03 February 2014

Hiking on Cuyamaca State Park

November 2013

In East County of San Diego, between Mount Laguna and Julian lies high mountains, pine forests with old oak trees (or vice versa!) and flat meadows, all in mile high.  One pretty area there is Cuyamaca State Park, which contains miles of trails.

Spent there one beautiful day looping Cuyamaca Peak (6512 ft).

Started the hike near south shore of the Lake Cuyamaca. At first ascending a sandy old Fire Road. There was a large fire some eight months ago or so. Despite it had burnt almost everything, new plants and trees were already pushing through.

From the road switched to Sugar Pine Trail, continuing ascending towards Middle Peak.  After crossing again Fire Road the trail changed to Black Oak Trail.

The Black Oak Trail circled Middle Peak from west side, offering broad view towards mountains and hills on west and north.

Some meadows had old Black Oak trees. Here, now heading south, the trail descended and crossed Milk Ranch Road and started again to ascend towards Cuyamaca Peak.

Again the name of the trail changed, being Conejos Trail.  The trail ascended now on east slope providing views towards meadows, Lake Cuyamaca and other mountain peaks as far as on mountains on Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on east.

Finally the trail came to a small road which headed to the peak. Once arrived there, enjoyed 360 degree scenery, took some photos and ate snacks.  Even some cyclists were there which amazed me.

Descended via Lookout Road to Park HQ building, crossed the road 79 and took a fairly flat trail back to Lake Cuyamaca.  On meadow saw few Wild Turkeys. Hawks and eagles were so common view that one could not count these anymore.

There were still plenty of trails left, e.g. trails to Green Valley and the ones near Park Visitor Center. Thus, worth coming here a few times.

About gear; this was the first real test of new hiking shoes, Salomon Fellraiser. Found them really good, thin enough, providing good grip.

The Route

About 20km route (about 1000 meters in vertical altogether):

Few snapshots


Burnt land on Middle Peak

Black Oak trees near Milk Ranch

Lake Cuyamaca and meadows

Stonewall Peak (5730 ft)

A view towards north west from Cuyamaca Peak (6512 ft)



The HQ

The US Route 79

Colour show by nature

Getting miles

No comments:

Post a Comment