or those afraid of heights may have a tough time. The summit view is a gorgeous 360 degree view, well worth the effort :)

hiking
4 months ago

The majority of the hike was a steady climb up a jeep trail - not too strenuous but it'll get ya sweating. Nice views the whole way up. Once you pass the point where the trail turns downhill and levels out you start to climb. Feels like doing lunges as you attempt to navigate the overgrown trail as it, and you, squeezes between boulders. This is where the trail was getting to be more fun, technical, and sweat-inducing. Sometimes a boost from a hiking pal came in very handy. When you are almost at the top is gets really fun as long as you are comfortable doing some climbing with the aid of a rope and a willingness to muscle up some tough spots. Then you'll get to explore the caves and pop out onto some cliffs and get up to the very peak.

In short, try to make it out in the winter or at least a cooler day, be prepared to climb, and take a buddy. Would not recommend solo-hiking this one because of the climbing at the end!

hiking
6 months ago

idk why everyone says this trail is hard. it was pretty easy. not challenging at all. we only brought 3 bottles of water and that was more than sufficient. ofcourse bring tons of water to hydrate. we didn't tale any breaks either. the climb up to the peak is all up hill and like doing lunges
the way down was a walk in the park.
definitely not a difficult hike. i did it with my 4 year old son.

hiking
6 months ago