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Lawson Peak Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Lawson Peak is one of a triad of prominent, granite-topped peaks lying in the southwest corner of Cleveland National Forest. The others are Gaskill Peak and Lyons Peak. Lyons Peak, listed in the first (1986) edition of this guidebook, no longer has any legal access; Gaskill Peak, on the other hand, can be reached from Lawson Peak at the expense of an hour or two’s extra effort, as noted here."
--Jerry Schad, Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press).
Not great for hiking. The majority of the trail is mixed use and we were constantly having to move out of the way for jeep clubs. It looked like fun for them, but the road was so rutted and hard (not to mention, just a little too much like a "road") for it to be an enjoyable hike. We finally broke free of the jeeps, climbed along some large boulders and up to the top, only to find more jeeps when we got there. It was a jeep parking lot and the beautiful views and the fun of bouldering was ruined by trash and cut glass everywhere. At the base of the peak we finally broke away from the jeeps to do some real hiking, lots of bushwacking through brush and some fun climbing over boulders but never could find a way to the top. We had rock shoes but no ropes to really climb. That part was at least enjoyable, but I won't be doing this trail again.
The truck trail was no problem but the best part of the hike was the final hike/climb to the top and the view - it was great. It was nice and hot when I did it - 97 degrees.
This truck trail is easy to follow almost the full way to the peak, but the last section requires rock scrambling and to get to the very top, some easy climbing. We did this as a full moon hike and it was wonderful.
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