Stonewall Peak Trail is a hiking trail in San Diego County, California. It is within Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. It is 3.4 miles long and begins at 4,874 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,336 feet. The Paso Picacho camp site is near the trailhead. There are also restroom, a bbq, and a ranger station. The trail ends near Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,600 feet).
Stonewall Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Stonewall Peak’s angular summit of white granitic rock is a conspicuous landmark throughout Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Although Stonewall stands some 800 feet lower than nearby Cuyamaca Peak, its unique position and steep, south exposure provides a more inclusive view of the park area itself."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"Standing as quiet sentinel over much of southern Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the exposed summit of Stonewall Peak offers an irresistible call to hikers of all ages. It’s all uphill to the summit, but the grade never exceeds 6 percent, and the path is in the shade for much of its length. While the panorama from the top is simply stunning, the views aren’t limited to the summit. As the trail cuts back and forth across the flanks of the mountain, past numerous switchbacks, the vistas alternate between the Sweetwater River valley in the south to Cuyamaca Lake in the north."
--Sean O'Brien, Best Easy Day Hikes: San Diego (Falcon Guides).
"Stonewall Peak’s angular summit of white granitic rock is a conspicuous landmark throughout Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Although Stonewall stands some 800 feet lower than nearby Cuyamaca Peak, its unique position and steep, south exposure provide a more inclusive view of the park area itself."
--Jerry Schad, Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press).
"The Stonewall Peak Trail is a popular outing in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and for good reason. The peak offers a nice workout and exceptional clear-day views of well over a hundred peaks in the Southern California region, not to mention the immediate beauty of Cuyamaca Lake and the surrounding state park. The climb can be made by almost anyone, including small children, as the gradient is easy and a goodly number of switchbacks keep the steepness to a minimum."
--Allen Riedel, 100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books).
"On top, you won’t see any ocean views (the main Cuyamaca massif stands tall in the west), but the foreground panorama of the park’s rolling topography is impressive enough. Patches of meadow along the stream-courses and the bald grassland areas on East Mesa and West Mesa down below change color with the seasons: green in spring, yellow in summer, brown or gray in fall, and occasionally white with fallen snow in winter. The higher slopes exhibit color changes as well—not only seasonally, but also with the passage of years following the Cedar Fire. Eventually, plant succession will probably result in a mix of dark coniferous trees and deciduous black oaks that will produce a more variegated look—especially in fall when the oaks contribute some warmer hues."
"It’s just after dawn. In the middle distance, mist gently rises from a mirror-smooth lake. The sun is still a half hour from cresting the eastern hills; deep shadow locks the forested lake shore in calm. Nearby, a twig cracks and 5 mule deer cross the trail, their white tails swishing in the windless morning. You smile and start to walk. For 2 more miles, similar sights await you. Besides offering incredible hiking, this trail also passes the Stonewall Mine, site of the largest and most lucrative gold mine in Southern California. At the height of the gold rush, from 1886 to 1891, the Stonewall Mine employed 200 people and yielded more than 100,000 ounces of gold. The mine was closed and its main shaft sealed in 1892. A small museum and interpretive center are now located nearby."
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