Stonewall Peak Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Julian, California that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
813 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

Stellar views and a variety of terrain in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Shaded oak lined trail with excellent views to the north, east & south. Want to see some of the best that Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has to offer? Hike up Stonewall Peak and enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. The elevation gain is about 1000 feet, but doesn't seem like it with lots of switchbacks surrounded by Cuyamaca's characteristic plant and rock scenery and ever-better views. When you reach the top, climb the stairs and behold the breathtaking 360 degree view. When you get your fill, you can go back down the east side, or head down the "back" side, which heads northwest and circles back around. When there's snow, the "back" side is where it lasts the longest, and you can enjoy an easy, meandering descent. This excursion is of gentle switchbacks through canopies of black oaks, sycamores, and other coniferous trees. Great views of Anza Borrego, the Laguna Mountains, (on clear days) the Salton Sea, and 30+ miles to Palomar Mountains are the reward for all who make the ascent.

17 days ago

When you need a trail to get you back into it after a 2 month summer hibernation. Off to Cuyamaca

24 days ago

Easy hike, not very taxing at all. Stellar views, nice trail, cool trees. 10/10

30 days ago

Awesome trail! Gradual incline on the switchbacks. I am fat and hate switchbacks but this was moderate and doable. Some areas are Rocky ankle twisters, also a few rock scrambles. Pay the $10 to park at the campground don't cheat it that money helps maintain the trails. Don't be a ass. Bathrooms at the campground are clean picnic tables for lunch, nice place. Julian up the road is nice stop for an ice cream reward.

hiking
1 month ago

Gets your heart pumping at the top :) beautiful views the whole hike short but definitely worth putting on checklist

hiking
1 month ago

It was my first time here and I loved this hike! This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in California! It’s more of a 4-mile trail, round trip. Definitely start this hike early in the morning to take advantage of the shade!

hiking
2 months ago

9/13/2018: Short, sweet...perfect. We planned to come here for a sunset hike, but we misjudged midweek traffic and an unusually busy workday for me, so it ended up being a sunset/night hike. We arrived at 6:15 PM on a Thursday afternoon (an hour later than planned). Paid $10 and parked at the Paso Picacho Campground lot (if you’re arriving later in the day like we did, be sure to bring exact $$$, since there isn’t an attendant later in the day to provide change. One could argue that you don’t NEED to pay the honor system pay envelope “after hours,” but who wants to chance it? Not me; I have no idea where Park Rangers check the lots later in the day. And who wants to be that person anyway?) Walked across the 79 to the trailhead and embarked on the ascent. The “hardest” part of this easy hike is in the very beginning. Once you’re past that initial hump, the rest of the hike will be easy switchbacks, with a fun section at the very end “scrambling” up the rock faces (there are railings the entire way at the top, so fear not. It’s easy).

Made it to the peak in about 45 min, exactly at 7:00 PM to catch the sunset (with a couple short breaks along the way for photo ops). We made it back to the car by 7:30-45. It was full dark by the time we made it back down to the parking lot, so we took it slow coming down (good thing we had headlamps to help us along the way). The headlamps attracted a bunch of flying insects, so be sure to bring bug spray if you’re doing a night hike. It won’t stop them from flying towards the light, but it will keep them from landing/crawling on you.

We came across just two other hikers and a bunny on the way up, but otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful (save for a rattle from the brush we heard earlier in the hike, but didn’t see the critter itself). Overall, would highly recommend as a midweek sunset/night hike. The stars were drop dead gorgeous on the way down. It was absolutely worth the drive.

2 months ago

I love this hike!

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes.
Gorgeous views, not strenuous but you feel like you went on a hike when you're done.
Completed without complaint by kids 5-12.
Pros - Nice workout, beautiful views, pretty campground at the beginning.
Cons - I didn't feel comfortable taking the 5 year old and 7 year old up the rocks to the peak (I've been called paranoid), although I didn't see any, there was a lot of chatter about rattlesnakes by other hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike. Not to hard and view at the top is great. Short hike but great gain at the end, as far as the final visual reward. I have done it 3 times now and will do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Relatively speaking, there is more shade here than in most trails in this area. Gentle grade most of the way up; the handrails at the top are very helpful. In contrast to posts a few weeks ago, we didn’t see any termites at the top - just great views in every direction. Would recommend this hike.

hiking
3 months ago

nice easy hike. At the end of the hike there's huge rocks and boulders you can navigate through to take in the beautiful views that stonewall peak has to offer.

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy trial. Small incline at the beginning-maybe a tenth of a mile and that’s about it. Lots of switchbacks and the views all the way to the top were amazing. Loved the stairs leading to the summit. However huge infestation of termites at the summit. So definitely didn’t hang out at the summit for too long. They flew and landed all over my friend. The views at the summit are definitely worth it. It was beautiful. We went early enough we didn’t see any snakes at all but we were definitely definitely wary and watching out for them. Definitely do this hike. You won’t be disappointed.

4 months ago

Great little hike. Plenty of shade in the am hours. At the peak monument there is a huge infestation of termites, pretty gross!

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty cool and easy hike if you want to take your kiddos. The down side about this hike is that you can’t take your dog. Also, watch your step because I came across with two rattle snakes on my way up.

5 months ago

great hike, even with my 4 and 6yo. switchbacks make the ascent easy and the views are spectacular. watch out for rattlers!

5 months ago

Great Easy-Medium hike for most. Completed the 5.4 mile trek this morning starting at 0600-ish. Did not see a soul on full hike. About Hike: $10.00 parking, self pay & park if you go early. Initial incline at start is a good breather, short lived, then easy-peasy switchbacks to peak. Love the view, trail is great, but narrow, will not go during peak hiking crowds, I amagine the stop and go, give way, and Good mornings..will become tiresome possibly. Intend to hike next time pre sunrise with head lamp to scare myself with the epic creepy dead trees and (I bet) shadows...Boo! Back side mountain return is a must for joggers to not worry about front-end congestion. Although drive not fun to get there, well worth the hike..Will go again and again

5 months ago

I really loved this hike and had no idea it was across the street from Paso Picacho! It’s definitely a new favorite in the area. Lots of blooms and taller vegetation even though this hasn’t been the wettest spring. My only WARNING is that I do not think this hike is entirely kid friendly. The hike itself is doable and well kept, but the top even with the rails would have made me very nervous if I had brought my wild 6 year old with me. There are huge gaps between the rocks and rails and if you have a clumsy or defiant or careless child (which describes many children), they could easily fall from a great height. I don’t consider myself a helicopter parent and have no problem with taking some risks with children, but take a good look at the pictures of the top before you take your kids. I would, however, take my cautious 9 year old who I’m sure would absolutely love it. The top is quite breathtaking and I plan to go back often! But consider carefully what your children are capable of before you bring them!

6 months ago

One of the most amazing hike.

6 months ago

Great little hike with spectacular 360 views! Watch out for the rattlesnakes though.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

Gorgeous hike! One of the most scenic and pretty sight I’ve been in San Diego...awesome 360 view of mountains and Cuyamaca Lake at the top! Make sure to start early (we started around 7:15am on a Saturday) cause Peak doesn’t have room and can get crowded as soon as people start coming in! Park across campground and pay $10 for parking fee. I would come back again!!

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty easy hike, consistently inclined. parking located across the road. Easy to follow paths. Great views in all directions at summit.

For photos and other hikes visit
instagram.com/gregszymbor

hiking
6 months ago

good work out..beautiful views

hiking
6 months ago

The only reason I am giving it a four stars is the traffic. Just so many people. And just rude. No trail manners at all. If you don’t wish to hike with loud rude people the best hike elsewhere.

On the other hand, this is a great little out and back trail. Don’t do it in the summer as I’m sure it will be much to hot. Towards the end you do have to make your way up the granite rocks so bring a buddy to help each other. I’m 6 ft 7 inches tall and recorded 92 flights doing this hike.

Beautiful 360 degree views at the top, so bring your camera.

hiking
7 months ago

Stunning view! Fairly easy hike. Nice views on the way up too.

7 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in San Diego. Love the view and some fun rockclimbing

hiking
7 months ago

good little hike with great views from the peak.

hiking
7 months ago

Loved this Trail especially for the views at the top. The switchbacks made for a pretty smooth hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Great little drive-by type "get out and stretch your legs" type hike. We were on route to Joshua Tree and needed a break. Awesome views on the way up, superfantastic views at the summit, and another set of terrific views on the way down. This trek just keeps on giving! Just do it!

7 months ago

Lovely, easy hike. Not too steep, really nice views. A little muddy due to snowmelt, and a little windy at the peak, no real worries though. The campground at the start provides nice bathrooms n parking.

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