Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||5.4 miles (8.7 km)|
|Time||2:30 Hours (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||1,050 feet (320m)|
|Highest Elevation||5,730 feet (1747m)|
|Park Name||Cuyamaca Rancho State Park|
The Stonewall Peak Trail hike is the most popular hike in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for good reason. It’s not too tough, offers great 360 views from Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and has a unique bald rock face summit. Give the hike a try, you won’t be disappointed. Stonewall Peak, at 5730ft high, is also right next to the 2nd highest peak in San Diego County, Cuyamaca Peak, and both can be hiked in a day. Break your hikes up with a picnic in Paso Picacho Campground.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park sits on top of rounded hills of granitic and metamorphic rock. This rock is the ancient roots of the Peninsular Range, once volcanic and as high as the Andes Mountains, today worn down by 120 millions years of erosion. As you hike up the dome of Stonewall Peak, it’s easy to imagine how this was once a volcano.
In 1869 gold fever hit the area, and the Stonewall mine opened just south of Stonewall Peak. At the mine’s peak, between 1886 to 1891, it produced over 7,000 pounds of gold while regularly employing 200 men. The area around Stonewall Peak was home to a small town that supported the mine, called Cuyamaca City. The mines closed in 1906, and the area was a mountain resort for a short time before becoming a state park in 1933. Many of the trails that you will hike on were created by the Civilian Conservation Corps shortly after that.
Where is Stonewall Peak?
Use this GPS address to get to the trailhead: Paso Picacho Campground, Julian, CA, 92036, USA.
The Stonewall Peak Trail is in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and there’s an entry fee. If you have a California State Parks Pass, entry is free. There’s camping and other hikes in the park, so if you want to make a weekend of it, it’s an option.
Gear for the Hike
It can get hot in the summer, cold in the winter, so check the weather before you get here. Here’s what I recommend:
- Fitness or hiking clothes
- Trail runners or hiking boots
- Water and a snack to eat on the summit
- A good daypack or backpack
- An extra layer for the top if it’s cold or windy
If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list. I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too.
See The Gear I Use
Stonewall Peak Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing some form of paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.
Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Stonewall Peak Hike Directions
Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube
Turn by Turn Directions
Note: if you want to end your hike here, you can simply go back down the way you came. This route takes you back to the start of the hike on a route with less crowds.
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