Camping at Paso Picacho

Rate this Adventure San Diego Paso Picacho Campground

Added by Kenny Melton

  • Great for families and hikers
  • Hikers: Stonewall (2 miles) and Cuyamaca Peak (3.5 miles)
  • Both mountain and ocean views (depending on campsite)
  • Hike to Lake Cuyamaca as well

Paso Picacho, 5 miles north of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The most popular hikes start from this camp, including the 2 mile hike up Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,700 feet), and the 3.5 mile hike up Cuyamaca Peak (elevation 6,512 feet), both which offer breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca at the bottom. Lake Cuyamaca, operated by the Helix Water District, is two miles north of Paso Picacho and offers boating and fishing. Paso Picacho campground has 85 campsites. Reserve your campsite here.

Day-use visitors may use the picnic areas provided at the campgrounds for $8 per vehicle. The receipt is good for the entire park for the day. The picnic areas offer tables, restrooms, and BBQ's. Visitors may also park in legal turnouts along the highway and hike for free. Fire is not allowed anywhere except in the developed picnic areas and campgrounds.

The beautiful park offers camping and hiking in an oak woodland forest, with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks. There are over 100 miles of trails which can accommodate every skill level.


Best Campsites: 8, 22, 36, 52, 62, and 65. Also book early to reserve the prime spots during peak Summer and Fall months.

Photos: slworking2, slworking2, slworking2, slworking2

Pack List

  • Camping supplies
  • Food (BBQ's available)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
  • Water
  • Lanterns
  • Fire wood
  • Gloves
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses/ hat
  • Utility knife
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round


Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

over 1 year ago

The loop of sites 5-10 provides the most privacy, as well as a shortcut to Cuyamaca Peak trail. $30/night, flush toilets, showers.

over 1 year ago

Added by Kenny Melton

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Calcite Mine Trail in the Anza-Borrego Desert

San Diego / Calcite Mine Road Lookout

Open from March until October - but I would not particularly recommend this hike in the summer months, unless you started in the wee almost dark hours.

Fern Koan
8 Saves

Catch a Sunset at Twin Peaks Mountain

San Diego / Silverset Park

Start by parking at Silverset Park. You will see the trail head for Twin Peaks just behind the park.

Alex Seger
9 Saves

Hike to Crystal Cave

San Diego / Crystal Cave Trailhead

Starting at 8100 Mesa road, you will see parking along the side of the road in a few places, take advantage where you find it.  Pass over the trail gate that marks the start of the journey.

Alex Seger
9 Saves