Originally scheduled for April 26, but canceled due to inclement weather. Let's try again and hope that Mother Nature cooperates this time!
We'll be walking up a narrow paved road (Lookout Fire Road) to Cuyamaca Peak, San Diego County's second-highest summit, about 5.6 miles round trip with about 1700 feet of climbing. The views along the way and from the top are well worth the climb. Take a pair of binoculars if you can.
The trees shown above were burned in the 2003 Cedar Fire, but there is a stand of pine trees near the summit that escaped the fire.
A live view of Cuyamaca Peak from Descanso is available by Web cam at http://creekbed.org/bandh/cam.htm .
Leashed dogs are allowed on the road to Cuyamaca Peak, but the climb is too arduous for pampered pooches.
Since the road is paved, hiking shoes are not required. Wear good comfortable walking shoes.
We'll meet at the day-use parking area at Paso Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (Thomas 1176/1196, N 32 57.606 W 116 34.814) at 10:00 AM and step off at 10:15 AM. There is a fee for parking, so car pooling is recommended.
CARPOOLING: For those who want to carpool, we will rendezvous at the Los Coches Park & Ride lot at 9:00 AM and proceed to Paso Picacho Campground. I have a few free parking passes to distribute on a first-come-first-served basis at the Park & Ride.
SUGGESTED ROUTE FROM SAN DIEGO: Take Interstate Highway 8 east. For carpooling, leave the freeway at exit 22 (Los Coches Rd, Lakeside), turn right on Los Coches Rd. and then left on Camino Cañada. The Park & Ride lot is on the left, opposite East County Dr. To reach the campground, continue east on Interstate Highway 8 and leave the freeway at exit 40 (Highway 79, Descanso, Japatul Vly Rd). Follow Highway 79 north to Paso Picacho Campground near postmile 9.3.
The nominal starting time is 10:00 AM. At 10:15 we will hit the trail. We should return to the parking area between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM.
Check your favorite weather page on the Internet. (I like http://www.weather.com .) Wear good walking shoes and layered clothing and take water, lunch and sun protection. Take a camera if you wish. Call or send E-mail if you have questions.
Philip Erdelsky home 619-282-8611 cell 619-866-8512 e-mail:
Cell phone service is spotty and unreliable in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, although there is usually service at Paso Picacho Campground.
SUGGESTION: Check this page a few days before the hike for any last-minute instructions.