West Side Trail

Descanso, California

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At least a dozen major Native American villages existed in the Cuyamaca Mountains prior to the mid-1800s. These were the mountain villages or summer camps of the Kumeyaay Indians, who divided their time between the mountains and the desert. Many of these sites, identified by the presence of bedrock morteros (grinding holes) are occupied by today’s park campgrounds and picnic areas. Other sites have remained more isolated, reachable only by trail. One such place, distinguished by a large cluster of morteros on a granite slab, lies a short distance from Paso Picacho Campground near the West Side Trail—the trail running parallel to and west of Highway 79.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

At least a dozen major Native American villages existed in the Cuyamaca Mountains prior to the mid-1800s. These were the mountain villages or summer camps of the Kumeyaay Indians, who divided their time between the mountains and the desert. Many of these sites, identified by the presence of bedrock morteros (grinding holes) are occupied by today’s park campgrounds and picnic areas. Other sites have remained more isolated, reachable only by trail. One such place, distinguished by a large cluster of morteros on a granite slab, lies a short distance from Paso Picacho Campground near the West Side Trail—the trail running parallel to and west of Highway 79.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Descanso
Distance: 0.7
Elevation Gain: 50 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: .5 hour
Season: All year
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Local Maps: USGS Cuyamaca Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to West Side Trail

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May 2018