Lawson Peak Trail

HARD 97 reviews
#13 of 105 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 and rock climbing and is best used from November until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1528 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

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.

7 days ago

Awesome view worth the drive

hiking
16 days ago

My favorite. I like to do this one a couple times a week- the scramble is the best part of the hike. My dog agrees!! It’s a great workout and not super time consuming. Close enough to do often.

rock climbing
20 days ago

It’s a very long up hill path. It’s worth it once you get to the top.

1 month ago

The washed out fire road up was nothing to write home about. The rock-scrambling was awesome, the workout was definitely felt the next day. The cave was amazing, and so was the peak. A lot of people have said this is a “one and done” for them, but I would absolutely do it again. Most fun I’ve had on a trail in awhile. Gloves are a must, as well as shoes with some good tread on them.

Amazing hike! there's rope to help you up into the cave.

1 month ago

pretty awesome trail, everyone previously commenting is pretty spot on. You basically walk up a non used service road that's rocky until you get to the top. It's a good workout. The real fun isn't until you start the bouldering to get to the top. It's a great trail but more of a one and done trail for me.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail, top 1/4 of the trail definitely deserves the description hard. More like bouldering rock climbing

3 months ago

love it, a lot of fun for some bouldering at the top of the hike, parking is on the street/road

hiking
4 months ago

One of those trails that pays off at the end!

5 months ago

Funnest most challenging trail I've done in a while! Gorgeous views and no one on the trails. Be prepared for steep inclines as you get close to Peak, a bit of bouldering, rope climbing to get up into cave and scrambling steep rocks to get to Peak. Well worth it for the relaxing gorgeous views! We added Gaskill Peak to the east, and that trail is overgrown, and very steep. You have to free climb some steep rocks to get to Peak, but was doable and found the geocaching boxes and was able to write in the journal that we made it! We were covered in scratches from the bushes on this trail but was super fun. Combined with Lawson's made it 7.4 miles!

hiking
6 months ago

I loved this hike!! It was an easy drive to get to the trailhead and aside from the first 2 miles of a slightly boring (but still a workout and pretty views as you look back) of an old rocky service road, the remaining mile of pure bouldering is well worth it!!
After we parked at the mile marker, it took us a few minutes to figure out which big gate was the trailhead. It's the one that goes up in elevation! Lol We almost went through the other one that said no trespassing, plus we followed the map and GPS to make absolutely sure.
I would highly recommend wearing climbing gloves and a hat and sunblock as there is not a lot of shade for most of this hike.
Although it isn't a marked trail at all, the first half of the hike is very easy to follow since it's an old service road with a lot of switchbacks. Lots of it reminded me of hiking El Cajon Mt. The real fun begins when you start climbing and bouldering to reach the top! Have fun guys and as always, be careful!

6 months ago

First real hike I ever went on. Been hiking ever since. This peak is very doable. But bring water, wear proper boots or shoes, and use treking poles (mostly to ward off snakes). I love this hike. If you follow the trail beyond Lawson Peak, Gaskill Peak is the trail's next stop. It's quieter because the extra 1.5 miles (each way) kicks your ass. But it really looks like the moon up there at Gaskill.

hiking
6 months ago

The trail is a washed out road that is more like a dried up stream with loose stones in the low areas with better walking at the edges most of the way. The road switchbacks up the grade and is fairly steep. At the top the boulders are interesting among the flat areas of stone. The trail to the summit is not easy to find. Great views and peaceful area.

hiking
7 months ago

Love the views at the top of this hike! The first part of the hike is on a wide uneven dirt road that off-road vehicles are allowed on. Once you get past the wide dirt road, the view start getting better with all the large boulders. I have hiked these twice with a group. The third time I hiked this trail with my husband, we got confused on what way to turn during the steep incline since the path was not clearly marked or obvious at all. We did not make it to the top when it was just the two of us. You have a lot of sharp brush on the path where you have to do a lot of rock scrambling to get to the top. We even had to rope up through the cave right before reaching the peak. I don't think I could make it up to the cave without the rope that was there. Once you get to the top, the views are amazing! Lots of rock formations at the top and you can look all the way out and see Mexico. This is one of my favorites hikes in San Diego County. Love the rock bouldering, climbing and the views!! You feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.

7 months ago

Trail up to peak is a little hard.to find and requires a bit of rock climbing. The cave and the view were amazing. Would definitely do this hike agaim.

hiking
8 months ago

No bullsh*t ... this hike is awesome!!!!

Parking: alongside the road
Direct full sun the whole hike, so prepare
Good, solid, constant, unvariated hike for a pretty long spell ... hence the distance ... but it's at a rewarding pitch so you can get a good breather out of it
But ... MAN ... the reward at the top is so worth it
It's like hiking Disneyland up there
Rope repelling
bouldering
Caves
Meditation shelfs
A sign in sheet
A big beautiful rock you climb up to get to the top
It's epic

hardest hike I've ever been on the rock climbing was insane ..an the cave is amazing

9 months ago

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

off road driving
9 months ago

why is this marked as off road driving?

9 months ago

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!

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