2 hours 6 minutes
1 hours 48 minutes
Stonewall Peak Trail is a 4.24 mile trail with 830 feet of elevation gain and is part of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park located near Julian, California. The views on this one are amazing all the way to the top. This has to be one of my favorite hikes in San Diego County!
Parking & Getting There
Getting this hike is pretty easy using your favorite navigation app. You will go through the mountains and then park at Paso Picacho Campground. This is across the street from the trailhead.
Directions: Google Maps
Keep in mind that there is a $10 cash parking fee. Depending on when you get there, you will either pay the park ranger in the booth, or grab and envelope and return it with the money / vehicle details. If you plan to be there before the ranger gets there, remember to bring a pencil or pen!
Once parked at the campgrounds, this will be the only place for the bathroom. When you are ready, make your way across the street to the trailhead. Keep in mind this is an extremely busy road. Make sure to carry any kids and hustle in case a car comes whipping around the corner.
Dogs are not allowed on this trail, but they are allowed at the campgrounds. This can make information about whether dogs can go or not confusing. But the official answer is no.
Starting this trail you will be welcomed with a nice little incline. In my opinion this is the hardest part besides the end. Reason being, you get right into the incline and your legs might not have woken up yet. Once you get over this initial elevation gain, the rest is slow, steady, and consistent all the way up.
On the way up you are surround by trees with a little more than single track wide. You will see a mix of new trees and burned trees. In 2003 the Cedar Creek Fire burned down many of the trees in this area. These trees will provide nice shade coverage on and off for the duration of the hike
Make sure to take your time and take in the many view points on the trail. There are beautiful views most of the way up. Every so often you will actually be able to see the peak as well. You will notice it because of the metal poles coming from the top of the mountain. These hand rails are to improve the safety at the top.
Once you make it near the top you will have a very small rock scramble (10-15ft), then you will see the stair case that takes you to the peak. Make sure to bring a wind breaker and possible gloves. When you are fully exposed to the wind, it can get cold very quickly. Check out the video, you will see for yourself just how windy it is.
Overall, Stonewall Peak Trail is one of my favorites in San Diego. Its far enough that it isn’t extremely busy like a Cowles Mountain. The scenery on the way up and the top is amazing. This is one of my go to hikes, great for beginners, and a place I visit regularly.
Is there a specific hike that you would like to see next? Leave a comment down below or reach out via the Contact Form and hopefully I will be able to get a recap and virtual hike posted soon! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your adventure.