dawn 'til dusk
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
What is open now?
- Paso Picacho Campground (pending weather conditions).
- Paso Picacho and Merigan day-use areas.
- Sweetwater Highway 79 Turnout.
- Hiking trails throughout.
- Arroyo Seco and Granit Springs Primitive Trail Camps (pending weather conditions).
- Dyar Day-use.
- Special Events under 50 people.
- Group picnic sites.
- Los Vaqueros Equestrian Group Camp.
- Dyar Visitor Center.
- Stonewall Mine Day-use.
What is currently closed?
- Special events over 50 people and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
- Green Valley Campground is closed Dec 1 thru March 31
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to meet guidance from local and state public officials as COVID-19 is still present and still deadly. Current state guidance requires that masks must be worn in all indoor public settings, such as museums and visitor centers, irrespective of vaccine status through February 15, 2022. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
Fire Restrictions-Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
For current fire restrictions, please call (760) 767-4037
The beautiful park offers camping and hiking in an oak woodland forest, with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks. There are over 100 miles of trails which accommodate hikers, bikers, and equestrians. The two family camps, Paso Picacho and Green Valley, are open and on the reservation system spring through fall. Green Valley sits at an elevation of 4,000 feet and has a creek which runs through the middle of the campground. The day use area offers sets of cascades and shallow pools, great for water play on hot days. Green Valley has 81 campsites.
Paso Picacho, 5 miles north, sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The most popular hikes start from this camp, 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 which offer breathtaking views of the deserts to the east, the coast to the west, and Lake Cuyamaca at the bottom. Lake Cuyamaca, operated by the Helix Water District, is two miles north of Paso Picacho and offers boating and fishing. Paso Picacho campground has 85 campsites.
Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring. Restrooms with flush toilets and pay showers are in the campground. Water faucets a located every few campsites. There are no hookups. Each campground has a dump station. Firewood and ice may be purchased at the camps. Interpretive programs are offered during the summer season. Campsites are $30 per night. Reservations are necessary for weekends April through October. The camping fee includes one motorized vehicle. Extra vehicles are $10 per night. There is a limit of 8 persons per campsite. Dogs are allowed but are restricted to the campgrounds, picnic areas, and paved roads and Cuyamaca Peak Fire Road. They may not be left unattended. Reservations may be made through ReserveCaliforniaTM at 1-800-444-PARK.
Environmental backpack in or horseback ride in camps are also available. Granite Springs and Arroyo Seco Environmental camps are open on first come, first serve. Both have chemical toilets, non-potable water, corrals and tent sites.
Day use visitors may use the picnic areas provided at the campgrounds for $10 per vehicle. The receipt is good for the entire park for the day. The picnic areas offer tables, restrooms, and barbeques. Visitors may also park in legal turnouts along the highway and hike for free. Fire is not allowed anywhere except in the developed picnic areas and campgrounds. The park is located approximately 50 miles east of San Diego on Highway 79. It is 15 miles south of the quaint historical town of Julian.
For the most current information on the park, go to http://www.crspia.org. This website also covers our tremendous volunteer program and its opportunities. The park phone number is 760-765-3020. Come visit this park rich in beauty and history! The park phone number is 760-765-3020. Come visit this park rich in beauty and history!
East of San Diego, the park is on Highway 79, five miles north of I-8.
Vista: Parks from Ridge to River
The online video journal of the Colorado Desert District covering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Palomar Mountain State Park.
This list of regulations is intended to make your camping stay at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park a more enjoyable experience. Anytime during your stay, if you need assistance, please contact park staff and they will help you out.
Check in Time is 2:00 PM /Check Out Time is 12:00 PM (Sorry, No Exceptions)
- Camping fees include entry for 1 vehicle and 1 legally towed vehicle or trailer. Additional vehicles must register and pay additional fees (Currently $10.00 each vehicle.) Campsites are limited to 2 vehicles.
- Campers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent / legal guardian, or provide, upon arrival, a letter from a parent / legal guardian granting permission to camp. All juveniles must be in their own campsite at 10:00 PM.
- Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Visitors are not allowed between 10:00 to 6:00 AM
- Generators may be operated in the park between the hours of 10:00 Am and 8:00 PM.
- Campsites are limited to 8 people maximum and is designed for individual family use.
- Parking is allowed in designated camping and day-use parking spaces. Parking off road is prohibited.
- Vehicle speed limit in the campground is 15 mph maximum.
- Dogs must be on a leash and attended at all times. Dogs are not allowed on trails.
- Alcohol and glass containers are prohibited beyond your campsite.
- Bicycles are restricted to the pavement and approved trails.
- Helmets are required for those under 18 years old while riding bicycles, scooters, and skateboards.
- Campfires are permitted in provided fire rings only. Firewood is available for purchase at the entrance station and camphost sites. Wood gathering is prohibited.
- All State Park features (natural and cultural) are protected. Disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly prohibited.
- No person shall launch, land, or operate a powered unmanned aircraft or Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) within Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
- Firearms and fireworks are prohibited at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
- County of San Diego (Environmental youth education camp)