Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stonewall Peak (Cuyamaca Rancho State Park)

Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a great day hike near Lake Cuyamaca outside of Julian California. Ashley and I love hiking in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park due to the views and abundant wildlife found here. Stonewall Peak, standing at 5,730 feet tall, offers sweeping views of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and the greater Southern California area. On a clear day from the top of Stonewall Peak, you can see the Salton Sea and Catalina Island at the same time! For more pictures make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the trailhead to hike to Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, from the town of Julian, CA, take the 79 highway south until you enter the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. You want to park at the Paso Picacho Campground. You can view the map below or can find a link to a map of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Here. As of the date of this post, there is an $8 cost for day parking at this location. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead to hike to Stonewall Peak.

Description of Hike: This is an out and back hike up to Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The hike to Stonewall Peak is 4 miles roundtrip with 850 feet of elevation gain. The trail is well maintained and is marked well. You start at the Paso Picacho Campground and the trailhead is clearly marked across highway 79 directly across from the entrance to the Paso Picacho Campoung in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The hike is a steady uphill hike in the San Diego Mountains. You proceed up the trail through a number of switchbacks and approach the summit of Stonewall Peak via a westerly approach. You will notice the higher you go along the trail, the more rocky the terrain becomes. One of the best things about this hike is that the peak is visible for a good portion of the hike. Once near the top of Stonewall Peak, you scale up a section of rock to the summit of Stonewall Peak, that has a guardrail as the there is a significant drop-off in this location. The top of Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park offers amazing views and is a must do hike in the San Diego Mountains. For a map of the trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, click Here.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I really enjoyed this hiking trail at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The hike to Stonewall Peak is great hike that offers amazing views of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the Cleveland National Forest, the Salton Sea, and the greater Southern California area. This is one of the most popular hikes in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, which means you will likely see other hikers on the trail up to Stonewall Peak.

Sadly along a good portion of the hike you can still see the destruction left by the 2003 Cedar Creek Fire that ravaged Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. You will see a couple of areas near the start of the trail where reforestation has begun to take place both naturally and by reforestation efforts. Due to the fire there is limited shade in portions of the trail so make sure to bring a hat, wear sunscreen, and have plenty of water if you go hiking on a warm day. Additionally, in the winter time it is common for this area to receive snow, so make sure you are prepared for a hike in snow and/or ice if you do this hike in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park after a Southern California Winter Storm.

When you come to visit Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, come prepared to see wildlife. While at Cuyamaca  Rancho State Park we again saw an amazing amount of wildlife. We counted at least 25 deer and about 10 wild turkeys in the valley area of the park near Stonewall Mine during our short visit as well as had the opportunity to see a bobcat. For pictures of the wildlife we saw click Here. This truly is a great place to observe Southern California wildlife. It is worth bringing a spotting scope to this location if you have one.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 850 ft. (Easy - Moderate), Distance: 4 Miles Roundtrip (Easy - Moderate).

Time to Complete Hike: 2 - 2.5 hours.

MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON STONEWALL PEAK

September 15, 2012 (This Post)


MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK



Stonewall Peak (This Post)

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a great hike! Interesting that is has cables cut out of the rock, I assume the summit must be a little sketchy then? Also, I would love to see a wild turkey, that seems like it would be pretty awesome haha

    ReplyDelete

Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.