Stonewall Peak Trail

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California

Distance3.4mi
Elevation Gain1,336ft
Trailhead Elevation4,874ft
Top5,727ft
Elevation Min/Max4874/5727ft
Elevation Start/End4874/4874ft

Stonewall Peak Trail

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). This trail connects with the following: Cold Stream Trail and California Hiking & Riding Trail.

Stonewall Peak Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
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"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." Read more
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"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." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"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." Read more
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"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." Read more

Stonewall Peak Trail Reviews

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7/12/2018
Beautiful 360 degree views at the summit of mountains and Cuyamaca Lake. This hike has pretty consistent inclines (the switchbacks help mediate the climb) and it can be way too hot in the summer, but it is a terrific trail with amazing scenery. Look out for rattlesnakes.
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1/2/2018
Easy hike with the wonderful sound of the wind going through the trees...beautiful Manzanita trees and the site of wild turkeys.
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10/1/2010
We started our hike at about 3 P.M. It had recently rained so it was pleasantly clean and cool. As we carried on further a large Thunder Cloud made it's way into the valley and passed directly behind Garnet Peak so we decided to head back before finishing the hike. About half way back we found a nice area overlooking the valley to watch the storm pass and decided to have another go at it. We were lucky enough to make it to the Peak without any major issues and it was wonderful. We could clearly see down into the valley. Most of the hike was through Chaparral and the only wildlife we saw was a Tarantula. The only real complaint I have is that it is a very short trail, but there is a path were 5 trails cross and another trail to follow before garnet Peak if you want to do some more hiking. P.S. There is a parking are at about mile marker 27.8 as long as you have an adventure pass and there is a clearly marked sign saying where the trail to Garnet Peak is.
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10/9/2009
Was a beautiful day - clear and cool. Could see forever especially the lake. Easy ascent.
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7/20/2009
I hiked this trail with my girl friend at the time. We went on a pretty warm day, but there was shade most of the time making the trip pretty pleasant. To get to the trail, you have to drive through most of the park (if you're coming from the I8) which gives you some pretty awesome views of the mountains.. mountains in which I'd rather have scaled but the girl wouldn't let me! Anyways, the first part of the hike is in the open until you reach the forested area, and from there many different trails jut off which will make it hard to tell which path you're actually on. We walked for about 3 hours, got to see some cool views of the mountain, and checked out the mine and some old buildings. It was real peaceful and real easy to do, though there was some kind of creature hissing up a storm in one of the log cabin buildings. Lets just say I didn't go inside that building. The map we recieved kind of made it hard to tell how far we had gone, or where we were at, but the many different trails allowed us to just double back and we eventually found our way back to the car.
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5/16/2003
Schad reckons this must be the windiest place in San Diego County - if only the day I went up. It was hot, and as soon as we (+ dog) scrambled to the summit, the flies and wee black midgy things were all over us - no wind to keep them away. But the view is stupendous and worth the grind in the heat to the 'summit'. The route up is probably nothing it used to be - the Julian Pines Fire of 2002 has entirely changed the landscape, and from where the Garnet Trail intersects with the PCT, it's like an open barren moon scape from there to the top. A far more ineresting loop variation on getting to the top, is to park your car on the east side of the Penny Pines car park (at the 27.3-mile mark for Noble Canyon) and head east on the single-track. Very shortly this meets the PCT - follow the PCT north (the cliff like views as you walk along an exposed 3000' drop are amazing) until it hits the Garnet Trail - turn right on that. Then return following the Garnet Trail all the way through the shady pines to the S-1. It's just a short walk south on the side of the road back to your car. You'll also see once you hit the S-1 that there's nowhere to really park your car at the Garnet Trail trailhead anyway.
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Stonewall Peak Trail Photos

Trail Information

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Nearby City
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Cuyamaca Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018