Stonewall Peak is arguably one of the most popular hikes in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. This short trail takes hikers up to a rocky peak once used for goldmining operations. The peak offers expansive panoramic views of the surrounding area. 

Stonewall Peak Hiking Trail Guide

Stonewall Peak is located in East San Diego County within the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The peak itself is about 3.4 miles out and back. The elevation gain is about 850 feet to a total elevation of 5,730 feet. Stonewall Peak is great because it’s a short distance that will only take a couple of hours but will still offer some incredible views of the surrounding area. To the west you’re able to see Cuyamaca Peak as well as it’s neighboring peaks and  Cuyamaca Peak. On clear days from the top of Stonewall Peak you can see the views of past Palomar Mountain to the San Bernardino Mountain Ranges, Anza-Borrego Desert, and the Salton Sea.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park History 

Altogether there are 24,700 acres of land and over one hundred miles of hiking trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The history of this state park predates any European settlers. For thousands of years the Kumeyaay band of Native American’s utilized the fresh water springs and abundance of food in the area.

It wasn’t until the late 1700’s when the first Spanish Conquistdors started to arrive to the region. For decades native Kumeyaay resisted missionization and were reluctant to give up their independence. By the mid-1800’s land was sold of by the Kumeyaay and few of the native people’s remained in the area.

In 1869 gold was discovered and quickly led to a gold rush in the area. A series of mines were constructed and several the remnants can stili be seen while hiking today. Financial problems eventually led to the closures of the mines by 1906 and the area continued as a mountain resort for several years.

In the 1920’s a capitalist by the name of Ralph Dyar bought the ranch with plans for the development of a resort on Lake Cuyamaca. Luckily for the sake of preservation, The Great Depression ended the bid for a lakeside hotel. Instead, Dyar sold the land to the State of California for its newly developed State Park System. In 1962 the area officially was inducted into the State Park System.

On A Personal Note: 

I did the hike in the month of January. There was a minor winter storm that blew threw the area putting a light dusting of snow, hail, and grauple in the higher elevations of San Diego County. The weather conditions had temperatures in the high 30’s as well as steady moderate wind. It’s not uncommon to have winter storms pass through the area so please be aware of weather conditions and dress appropriately.

Looking for a little more challenge in your hike? Oakzanita Peak down the road is just over five miles in length with equally stunning views and a seasonal creek.  

Do you have an update to trail conditions? Leave a comment below.

  • Overal Difficulty: 75% 75%
  • Overall Views: 100% 100%
Stonewall Peak Trail Directions:
Open in maps. Park in the parking for Paso Picacho Campground. There is a small parking lot which also includes the Cuyamaca Peak trailhead. Parking is $10. For more information call the park services: 760-765-0755.
Stonewall Peak Trail Pictures:

Who Stonewall Peak Is For:

For novice hikers: This hike is short but sweet. The amount of elevation gain within the first half of the trail leading up to the top will be a fun challenge.

For moderate hikers: The short hike will leave you hungry for more.

For advanced hikers: This hike will be a walk in the park.

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Stonewall Peak:
Your best bet is Fall and Spring. During the Winter, check the weather forecast. Winter storms can bring winter like weather and cold temperatures causing muddy conditions, and snow covered trails. During the summer check to make sure there isn’t excessive heat. Plan accordingly for proper weather condition
Stonewall Peak Trail Conditions:

Since Stonewall Peak is an out and back trail located within the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, The trail is mostly a dirt path with the exception of some rocks near the top where the staircase is located. At the staircase is a very well maintained metal rail to hold on to. The trail is mostly straight with an elevation gain of around 850 feet that includes a few switchbacks and is about 3.4 miles in length. Rattlesnakes can be common in this area. Keep an eye out for poison oak in shady areas of the trail.