Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

3.50 out of 5
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↑ 1,800 ft
↓ 2,200 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
Go back to the 79, go north for a mile to the Milk Ranch TH, take Milk Ranch to Azalea Springs to Fern Hollow, left on West Mesa, cross 79 and get on Cold Springs Trail to Green Valley, north on Green Valley until Soapstone, turn right and follow back to 79, cross 79 and take CA Riding & Hiking Trail back to CG.
added by GyanBunny Hop
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: Is the trail dirt? -Guest

A: Yes, many miles of dirt plus about 1.25 of pavement through the meadow.

Guest answered on January 1, 2018. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No


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System Trails (2)
System Trails (2)
Stonewall Mine Loop
Anza-Cuyamaca North Side Singletrack
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (19 total check-ins)
  Missy Kearley   on Jun 8, 2019
  Dave Leuck   on May 10, 2019
  Kevin Hasley   on Jan 19, 2019
  Dave Leuck   on Oct 28, 2018
  Vincent M. Casiano   on Jun 9, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (29)
Trail Photos & Videos (29)
Reviews (5)

January 17, 2016
Review: About a one hour drive from San Diego, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and its adjacent park Anza-Borrego has a wide variety of landscape and trails. In a few hours, you ride through manzanita chaparral, grassland, meadow, and pine and oak forest. The western side of the Cuyamaca grand loop is mostly double track through oak and pine forest. It has the largest climbs (1000 ft vertical up Middle Peak, 1200 ft vertical up Cuyamca Peak) and the steepest climb (17% max up Azalea Springs fire road, thankfully that section is short, 1/4 mi). And some of the best views; from the top of Middle Peak or Cuyamaca Peak you can see the Pacific Ocean forty miles to the west. Or look across the Cuyamaca meadow northeast, or East Mesa to Mount Laguna to the east.
The climb up the east side of Middle Peak is a great workout and rewards with fast, rough, unpopulated downhill on the west side (I have only seen others on this section once out of dozens of trips.) After the short climb to Azalea Springs there is five and half miles of almost all downhill to the Sweetwater Trailhead. Though double track, it is a blast to be able to keep such good speed for so long (but beware, there is a 15 mph speed limit in the park).
Heading north from Sweetwater Trailhead, up the east side of the Park is some singletrack and double track through Upper Green Valley. This area is posted with warning signs about mountain lions; though in reality lions might be anywhere in the park. I've never seen one in the park; still, I don't like to start this section too late---they hunt at dusk. The last mile of this trail is a rocky, narrow, stiff climb, singletrack.
There is a fork at the top of Upper Green Valley. Turn right to add 2.3 miles of single track east on La Cima and Lucky Five trails. Left (actually straight) at the fork continues single track on a section of the California Riding and Hiking Trail for 3.5 miles where it meets Soapstone fire road. The trail here is low on the sides of hills bounding grasslands with long views across to Cuyamaca Lake.
Deer are commonly seen in the grasslands and meadows. Wild turkey are also common. Coyote, too. Bobcats are also seen, but less often.
There are many trails and alternative routes through Cuyamaca and the adjacent portion of Anza-Borrego state parks. Equestrian use if fairly common in the park; more so in the western portion and near Los Vaqueros Group Horse Campground in the north. General camping is available at Pasa Picacho or Green Valley campgrounds. Free parking can be had at Trout Pond, Cold Stream, or Sweetwater Trailheads; these have no facilities. Paid day use parking is available at Pasa Picacho and at the Cuyamaca Visitor Center (south end of the park and low elevation of the "Grand Loop" route); water, bathrooms, and picnic tables are provided. On the north side of the "Grand Loop" free parking is also available at the Pedro Fages Historical monument (no facilities) on Sunrise Hwy and at the Sunrise Trailhead two miles further east on Sunrise Hwy between La Cima and Lucky Five trails (vault toilets, but no water). (More info
There is reason enough to visit, ride, and return many times.

Similar Trail: Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve

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Granny Gear

May 19, 2015
jmo Granny Gear  
Review: This place has lots of potential but rain and horses and the lack of high volume riding result in really loose rocky fireroads chopped up by horses. A great workout but not very high on the fun factor based in the trails I went on. If I were to try some new routes I would probably try parking on sunrise highway and taking California riding and hiking trail or la cima trail (which appear to be more packed single track) to upper green valley fire trail and fireroad. This is the one area that was really fun to ride but it was over very quickly. Once the fireroad opens up to its time to turn around and head back. For extra milage you could head up soapstone fireroad for a very tough loose rocky climb and turnaround once you reach stonewall creek fire road for a semi sketchy rocky downhill.

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Bunny Hop

April 17, 2015
Review: Rocky fire road up west side of middle peak fire road, down same way. Good views, good work out

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January 17, 2014
Eric Foltz Doubletrack  
Review: Great trail system. The Park has opened up a lot of singletrack over the years which has really made this park a great place to ride. Upper Green Valley trail loop is as good as anything around. Good camping also.

Similar Trail: Big Laguna, El Morro, San Juan Trail

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May 7, 2009
Review: Beautful ride in a pristine area of San Diego. Good mix of fire road and singletrack. A very sensitive area now since the recent fires decimated a majority of the biggest trees in the park. Still very beautiful.

Similar Trail: Big Laguna Trail, Indian Creek Trail

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Cuyamaca Rancho State Park MTB Trail 3.50 out of 5 based on 5 ratings. 5 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed