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Cuyamaca Peak Loop

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Lightly traveled, rugged ridgeback with splended pine forest views to the west
Near:Descanso, CA
Distance:6.7 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1650 ft
Hike Time:4 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots

Summary: This excursion to the top of the Cuyamaca Peek has many trails from which to choose. Ours trail begins on the south Azalea Glen Loop. This 1.5 mile ascent is one of the most beautiful dense forest hikes in the park. We took the Loop Trail to the Azalea Glen Road to the Azalea Fire Road finally meeting up with the Conejos Trail.
The Conejos, a lightly hiked 2.5 mile trail, follows the ridgeback of the Cuyamaca it is a bit of smorgasbord. It begins by meandering around fallen oak trees then quickly morphs to a granite rock trail. Finally it becomes a wall trail hugging a steep drop! The views this hike affords are fantastic, both to the East Mountains and west low lying valleys.
Finally, the trail merges with the paved fire road 0.5 from the top of Cuyamaca Peak. Be sure to bring some binoculars, on a clear day the views from the second highest peak in San Diego County are spectacular!

Trailhead: We chose to begin our hike on the south Azalea Glen loop Trail. This loop trail is one of the most beautiful dense forest hikes in the park. To find the trailhead from the day use parking lot, walk 100 yards southwest toward the camping grounds. Proceed due west approx .75 miles to join the Azalea Spring Fire Road. Follow to the gravel fire road north about 0.75 miles to the Conejos Trail junction. The Conejos ends with the mergence of the paved Lookout Fire Trail. For our return we followed the paved road back to the West Side trail, then went back north to the Azalea Springs Trail and finally down to the parking lot. There are a great many ways to return depending your time allotment and energy levels.

(Lat:32.07 Lon:-116.35)

Trail Guides for Cuyamaca Peak Loop:
Afoot & Afield in San Diego County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: California State Park (760) 765 0755
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kevin Vasquez, who has posted  7 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by DB on 10/30/2009
Great hike. Park fees are up around the state and this one is no exception. 8$ day use fee is well worth it. The last 1/2 mile to the top is on the hardball, but it is tough. Dont pass up this hike!

Reviewed by Von on 10/15/2009
Ive ran this mountain 50xs i love it i miss my buddy he use hang in with me now hes retired Blue heeler. Camanche It sure changed a lot after the fires so many trees past away give it 30 ysr it be the same~ Go for it!

Reviewed by Stephen on 7/25/2009
I have been looking at this mountain out my bedroom window for years but never thought of climbing it until a few weeks ago. What a great view! It was a hazy day though, so we couldn't quite make out the ocean. We took the fire road up all the way, which was great except that it has a constant upward slope, being built for vehicles. Take frequent breaks to admire the burned out forest around you, as well as the view of Lake Cuyamaca on the way up. A nice, short hike with a great view.

Reviewed by DiannaBC on 5/31/2009
Hiked this this past Memorial Weekend via the Conejo Trail. Must have added an additional 2 miles as I missed the sign for the Canejo. Being right handed I was expecting a sign on the right side of the fire road pointing left towards the trail. Saw it when I back-tracked, and there it was now on my right but up a bit from the fire road. The Canejo has not been cleared since the fires so it was a bit rougher going. Had the trail all to myself! Have some great pics ready to post whenever LocalHikes is ready.

Reviewed by Mark on 11/30/2008
Hiked this today 11/30 first time. REALLY great. The views from the peak are worth it. The 6.00 entrance fee to the park is worth it too. Weather was perfect. Good workout on the legs on the last part to summit via beat up access road. I started at the Pasa Picacho campground & went via the Azalea Glen loop around backside then up. It is really a site to see what a fire can do to a forest here. Sad, but I am glad it is all regrowing. Will definatly do again. I did NOT see any mountain lions though...:)

Reviewed by wild child on 10/15/2008
hiked this trail on Sept 26 2008. The map was not easy to follow. We started up near the fire road and came back down near the stream. It was a beautiful trail! We were checking to see if this was still a good hike since the fires.. It is a MUST SEE hike. Dont miss it! The view is spectacular!

Reviewed by AM on 2/19/2008
Hiked this on 16th Feb, 2008. Drove up to the mountains, two days after rain/ snow. It was perfect. Upto 3 feet of snow at some points on the trail and the weather was great - 50-60F and clear blue skies.

Reviewed by Mike on 7/6/2007
7/6/2007 just finished the hike there. It was a pretty good hike but I agree the trails can be confusing with "Azalea Glen (fill in words here)." Great views, lots of animal activity. Really HOT, temps were into the 100's. The Conejos trail was very overgrown but made for an exciting hike. I actually hiked this alone and it's ok but wouldn't recommend it.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, San Diego County Hiking, San Diego County Trails, San Diego County Hikes

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