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Cuyapaipe Mountain


Location: San Diego County, about 19 miles southeast of Julian, 165 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club: San Diego County
Forest Service: Cleveland National Forest
USGS Topo: Mount Laguna 7½
HPS: Route(s), waypoints and explanation of usage

Nearby Peaks: Garnet Mountain, Garnet Peak, Monument Peak #1, Sheephead Mountain

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 2.5 miles round trip cross-country
Gain: 700'
Time: 2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, March 1968


  • Take I-5 south to SR 78 in San Diego County.
  • Go east on SR 78 through Escondido to the junction with SR 79 just past the town of Julian. Turn right (south) on SR 79.
  • Go 6 miles to the junction with Sunrise Highway (S1) on the left. Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 7.4 miles, a paved road on the left with a sign "Kwaaymii Point". This is the turnoff for Garnet Mountain. Keep straight.
  • At 9.9 miles a parking area at a gated dirt road on the left. This is the trailhead for Garnet Peak. Keep straight.
  • At 11.4 miles, Laguna Campground entrance. Keep straight.
  • At 12.7 miles, parking area on the left. This is the trailhead for Monument Peak #1. Keep straight.
  • At 15.1 miles, a dirt road on the left just past the Red-Tailed Roost Volunteer Activity Center. Turn left.
  • Go 1.7 miles on this road keeping right at an immediate fork and straight at subsequent forks to a road on the left. Park in a turnout on the right across from this fork.


  • From the parking area (5842'), cross to the dirt road which goes up the hill to a locked gate.
  • Continue on the road past this gate about 200 yards to the remnants of an older gate. The fence at this point may be posted "No trespassing".
  • Just before the old gate leave the road on the left side.
  • Pushing through gnarly brush, cross the fence at a fence junction and then follow a use trail which emerges and parallels the road with a barbed wire fence in between the trail and the road. (Although it bypasses the gnarly brush push, do not go past the "No trespassing" sign and continue about 70 yards to a fence crossing on the left: we do not have permission to transit this private property.)
  • The trail goes east for about 1/2 mile, drops into a streambed, then runs along the flank of Cuyapaipe. A ducked route begins on the flank of Cuyapaipe.
  • Follow this route it as it winds through a brushy slope up to the summit. There are a couple of easy rock problems along the route.
  • When you reach the top of the ridge, the summit register will be on a mound of rocks about 200' to the right (south).


The dirt road from SR 79 may be closed in winter months. Park at SR 79 and hike into the parking area described above. This adds about 3 1/2 miles to the round trip distance.

From the time hikers leave the road, they are transitting land owned by the Cuyapaipe Band of Mission Indians. No lone hikers are allowed, and group leaders must call or write first for permission:

Mr. Michael Garcia
Chairman/Environmental Director
Cuyapaipe Band of Mission Indians
4054 Willows Road
P.O. Box 2250
Alpine, CA 91903-2250
Tel: 619-445-6315 or 619-659-1467
Fax: 619-445-9126

History of Summit Signature

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Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 7-December-2005
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