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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RT Distance 5.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fun Hike

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

An easy Afternoon Hike

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.

about 1 year ago

Great Views, Easy-Moderate Difficulty

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


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

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