While we were camping in the Cuyamaca area, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I decided to do a quick hike of Stonewall Peak. We had done that hike before in 2021 – a pandemic outing – and you can see a full description here.
This time I just parked my car and jumped on the trail at 4:00pm in the afternoon. Here is a shot from the trailhead, just off Highway 79. The setting sun was in my back, lighting up the mountain in fire.
Here is another picture, a few minutes farther up the road. The trail does not stay this wide and clean and it turns into switchbacks very quickly.
Here is a view from the trail about halfway up the mountain.
Finally, at the top. The elevation is 5,730 feet, and the parking lot was at about 4,900 feet. So it’s only and 800 feet elevation change. The bars on the right bottom of the picture are a frame for a display that is not yet installed. In the center of the image is Cuyamaca Lake, very empty and only a shadow of what it was 20 years ago. All the rain of this past season and the hurricane did not make much of a positive difference to the water level.
Our campsite at Pinezanita is five miles away from this point, pretty much straight behind the mountain the the center.
The hike from the parking lot to the peak is about two miles long. It took me about an hour to get to the top. I had to go a little slower as I forgot my hiking poles and I needed to pay attention to my foot work lest I trip. I was back down in within less than two hours just before it started to get dark.
Stonewall Peak is great quick hike with very dramatic vistas in all directions high above San Diego.