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Stonewall Peak Loop



5.3 mile 8.5 kilometer loop
86% Runnable


Ascent: 971' 296 m
Descent: -972' -296 m
High: 5,664' 1,726 m
Low: 4,721' 1,439 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)


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Trail shared by Russell Hobart

A steady climb to the summit of Stonewall Peak with a return through alpine meadows.

Russell Hobart

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This trail features the most dramatic 360 degree view in San Diego County and nice tour through alpine fields.

Need to Know

It is $10 to park at this trailhead.

Runner Notes

A few loose cobbles, but mostly good, flat trail with a decent grade.


Most folks use this trail as a simple out-and-back to the summit of Stonewall Peak, but if you have a little extra time you can take a lovely loop.

From the parking lot, cross the street and begin heading uphill on the Stonewall Peak Trail. The trail builds at a nice, even pace as you switchback your way up the mountain. The way is spotted with the skeletons of old pines and live oaks that have bleached in the sun. Currently, you'll mostly encounter scrub oak, manzanita, and other shrub-like plants. Occasionally, at the switchbacks the scenery opens up to some larger views to the south, north, and west. After a couple of miles, the trail flattens out, and you should stay right to reach the rail-protected summit.

After you enjoy the huge views, head back downhill keeping to the right. You soon pass a hitching post for folks coming up the other side on horses. The trail switchbacks its way down the hill and towards the rocky top of Little Stonewall Peak. The trail turns north when you get close to the peak and drops down into a drainage.

After a little over three miles, you enter a section of alpine fields with old pines and live oaks. A short while later you connect up with the Vern Whitaker Trail , where you turn left. Continue through the open field for another half mile until you take another left to connect up with Cold Stream Trail.

From here, you slowly build uphill, while cutting through open fields broken up by areas of thick foliage along intermittent streams and wetlands. After a mile along this trail, you come back to the starting point.

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Jan 26, 2019
Meghan Ryan
2 loops in reverse 10.3mi
Dec 22, 2018
Meghan Ryan
Part 1-adding to cuyamaca peak trail next

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 17 votes


  4.5 from 17 votes
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in California


78 Views Last Month
3,479 Since Oct 27, 2016



View from the summit.
Oct 25, 2016 near Julian, CA
Large pine in an open field
Mar 12, 2018 near Julian, CA
South view from Stonewall Peak Trail
Nov 27, 2017 near Julian, CA
Stonewall Peak from the Cold Stream Trail
Mar 24, 2018 near Julian, CA
Hiking down towards Little Stonewall Peak
Mar 25, 2018 near Julian, CA
Standing on the summit
Mar 12, 2018 near Julian, CA


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