May 29, 2010
Okay, as far as "hiking" goes, most San Diegans know that Cuyamaca Mountains rock! Many, many trails can be found there and eventually I plan on getting to most of them (did I tell you this is a long-term project?)
One Cuyamaca trail
that my family and I have enjoyed over the years is the 2 mile journey that takes you to the top of Stonewall Peak.
The trailhead (top picture) to Stonewall Peak is right off of Highway 79 just south of Lake Cuyamaca opposite Paso Pichaco Campground. I'll bring you back here to Paso Picacho in the future to do the Azalea Springs Trail hike (though it is nowhere near as appealing as it once was before the Cedar fires.)
The hike starts off shady, as you can see, but is overall a sunny walk ever since the fires.
Fortunately the majority of the trail is a series of switchbacks making the climb much more bearable. There are only a few small stretches of the kind of incline that makes you need to stop and catch your breath.
Once you get far enough up the side of the peak you start getting some good views of Cuyamaca Lake (see the fifth picture down).
I must admit that this was a particularly fun walk for me since I had the company of my family. One realization that came to me is that as kids get older they complain much less.
As you get close to the summit there are some really cool climbing rocks. At least the "kids" enjoyed bouncing around on them (I tried not to look, avoiding the over-protective parent syndrome telling them what was, and wasn't safe to do).
Just shy of the top there is a set of stairs with a rail that guides you safely to the "tippity" top... and once you get there, what a view! 360 all around!
Kind of like the TOP OF THE WORLD!
All I can say about the 2 mile return trip is that it works a different set of muscles - and the next day you know which ones those are.