Stonewall Peeker  LbNA # 37415

Placed DateJan 3 2008
CountySan Diego
LocationJulian/Descanso, CA
Planted ByStonewall Peak    
Found By Sunshine & Gray Mare
Last Found Jun 15 2008
Hike Distance?

Stonewall Peeker

Approach from Interstate 8
From I-8 take the Highway 79/Japatul Valley Road off ramp. Turn left.
Hwy 79 & Old Highway 80 are the same road for about 2 miles. Watch for a left turn to remain on Hwy 79.

Enjoy the scenery along Highway 79, and imagine how it was before the Cedar Fire of 2003 as you drive about 7 ½ to the Paso Picacho Campground and Picnic area. Turn left and park in the picnic area. Day use parking fee, $6.

Approach from Julian, CA.
You can get to Julian on Highway 79 South from Temecula, Highway 78 East from Ramona, or Highway 79 West from Anza Borrego.

Once in Julian, take Hwy. 78 & 79 down Main Street (heading south). Turn right just south of town. There will be signs indicating Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Hwy 79 South. Follow the highway for about 11 ½ miles to Paso Picacho Campground. Turn right and park in the picnic area. Day use parking fee, $6.

Look up at the rocky peak across the street from the campground. Can you spot any early hikers already at the top? The trail begins directly across the street from the campground entrance. Don’t let the first 100 yards discourage you. This is the steepest part of the trail except for the very top.

The trail forks soon after that. Take the right-hand fork, (even if you are “authorized”.) Follow the rocky track through a canopy of burnt oak trees. Encourage the young trees that are growing in their place. Stop to admire the intricate beauty of the stately burnt trees.

There are a lot of switchbacks to make your climb to the top enjoyable. Count them, if you want. BUT DON’T CUT THE SWITCHBACKS!!! Especially on your way down, it causes erosion and damages the mountain. At about one mile, there is a huge boulder at the south end of a switchback. It has a burnt trunk that looks like it is holding it up. Stop and rest in the alcove formed behind these two old partners. You could even put another letterbox here!

When you reach the saddle between Stonewall Peak and Little Stonewall, the trail makes a T. To your right, a signpost tells you it is .8 miles to the tippy top of Stonewall. Continue to your right. After you climb over some rocky erosion blockers, the trail turns to complete rock and is a little difficult to spot. Continue up and to the south until you spot the steps and iron handrail. Go up the steps and take in the view.

Now your search begins.
At the bottom of the steps the railing points the way to a “pass.” Pass through, and you will see Lake Cuyamaca in front of you. You’ll also see a small burnt oak bush. But it has lots of new growth. It might even have a good hiding place for a letter box! (Be sure to use a stick to search, for safety reasons. Just in case another creature is looking for the letter box as well!)