Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Phone Number

(760) 765-3020

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 30 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 30 Feet

Park Hours

6 a.m - 8 p.m.

Dogs Allowed?

Dogs allowed in the campgrounds and on designated paved park roads.

Driving Directions to Cuyamaca Rancho SP

East of San Diego, the park is on Highway 79, five miles north of I-8.

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Environmental Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
RV Dump Station
Alternative Camping
RV Access
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available

For current fire restrictions, please call (760)767-4037

Cuyamaca Rancho SP

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 $40 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.

Photo:  Landscape view of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

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 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. 

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. E-Bikes are restricted to the pavement and are not allowed on 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.

No Drone Zone

-Drones are prohibited in the airspace above the reserve for several reasons, including the visual threat to wildlife and intruding on visitors' experience. For detailed information on the Posted Order 940-15-002 - CDD Unmanned Aircraft. and to reveiw the web page regarding the State authority over airspace.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Day Use fee includes Paso Picacho Day Use Area, Dyar Day Use Area, Sweetwater Day Use Area, Green Valley Falls Day Use Area, Stonewall Mine Day Use area and Merigan Day Use area

Day Use Fee: $10 per vehicle
Senior Day Use (62 or Older): $9
Disabled Discount Day Use: $5 with State Parks Disabled Discount Pass

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Day Use Hours are: 8 AM to Sunset

Paso Picacho Campground:

Standard Campsite Fee: CS 1-85 = $40 per night
Senior Standard Campsite Fee (62 or Older): CS 1-85 = $38 per night
Disabled Discount Standard Campsite Fee: CS 1-85 = $20 per night with State Parks Disabled Discount Pass
Extra Vehicle: $10

Reservation can be made on Reserve California from April 1 to November 30.  First come, first serve from December 1 to March 31.

Paso Picacho Campground Cabins:

Manzanita = $80 per night includes 2 vehicles
Nature Den = $100 per night includes 2 vehicles
Live Oak = $80 per night includes 2 vehicles
Cedar = $80 per night includes 2 vehicles
Coulter = $80 per night includes 2 vehicles

Reservation can be made on Reserve California from April 1 to November 30.  First come, first serve from December 1 to March 31.

Paso Picacho Group Camp:

GPP#1 = $250 per night includes 50 person maximum and 10 vehicles in designated parking lot.

Reservation can be made on Reserve California from April 1 to November 30.

Green Valley Campground:

Horse Camp Sites: 1-15 = $45 per night
Standard Camp Sites: 23-81 = $40 per night
Extra Vehicle: $10 
Reservation can be made on Reserve California from April 1 to November 30.


Additional Visitor Services
  • County of San Diego (Environmental youth education camp)

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
At Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the rounded hills of granitic and metamorphic rock of the Peninsular Ranges are the deep roots of a much different ancient range that included volcanoes and high mountains possibly like the Andes. By examining these roots, we learn about the internal workings of other mountains.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
(Photograph by Janis Hernandez)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks