Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||5.4 miles (8.7 km)|
|Hike Time||2:30 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,020 feet (311m)|
|Highest Elevation||5,730 feet (1747m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Fee|
|Park Contact||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, and cold in the winter, so check the weather before you get here. This is an in-between hike where you can get away with fitness or casual clothes, but you’ll be better off with proper hiking gear.
Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.
Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.
This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.
Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.
Don’t waster your money on hiking gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you already! Full HikingGuy Gear List
* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:
Stonewall Peak Trail Maps
Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Stonewall Peak Hike Directions
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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.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.