Cuyamaca Peak

  • Cuyamaca Peak
  • 1985 m.
  • Primary factor 872 m.
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Location: North 32:56.806, West 116:36.411 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed February 11, 2011.


How to get there: From San Diego, locate Interstate 8 going east, (take Interstate 5 south if you are north of 8). Follow Interstate 8 east approximately 37.5 miles, locate the exit to Hwy. 79. Drive 12 miles on Hwy. 79, you will climb into a broad saddle between Stonewall Peak (right) and Cuyamaca Peak (left). Turn left at the State Park entrance and find parking. This location is N32:57.590, W116:34.826, elevation approximately 1480 meter. Note that there is a park fee, also for day use. In 2011, this fee was US dollar 8 per vehicle. Pay the fee via the established self service system (envelope in box).
Route description:
The route follows a paved road all the way to the summit. This road starts out on the left side of the campground. You may cross the camping area, but do stay left higher up in order to bear left and connect with the road. Alternatively, locate the road that starts out on the left of the campground (when facing uphill) from the very beginning. Follow this road all the way to the summit. There has been a forest fire in the area some years back and this is very visible as you hike uphill. At the top, there are some antennas with supporting structures. The easiest access to the very highest rocks is to make a left where the top road branches. There is a trig point marker quite a bit lower than the highest rocks.
I had attended the 20th DDM meeting in San Diego all week. This meeting ended at noon and a small afternoon hike of some local highpoint was high on my agenda.
I did this peak with Richard Carey, age 67. Adam Helman had asked/suggested that he consider doing this hike with me. I had planned to rent a car, the way this turned out, I got nice company, a car and an expert driver. Thanks Richard and Adam!
We left the car at 1335, hiked up on the left side of the campground/picnic area and soon located the small, paved road (closed to traffic) that serves this mountain.
We kept a reasonable pace and arrived at the summit in 1:10, at 1445. The view was nice, the weather fine, but a bit windy. We left after 20 minutes, at 1505, and hiked down the road to the car, arriving there at 1550.
Richard drove us to a nice restaurant near the airport. We enjoyed dinner before he dropped me at the local terminal serving commuter flights to LA. I had a night flight to Guatemala city in order to visit the most prominent peak between Orizaba (Mexico) and Pico Bolivar (Venezuela) on my way home.