• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    5.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    800 Feet

Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildflowers

Take in a 360 degree view over the other peaks and meadow below, and a birds-eye view of Lake Cuyamaca. Only hikers are allowed on the trail.

This hike is one of the most popular in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. When you reach Stonewall Peak's summit, enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. Although you'll be gaining 800 feet, the hike is relatively easy as you'll be heading up switchbacks until the last stretch to the summit. Just before the top, climb the stairs (there's a railing in place for stability) and take in the breathtaking view. When you get your fill, you can go back down the way you came, or head down the "back" side, completes the loop for an additional mile and half. If there's snow, it will last the longest on the "back" side, so enjoy it as you hike back to the trailhead.

Beware of the poodle-dog bush on the hike, it had been known to cause an allergic reaction.

If you want to make this a great night hike, you can set up camp at Paso Picacho for a convenient base camp.

Photos:Kevin

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • $8 for parking at the Paso Picacho Campground
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Layers
  • Good trail shoes or hiking boots
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Reviews

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Fun hike, it’s beat to go early to avoid any traffic

4 months ago
4 months ago

I was surprised at this loop! The views from the top are amazing and the hike itself isn't very challenging because the whole thing is switchbacks (zig zag up the mountain)! The peak might not be for those who are afraid of heights.. it's very safe and would be hard to slip unless you were trying or if you weren't making the best decisions and jumping on rocks. But all in all it's worth it! You can also take a back trail (which we did) so you don't go down the same way you came up. Probably added only an extra hour to our trip.

4 months ago
4 months ago

The 360 view at the top is amazing. The hike is relatively easy because of the switchbacks, except for the last part before the staircase where you have to scramble up some boulders. Parking at Paso Picacho is $10

11 months ago
11 months ago

We love this hike. It's totally worth a trip out to Julian. The rocks and trees and plants are ever changing. It feels like a few different hikes all wrapped in one. Grab a beer at nickel brewery after. Their spicy IPA is the best.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Easy hike. Stunning when there is snow on the trails

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This trek is perhaps one of the best things for a beginner just looking to go outside, or for a family with young kids. The hike itself is not very strenuous but the reward... 360 degree views of beautiful Southern California. Protips: bring sunscreen during the summer, also 8 dollars for parking just across the trail head. And stay on the marked trail, life is just better that way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7cilGEAzf0

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

We took the hour drive from San Diego and it was well worth it! In fact, it inspired us to do more hiking out in Julian. Views were incredible, boulders were awesome to climb on the way up and endless photo ops.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Me and my girlfriend just made the 1 hr drive from San Diego for this hike and it was well worth it! We went on a partly cloudy Sunday following a weekend of rain and the clouds and fog that were rolling through the mountains made the hike even more beautiful than we imagined. I recommend doing this hike on a day like this one. The clouds and fog provide a unique atmosphere that is sometimes hard to find in our usual summery climate.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Agree with the review below, great hike for beginners. Not too tough but a lot of payoff. I have full turn by turn directions on my blog here: https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/hiking-stonewall-peak-trail-san-diego/

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

It's not that tough, so if you know anyone that is new to "hiking" this is a great intro

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

A must see of a grand view

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

If you're into climbing, check out mountain project before getting up here-- there's a few short trad climbs around the peak!

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Grant Nyquist Admin

I'm basically awesome, more basic though

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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