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West Mesa Loop

Intermediate

Trail

6.7 mile 10.8 kilometer loop
89% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,000' 305 m
Descent: -1,001' -305 m
High: 5,205' 1,586 m
Low: 4,300' 1,311 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Matthew Kidd

A nice introduction to the joys of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Matthew Kidd

Features Views

Overview

This is a loop that follows the West Mesa Fire Road and West Mesa Trail, exploring several features of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Though you are running on a road for 60% of the loop, it doesn't feel that way because it is a narrow dirt road.

Description

The loop begins at the base of Arrowmakers Ridge, where archaeologists discovered thousands of late prehistoric projectile points. Airplane Monument is at 1.7 miles, just west of the road at the information symbol, halfway into a gentle rise. The monument is a Liberty 12-cylinder aircraft engine mounted on stones, from a DH-4B biplane that crashed on December 7, 1922, killing both the pilot and his traveling companion.

About 0.1 miles beyond the monument, the trail reverses direction, ascending Airplane Ridge on the southwest edge of the loop, and offering good views of the park.

At 3.2 miles, the fire road peters out, though Burnt Pine Fire Rd continues northwest. Ignore this road and continue northeast along a singletrack and through often tall grasses. At 4.5 mile, pickup West Mesa Fire Road again to complete the loop.

This run is best done in spring or early summer when the vegetation is most verdant.

Flora & Fauna

Stellar’s jays, scrub jays, acorn woodpeckers, black-headed grossbeak, and lazuli bunting.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#4294

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Run Rankings

#639

in California

#4,294

Overall
16 Views Last Month
789 Since May 31, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

Wildflowers bloom on the West Mesa Trail in Cuyamaca State Park.
May 31, 2017 near Descanso, CA
At times, the West Mesa Trail is nearly swallowed by grass.
May 31, 2017 near Descanso, CA
Hikers navigate the West Mesa Loop of Cuyamaca State Park.
May 31, 2017 near Descanso, CA

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