5730' Stonewall Peak is just east of 6512' Cuyamaca Peak (San Diego County's 2nd highest mountain). Stonewall's angular summit of white granite is a conspicuous landmark throughout the area. Its unique position and steep, south exposure provide a spectacular 360 degree view from the top. From there you'll see the Cuyamaca massif to the west, the Laguna mountains to the east, Mt. Palomar to the north, along with the nearby Cuyamaca Reservoir. Swallows, swifts, ravens, hawks, and even bald eagles may cruise by. On a hike there in 2000, we even spotted several hang gliders riding the currents. After the recent fires that swept thru the area, expect most of the old growth trees to be gone now and much of the vegetation to be new growth close to the ground.
Hike distance will be about 4.5-5 miles, with a total elevation gain/loss of 850'. The hike will take about 3 1/2 hrs. roundtrip, plus breaktimes. For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 1998 Edition, Area M-7: Cuyamaca Mountains, Trip 8, pp.180-181.
We'll park at the Stonewall Mine, just off Highway 79, which winds north/south thru the State Park. (There is now a $6 parking fee at the Stonewall Mine.) About 10:45-11 am, after browsing around the mine site and checking out the info. kiosk near the parking area, we'll head out down the road and across the meadows. Since the east side trail is still closed due to the 2003 fire, our approach to Stonewall Peak will be from the west side which leads up the steep switchback trail from the highway below. On our return, we'll hike back thru the forest around the base of the peak, then back up the access road to the parking area to complete the hike.
For maps to the area, click here.
Below is a collection of shots from our hike to Stonewall Peak in May of 2000.