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Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Hidden waterfalls and more than 100 miles of trails through forest and meadow silently witness the regrowth of Cuyamaca Rancho California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (760) 765-3020. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Cuyamaca Rancho State Park 13652 Highway 79 Julian, CA 92036 (760) 765-3020 © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Printed on Recycled Paper State Park. E ast of San Diego, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park offers respite from the dry Southern California landscape. The park’s 24,700 acres of oak and conifer forests and expansive meadows are broken by running streams. Located in the Peninsular Range of mountains, Cuyamaca Peak, at 6,512 feet, is the second highest point in San Diego County. From the peak, visitors can see Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the east and the Pacific coastline to the west. Over half of the park’s acreage is designated as state wilderness. HISTORY Native People The ancestors of today’s Kumeyaay Indians occupied the Cuyamaca mountains from antiquity into the historic period. Their village sites are located throughout the state park, including Ah-ha’ Kwe-ah-mac’ (”what the rain left behind”), Iguai’ (“the nest”), Wa-Ku-Pin’ (“warm house”), Mitaragui’ (“crooked land”), Pilcha’ (“basket bush”), and Guatay’ (“big house”). Historic mention of the Cuyamaca Kumeyaay begins in 1782 when Spanish Lt. Col. Pedro Fages noted that the villagers “approached me very pleasantly and I gave them some beads.” However, the Kumeyaay did not want to give up their independence, and resisted missionization. In 1837 a Mexican expedition attacked the villagers of Ah-ha’ Kwe-ah-mac’ after the Kumeyaay raided two ranchos to the south, eventually exacting a promise from the Kumeyaay to leave the settlers alone. Augustin Olvera of Los Angeles obtained the Rancho Cuyamaca grant in 1845. Olvera intended to harvest timber but his contractor, Cesario Walker “being afraid of the Indians, who made a kind of revolution, abandoned the place.” By 1857, few Kumeyaay remained. James Lassator reportedly bought 160 acres in Green Valley from the last hereditary chief of the region. Lassator’s family maintained a home, hay fields, and a way-station there, supplying those using the area’s early overland trails until after his death in 1865. Gold Mining in Cuyamaca The 1869 discovery of gold near today’s town of Julian triggered a brief but frenzied rush to the Cuyamaca mountains. The southernmost and most profitable of the mines was the Stonewall, located south Kumeyaay dwelling Sketch by J.W. Audubon, 1849 of the Laguna Cuyamaca. By 1872, this profitable hard-rock mine supported a permanent worker’s camp and mill. In 1886 mining entrepreneur and soon-to-be California Governor Robert W. Waterman purchased and expanded the Stonewall’s operations. At its peak from 1886 to 1891, the mine produced over 7,000 pounds of gold while regularly employing 200 men and housing their families at its company town, Cuyamaca City. Financial problems ensued after Waterman’s death, and by 1892 hardrock mining had ended. Stonewall Peak hikers Later owners separated remaining gold from previously milled ore tailings with cyanide leaching until final closure in 1906. After the miners left, Cuyamaca City continued for several years as a mountain resort. Becoming a State Park Capitalist Ralph M. Dyar bought the rancho in 1923, along with partners planning a resort development for the lakefront’s northern half. Dyar also built his family a beautiful second home in Green Valley, using local stone and salvaged materials from the Stonewall Mine ruins. The Dyar House later served as park headquarters and visitor center until the 2003 Cedar Fire reduced it to ruins. The Great Depression ended Dyar’s development plans; in 1933 he sold the property to California for its new State Park System. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park was doubly benefited in the 1930s by the placement of two Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps that provided National Park Service designers and CCC labor to develop the park’s initial and distinctive “park rustic” facilities, including many of today’s popular campgrounds and trails. NATURAL HISTORY The Cedar Fire On October 25, 2003, a lost hunter lit a signal fire, hoping to be found. That signal fire quickly burned out of control and became the biggest wildfire in California’s recorded history. The fire took nearly two weeks for containment and burned a total of 280,278 acres, including 90% of Cuyamaca Rancho’s 24,700 acres. Reforestation The slow rate of forest regeneration has prompted a reforestation project to replant a portion of the park using grants and donations from private companies. Severely burned areas may take years to regenerate, but grasses, shrubs and some conifers have already begun the recovery process. Wildfires are still a threat. Please be careful to observe the park rules regarding fires, and report any fires you see to the nearest ranger station. Vegetation and Wildlife Today the rich forest lands at Cuyamaca Rancho are returning at a slow rate. The trees include magnificent oaks, willow, alder, and sycamore. Conifers like incense cedar, white fir, and Coulter, sugar, ponderosa, and Jeffrey pine are also making a comeback. Visitors may see a gray fox, badger, bobcat, or mountain lion. Park amphibians include the Pacific and the canyon tree frogs, and reptiles like the mountain king snake, striped racer, and rattlesnake. More than 100 bird species live in the area, including acorn woodpeckers, northern flickers, redtailed hawks, and sage sparrows. A bird Pacific tree frog list is available at park headquarters. RECREATION Trails — Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has more than 100 miles of riding and hiking trails. The popular 3.5-mile hike up Lookout Fire Road to Cuyamaca Peak offers spectacular 360-degree views of the ocean, the desert, the Salton Sea, and across the border into Mexico. The 2-mile trail to the top of Stonewall Peak — only moderately difficult due to many switchbacks — climbs from 4,800 to 5,700 feet to overlook the old mine site. The 9-mile Harvey Moore Trail is a difficult hike beginning near the Sweetwater River Bridge north of Green Valley. The round trip takes eight hours. The restored Paso Picacho Self-Guided Nature Trail gives a brief overview of the role of change in nature. The visitor center has hiking trail maps available. Horse trails for equestrian recreation Interpretive programs — The Stonewall Mine site exhibits a pictorial history of this Southern California gold mine. The park’s visitor center features regional plant and animal exhibits; it also describes Kumeyaay native life before European settlement. Picnicking — Developed picnic areas at Paso Picacho and Green Valley have tables, barbeque stoves, and accessible restrooms. Paso Picacho group picnic area holds up to 75. Camping — Family campsites with tables and fire rings are available, with accessible restrooms nearby. Trailers are limited to 30 feet long. Motor homes up to 24 feet may use Paso Picacho; Green Valley fits RVs up to 27 feet. Six rudimentary camping cabins with wooden bunks and nearby restrooms at Paso Picacho are reservable year-round. Paso Picacho Group Camp accommodates up to 40 campers with 20 cars or light trucks. Equestrian campsites at Green Valley have spaces for two horses and a rig. Riding groups may camp at Los Vaqueros Group Horse Campground, near the California Riding and Hiking Trail. Reserve cabins and campsites by calling (800) 444-7275 or visiting www.parks.ca.gov. Accessible Cedar Cabin at Paso Picacho Primitive horse trail camps are located at Granite Springs and Arroyo Seco, with family campsites for up to eight people. One group site holds up to 16 people. To use the trail camp, register at park headquarters, the Paso Picacho contact station, or the Green Valley campground. Primitive sites are in an unlighted, remote area, so check in early to set up camp well before dark. Horse corrals are available, but equestrians should pack in feed because grazing is not allowed. PLEASE REMEMBER Dogs must be attended and leashed at all times. Except for service animals, pets are allowed only on paved roads. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES One equestrian campsite at Green Valley, Cedar Cabin and five campsites at Paso Picacho, and the Azalea Glen and Stonewall Mine hiking trails are accessible. Accessible parking and restrooms are near the visitor center. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit http://access.parks.ca.gov. NEARBY STATE PARKS • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 200 Palm Canyon Drive Borrego Springs 92004 (760) 767-4205 • San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park 15808 San Pasqual Valley Road Escondido 92027 (760) 737-2201 to Julian 0 Tra il it ch Kelly’s D FOREST 580 0 k ee 4200 e 00 il Tr a ng 5000 4200 00 Na ho Trail Valley Green Upper lo s d to Public e A c cess 00 5200 -C 5000 L a C ima Fire Roa d 4800 Road n re e 00 44 4600 Trail ring Sp k ee Cr 00 50 l 4600 ss T rai to San Diego il Tr a 4600 4400 4200 00 Hi g h wa y 8 0 40 00 3000 4000 5000 Feet 900 1200 1500 Meters 4200 600 0 200 400 600 Feet 0 60 120 180 Meters 3 0 80 eR s Fir oad P 79 F a ll s Tr Major Road Accessible Feature Mine Paved Road Bridge Park Building Trail: Accessible Cabin Parking Trail: Hike Campground Picnic Area Trail: Hike & Horse Campground: Group Ranger Station Trail: Hike & Bike Campground: Horse Restrooms Trail: Multi-use Campfire Center RV Sanitation Station Campsites Showers Forest Area 4000 2000 300 4400 1000 4200 0 0 3800 4000 Old Viejas Blvd 38 FOREST ek Contact Station P a il Fir e Tr ai 5000 4800 ya 46 00 Oak Trail 00 00 38 36 0 m 00 il in ne T r ail Pi 00 46 Fire 00 380 nu er Upp 46 p in ua aq Ju ap qu J ua il Tr a e id Ro ad 44 00 Paso 5200 C al i f o r n ey Rive r Fire Trail We s Sw ee t w ate r E 00 t S i de 44 G ra 70 S1 Legend 0 Cr e CLEVELAND NATIONAL 40 Merigan Parking Mo i a R id i n g a nd H i ki 00 46 te r tw a Va ll r Sp ld Co a Ro Fire a es M t We s Riv e l Tra i r a te Sw ee 00 S t o n e wa 4800 00 Tra il 52 ir W r 0 400 tw Sw ee Tra B la c k O Az d ak Pe B la ry Bounda South 50 ak Trail k Trail ck O a Co n e j os Trail L oo k ou t 5400 k P ea Mi d d l e 0 560 38 0 420 79 ver R 4200 00 Ri 4200 4000 ire 400 4600 40 ay 00 4800 d 42 an r il Tra nF 00 00 hw NATIONAL FOREST ga oa 80 79 78 43 68 81 77 41 65 69 42 75 76 66 74 67 73 71 72 CLEVELAND il 50 40 79 6 a te 00 bo n 5054ft O a k z a ni t a ge 5 7 tw il ig 48 47 45 50 46 44 56 61 55 57 32 60 62 63 34 58 59 33 39 40 35 64 36 38 4 10 9 8 LAGUNA Green Valley INDIAN S E R V AT I O N Campground 52 51 37 id e R H 4850ft l 1 13 2 3 ee 30 31 Granite Springs Trail Camp 25 23 49 24 RE 29 Pi n Oakzanita Peak 11 15 14 26 53 54 12 t e Tra en is 28 79 Sw an d F nr Tra il r ad Ro co Su g Se a in o Ro ek Park HQ Ranger Station 22 20 1 ire k 5400 ia R id roy 27 4800 Cre Contact Station Tra 40 Califo rn 180 Meters 5000 nso P 24 31 26 P 5200 U p pe r D e s ca Nature Den P ar ri Me Descanso 120 De P Trail 27 d 4400 D e s c a ns o 60 00 00 M esa t Lower Descanso Creek Trail P 0 50 Moore H arv ey 4400 42 E as P op Trail Dyar Spring D 6 P Tra il n d M o u nt ai n B ik e 600 Feet Ar WILDERNESS er 00 Green Valley Falls Lo Paso Trail pi 32 37 400 S T AT E Tra il 4400 36 5 83 33 200 M O U N TA I N 00 g 84 34 0 C U YA M A C A 4800 44 R oa d R ib 3800 00 00 P Creek 50 P Trail County Outdoor School r in 35 Fall 36 ig r e Ea Blu e 40 3800 Horse Trail er rpe Azalea Glen Loop op il 79 Paso Picacho Campground Tra il alea Glen Az Lo a Tr rv e y M o or ge ck ad il J uaqua S st Green Valley South Boundary Fire Road S a d dl eba De Tr a e n 4200 ad id Ha Ha P see Green Valley detail map g Tr a i l kin Hi P 0 20 tS Sp d Tra il 4400 Trai l Falls Fire il 79 4600 Ro as a m P i ne t Fi r e R id 0 nu 3800 400 Mo 4000 Se c o 4400 0 360 en oyo Arr S T AT E WILDERNESS 4 a Tr Fire Ro 00 Arroyo Seco Trail Camp M O U N TA I N ay Hill Trail P Dya r 42 c ha 4800 Upper Green Valley Fire Road il pa G a Tr 00 a Ja n Lo op P P 38 23 80 29 25 21 54 39 28 79 77 55 2 30 57 40 53 43 19 56 41 59 62 5 42 18 45 3 61 51 46 2 17 4 58 60 52 49Z A 44- B O R R E G A N O 6 16 74 13 50 D E S E47R12T S T A15T E 73 14 63 72 64 48 P A R K 7 70 69 67 71 11 9B 8 65 1 66 4 10 3 68 9A S1 Cedar L Hiki ookout Fire Road Cabin ng a Trail m 44 C U YA M A C A es ad ca c Pi 78 76 75 5000 a re t Japacha Spring Gle 81 82 00 St es W k a 85 52 ld P d Visitor Center West Mesa Trail ree ale hw e Fir Ro Co Fox Trail M aC Az Hig il Tra g Cold P Spring il l ach C r eek in a Tr Tra i Jap C U YA M A C A RANCHO S TAT E PA R K de il 5825ft 0 a S1 rise n e w a ll Si ra 520 co Ro Sto t FOREST Sun 00 Trail at Japacha Peak Se e Fir 50 tream Fl We s F ad e e Trail tur NATIONAL 4600 il ld S n d sa T Me est o ap s t on e CLEVELAND 0 a Tr Co Fer l Tr 0 5800 560 j os Fire Roa Burnt Pine Trail oy Arr Gr 00 420 s ro So er Trail Little Stonewall Peak 5730ft 00 ue Los Vaqueros Group Horse Campground 5250ft Stonewall Peak 48 q Va os Tra il 00 il s ab d ad oa Ro ad Cr k ee Lo Lo s C r Fi ne 6512ft 52 40 C U YA M A C A M E A D OW N AT U R A L P R E S E R V E it ak S TAT E PA R K a Tra Trail ri n 0 Ro 00 ll Paso Picacho Wh 0 50 il Tra Co Cuyamaca Peak 0 l Trail l Trail see Paso Picacho detail map Sp 620 4800 Stonewall Mine L i t t l e S tonewal l Vern 5000 00 Deer Spring l 0 48 le e A z al e a G n R Fire 480 i Tra sh al M i n s h a ll Min ne A za l ea Azalea Spring 00 al 79 Hual-Cu-Cuish Horse Staging Area ad h Ro M i lk R an c le n aG a le 52 P Cim re Stonewall Mine Trail La Fi 5200 gs 60 D E S E RT Lake Cuyamaca P ANZA-BORREGO 79 48 Cuyamaca Dam 0 0 560 0 0 58 30 Km 50 00 il Middle Peak M 4000 ay Tra 5000 00 20 CA MEX hw ch 4800 5600 10 ig D it 4600 5400 S2 20 Mi H 50 K lys 4800 00 40 00 s er Rd 4400 5883ft 10 0 805 is 52 79 8 Imperial Beach Tijuana nr 54 e Sugar Pi Ro ad Cuyamaca Rancho SP Old Town San Diego SHP S1 00 g el 0 Ramona 0 00 Anza-Borrego Desert SP 78 Julian Cleveland NF San Diego Su En in 4 0 Miramar MCAS Cr ea al 00 Az 42 56 S T AT E W I L D42E0 R N E S S 540 67 La Jolla 5993ft B ou l d e r C r e e k 3800 15 Del Mar Torrey Pines SB Torrey Pines SNR NATIONAL C U YA M 0 A C A M O U N TA I N 00 0 52 0 0 4575ft 5 Ocean North Peak 4400 Cosmit Peak Cleveland NF San Pasqual Battlefield SHP Encinitas Pacific CLEVELAND 00 Escondido 78 79 COSMIT INDIAN R E S E R V AT I O N Rd ers ne gi En 38 00 Oceanside State Park 50 40 440 460 Cuyamaca Rancho 3800 HARRISON PARK 0 00 0 440 4600 00 4400 400 42 420 4200 00 48 38 15 1-85 Parking Area Dam Accessible Campsite Locked Gate © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) BIKING TRAILS HIKING TRAILS From Green From Paso Picacho Valley To: Japacha Spring Arroyo Seco Airplane Monument Merigan Parking Granite Springs Stonewall Peak Azalea Spring Azalea Glen Cuyamaca Peak Middle Peak 2.5 1.5 2 4.2 4.5 7 7 8 8 9 6.5 8 6 7.5 2 1 1.2 3.5 4 EQUESTRIAN TRAILS To: Azalea Spring Dyar Spring Sweetwater Bridge Granite Springs Arroyo Seco South Border on CA Riding and Hiking Trail William Heise County Park on Kelly’s Ditch Trail From Los Vaqueros 3.9 6.2 6.5 7.2 8.5 11.9 6+ No horses on Lookout Fire Road This park receives support in part through a nonprofit organization. For more information, contact: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association P.O. Box 204 • Descanso, CA 91916 www.crspia.org From Visitor Center to: Stonewall Creek Fire Road Soapstone Grade Fire Road Stonewall Mine Milk Ranch Road Sweetwater Turnout .8 3.1 4.6 6.2 1.4 From Milk Ranch Road to: Middle Peak (top) Azalea Spring Cuyamaca Peak (hard climb) 2.7 2.3 4.3 From Sweetwater Turnout to: East Mesa Fire Road Granite Springs Deer Park Trail (park boundary) 1.3 5.8 8.4 All distances in miles Please Note: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this map. However, occasionally portions of trails may be closed or otherwise restricted. Please observe all posted orders.