CUYAMACA STATE PARK
The beautiful park offers camping and hiking in an oak woodland forest, with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks. There are over 100 miles of trails which accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. The two family camps, Paso Picacho and Green Valley, are open and on the reservation system spring through fall. Green Valley sits at an elevation of 4,000 feet and has a creek which runs through the middle of the campground. The day use area offers sets of cascades and shallow pools, great for water play on hot days. Green Valley has 81 campsites.
Paso Picacho, 5 miles north, sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The most popular hikes start from this camp, including the 2 mile hike up Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,700 feet), and the 3.5 mile hike up Cuyamaca Peak (elevation 6,512 feet), both which offer breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca at the bottom. Lake Cuyamaca, operated by the Helix Water District, is two miles north of Paso Picacho and offers boating and fishing. Paso Picacho campground has 85 campsites.
Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring. Restrooms with flush toilets and pay showers are in the campground. Water faucets a located every few campsites. There are no hookups. Each campground has a dump station. Firewood may be purchased at the camps. Interpretive programs are offered during the summer season. Campsites are $30 per night. Reservations are necessary for weekends April through October. The camping fee includes one motorized vehicle. Extra vehicles are $8 per night. There is a limit of 8 persons per campsite. Dogs are allowed but are restricted to the campgrounds, picnic areas, and paved roads and Cuyamaca Peak Fire Road. They may not be left unattended.
Photo: Landscape view of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Day use visitors may use the picnic areas provided at the campgrounds for $8 per vehicle. The receipt is good for the entire park for the day. The picnic areas offer tables, restrooms, and barbeques. Visitors may also park in legal turnouts along the highway and hike for free. Fire is not allowed anywhere except in the developed picnic areas and campgrounds. The park is located approximately 50 miles east of San Diego on Highway 79. It is 15 miles south of the quaint historical town of Julian.
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Cuyamaca State Park is located near Alpine, El Cajon and Lakeside
Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp
This group horse campground is available by reservation from mid May until mid September. You may make reservations by contacting Reserve America.
The group horse camp is located on Los Caballos road, about 2 miles east of Highway 79, inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The park offers over 100 miles of hiking trails with pine and oak forests, meadows, streams, ocean and desert views.There are tables, BBQs, water faucets and a large fire ring. The camp has its own restroom with showers.Pipe corrals are available for horses and we ask that you limit one horse per corral.The site is limited to 80 people, 45 horses and 50 vehicles, which include trucks and trailers. There is a 50 foot limit on all vehicles.Check in no earlier then 2:00 pm is strictly enforced. You may register at the Los Vaqueros Campground. Check out is noon.Campers must clean out their own corrals and we supply trailers for manure.Dogs are allowed in the campground, leashed, but are not allowed on the trails.
Hual-Cu-Cuish Day Use Horse Parking
This parking area is located inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park at the southern edge of Cuyamaca Lake along Hwy 79. The facility is available for you to park your truck and trailer for the day off of the highway and access the horse trails in this area of the park. As this is a temporary parking area there are no facilities and we ask that you not leave behind any horse manure. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset.
Sweetwater Parking Area
This parking area is located North of the Green Valley Campground inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. There are no facilities at this location and we ask that you not leave any horse manure in the parking area. This is a huge parking area with lots of room for you and your truck and trailer. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset.
Since the June 30, 2006 close of comment period for the Notice of Preparation of an EIR for the Replacement of Equestrian Facilities at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the following activities have occurred:
? California State Parks (CSP) received and read through over 200 written comment letters.? Equestrian and Native American stakeholder groups held several joint meetings.? CSP investigated additional locations proposed during the Equestrian/Native American meetings.? CSP consulted with regulatory agencies, counsel and cultural specialist for the California Equestrian Association, the Descanso Community Planning Group, Native Americans, and CSP?s planning policy committee.? CSP investigated funding options.? CSP submitted project for inclusion in the statewide Capital Outlay Program.
CSP determined that all of the project sites put forward in the 2006 NOP would require a General Plan revision to be prepared and adopted before development could occur. A Revision of the Park?s General Plan would also have to address all other recreational and operational needs of the park and its users. A General Plan revision process would take more time than is acceptable for equestrian users to be without family camping and trailhead parking facilities within the park. In order to meet the immediate recreational needs of equestrians at the park, CSP has decided to pursue facilities at site locations already in-line with the existing General Plan and with limited stakeholder opposition.
For this reason a new project is being established to develop an equestrian campground (~20 sites) with trailhead parking and amenities near Descanso, as well as trailhead parking along Hwy 79 in the vicinity of Paso Picacho. This project will provide improved equestrian recreational opportunities, including year round camping and trailhead parking, and access to trails in both the northern and southern parts of the park. The addition of equestrian camping facilities at more northern locations in the park can still be pursued at a later date as part of a General Plan Revision.
East of San Diego, the park is on Highway 79, five miles north of I-8.
Latitude/Longitude: 32.9547 / -116.6014