Airplane Monument Loop
ElevationAscent: 849' 259 m
Descent: -847' -258 m
High: 4,775' 1,455 m
Low: 3,957' 1,206 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
Popular runs nearby
5.4 mi 8.7 km • Out and Back • 1,559 ft Ascent 475.14 m Ascent
Lawson and Gaskill Peaks
7.0 mi 11.2 km • Loop • 2,109 ft Ascent 642.74 m Ascent
Campo to Cottonwood Creek (PCT)
21.3 mi 34.3 km • Point to Point • 3,177 ft Ascent 968.45 m Ascent
Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
5.0 mi 8.0 km • Out and Back • 754 ft Ascent 229.83 m Ascent
Palm Canyon Loop
3.0 mi 4.8 km • Point to Point • 488 ft Ascent 148.87 m Ascent
Hellhole Canyon Preserve
8.7 mi 14.1 km • Loop • 1,912 ft Ascent 582.67 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“The shortest loop to Airplane Monument starting at Sweetwater Parking Lot.”— Matthew Kidd
The airplane monument is at 2.2 miles.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. Bees have made a hive of it as of 2019.
After 0.5 miles, turn onto the Monument Trail at a well-marked junction. This exposed and somewhat rocky section ascends steadily with good views. At the fork at the 2 mile mark, veer right onto the West Mesa Trail. After another 0.2 miles, you'll come to the airplane monument. This is a good lunch spot with a view, despite the bees, which didn't seem interested in us or our food.
From the monument, the terrain narrows and become less interesting. The Japacha Fire Road return is rocky but offers a mix of views and shade.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: California State Parks - Cuyamaca Rancho