Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stonewall Peak (Cuyamaca Rancho State Park)

On Labor Day Weekend Ashley and I had the chance to Hike Stonewall Peak and spend some time in the greater Julian area. Stonewall Peak, standing at 5,730 feet tall, offers sweeping views of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and the greater Southern California area. During our hike we had views of at least 50 miles in all directions and we had good views of the Salton Sea. During this weekend there was summer monsoonal moisture and we encountered some rain and a couple of small thunderstorms while visiting Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. 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 s uth 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.

It was really neat to see the weather during this hike and our subsequent drive through the Laguna Mountains. We encountered two different small thunderstorms which were neat to watch. During the summer months the Laguna Mountains are frequented by thunderstorms when monsoonal moisture comes into Southern California. Additionally, 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 10 deer and about 10 wild turkeys in the valley area of the park near Stonewall Mine during our short visit. 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.

Also, if you are looking for a dinner recommendation on your drive back through the Julian area, both Ashley and I would highly recommend Romano's Resturant. Romano's is a great family owned Italian restaurant in Julian with amazing food and great pizza.  Ashley and I always have dinner there when we are down in the Julian area.

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

Time to Complete Hike: 2 - 2.5 hours.


September 2, 2013 (This Post)


Stonewall Peak (This Post)

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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.