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Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Road and Trail Management Plan

The Cuyamaca State Park (CRSP) staff is currently developing a management plan for the park’s system of roads and trails. The park's 24,719 acres of forested mountains, grassy meadows, and chaparral-covered hills is in east central San Diego County. The U.S./Mexico border lies 25 miles from the southernmost boundary of the park. CRSP has approximately 137 miles of trails which accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Of the park's two campgrounds, Green Valley and Paso Picacho, the most popular hikes start from the Paso Picacho, including the 2 mile hike up Stonewall Peak (elevation 5,700 feet), and the 3.5 mile hike up Cuyamaca Peak (elevation 6,512 feet), both offering breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca below.

CRSP's 2015 General Plan prescribes a Roads and Trails Management Plan ( RTMP) to determine uses for specific trails. Guidelines were presented in the General Plan that established viable standards for wilderness boundaries, adjust wilderness boundaries to exclude utility corridors and existing multi-use trails, and make possible future multi-use trail connections.

The purpose of the Road and Trail Management Plan is to provide specific direction for the long term construction, maintenance, and management of the roads and trails system.  Specifically, the plan will:
• Determine which roads and trails should be maintained, removed, and/or enhanced.
• Identify which of the unofficial trails should be removed and which should be made official. 
• Determine the types of trail uses (e.g. hiking, biking, and/or equestrian) that are appropriate on each road and trail. 
• Identify those roads and trails that lead to damage of the natural and cultural resources of the park, for example a trail that passes through an area of sensitive natural resources, and need to be re-routed and/or reconstructed. 
• Identify trail connections necessary to create trail loops and/or connect to trails outside the park. 
• Identify  opportunities for new trails, where appropriate
• Identify necessary trail facilities, such as restrooms, parking, and drinking water

Data Collection (Information to be provided when available)

1) Road and Trail Existing Conditions
The first stage of the planning process is to evaluate the existing condition of the roads and trails in the park and the permitted uses of each, and develop an inventory of each road and trail feature and condition. This information is then used to evaluate road and trail conditions and associated effects to natural and cultural resources.  A variety of documents are developed to describe and illustrate these inventories and assessments.

2) User Input
Additional data is being gathered through a survey of park users.  Data includes information on users’ current forms of recreation in the park and ideas for improving existing and developing new trails and facilities.  These surveys are being conducted during different seasons of the year to solicit input from a variety of trail users.  In addition to the survey, meetings are being held with various user groups, such as equestrian and mountain biking clubs, to collect data and input on plan proposals.  


(Information to be provided when available)
Proposals to change the types of uses permitted on a trail (i.e., proposals to add biking and/or equestrians to a trail) will be evaluated using the process described in the related Program Environmental Impact Report, available here.  A flow chart of this process is available here.  The form that will be was used to evaluate each proposed change-in-use at Cuyamaca Rancho SP is available here.

Road and Trail Management Plan (in progress)